Will early pinching promote earlier crop?

eukofiosMay 11, 2010

Last year I was frustrated due to the lateness of several of my trees. I lost a fair number of figs to the chill and rain in October and November.

This year seems better already, with warm weather moving blooming of other trees 2 to 3 weeks ahead. The figs are earlier too.

I usually pinch at 5 to 6 leaves to promote fruit formation. I'm wondering now if pinching at 3 or 4 buds would move them forward a little more. I don't mind if I have fewer figs, if those that do ripen form a few weeks sooner and therefore not waste them to mold. PLus, the head start will give them more warmth and sun, maybe, for more sweetness of the later figs.

Or, will the early pinching just mean no fruit? I didn't pay attention las year to where they formed, so I don't know if they were in the first couple of nodes.

Another good thing this year, looks like there will be more brebas. In my cool climate, some of the brebas seem better, probably because of the sun and warmth and long days in mid summer.



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I am in Zone 5 and will be pinching at 5 leaves and later (probably after June) at 4 leaves.
I don't think early pinching means no fruit if you leave some nodes to form fig embryos.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 6:34PM
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I have noticed that the first leaves rarelly grow a fruit,so count fruits starting with second leaf.
If you want 3 fruits you pinch after forth leaf.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 9:13PM
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But you may have to keep pinching after that because the new branches growing from the pinched branch,will imediatelly produce new fig embrios,wich will get ripe much later,or never,and if you leave them on,it will suck out the tree energy,and retard it.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 9:18PM
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Thanks for the advice! I think I will pinch like you say after the 4th leaf. And be diligent about removing embryonic figs beyond that, as well as pinch again.

For me, this is about getting a fair number of very good figs, not the largest number of possible figs.

Thanks again!


    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 11:40PM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

I did some pinching a couple weeks ago at 4th or 5th leaf, mostly to keep my tree small, and this morning I was very surprised to see at least 6 or 7 figs on this tree. Two are well formed and about 1" long each. The new ones have eyes and have started forming. Looking forward to tasting my first figs!

This morning I spied one blueberry (huge, dripping purple blue), so I popped it in my mouth! YUM!! That was the first of my blueberries!

This is so much fun!!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2010 at 11:01AM
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I am new to growing figs as well as to this site. I do not quite follow "pinching". Last year I planted a Celeste and LSU Gold in the yard. Production was very limited but the trees grew about 3 ft. This year they are fully leafed out already and have grown together (planted close due to limited space) and are about 6'X6'. No figs yet, embryo or otherwise. I gather pinching improves fruit production. Am I too late to pinch? how should it be done? Any advise is appreciated.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2010 at 11:27PM
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Pinching is removal of the growing tip. I assume that this results in removal of the hormone-producing section that inhibits growth of branches and figs, but a smarter person is welcome to correct me.

When the growing tip is removed, the new section below that tip seems to be stimulated to make figs, as well as making new branches. Before I pinched, I got much fewer figs than I do now. This method also results in a more compact tree. Mine are 5 to 7 years old, and are under 7 feet tall. Part of that compact size is due to pinching, part due to pruning.

My question was whether this could be done sooner than I usually do. Normally, I wait until the shoot has 5 leaves, as I had read in a site no longer on the internet. That means, just when the growing tip with the 5th leaf is long enough to remove, I do. Some growers use their thumbnails to do that - that's why it's called pinching. My thumbnails are usually too short for this. I usually use a pair of stainless steel scissors that I wash in the diswasher after each fig tree is groomed. My theory is the dishwasher sterilizes the scissors.

This usually means that many if not all of the leaves on the shoot are not fully developed yet when you pinch. That's OK.

I hope that's a good explanation. It really seems to work.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2010 at 11:46PM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

I'm not that anal about it. I use my thumb nail and whatever finger can meet it, and I Pinch!! It works.
Nothing sterile. Just a pinch. badabing!!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2010 at 1:34AM
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