Young tree bearing fruit

newton101May 13, 2008

Hi All, I am new here and to the care and feeding of figs.

I planted a 3 foot Celeste about 3 months ago that I got locally that was very well potted with a substantial root system. I have tended to it with a little fertilizer, water and lots of TLC to give it a good start. But the tree has grown very little, not surprisingly in just a short time after transplanting, but it is beginning to fruit PROFUSELY. What do I do? Should I let it fruit or remove the little figs? At this point, I want a strong tree and production is not important. I'm afraid that too much of the plants energy will go into the fruit instead of building a strong plant. Am I mistaken in this? All comments are appreciated. Thanks, (fig)newton101

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hlyell

You may get different opinions from others, but I would let the tree do what it wants to do this first year. I assume since you are in zone 9 that the tree has actually put on SOME new growth this year and that is where all these figs are. It is very likely the tree is acting this way because it is in a completely new environment. I wouldn't worry about the tree. I'm sure that after this winter and a period of dormancy the tree will take off growing next year.

I have a similar situation with several 3rd year 5 gal. fig trees that were given to me in early April. They had been kept in a greenhouse several miles South of New Orleans, LA (150 miles South of where I live in Jackson, MS). They had broken dormancy probably in late Feb. or early Mar. In this greenhouse they were watered regularly by a timed sprinkler system. They had grown quite a bit in their first month or so since breaking dormancy. Well, I brought them back to Jackson and put them (still in pots) with my other figs. Unlike the rest of my figs they didn't grow at all. Then around the middle of April some of the trees began to pop out a LOT of figs. The figs are doing well, but on the trees that have produced figs the distal buds still haven't reopened and pushed out any new growth. The trees that didn't produce figs have finally started some new growth. In any event, I believe everything will "normalize" after their first season here, and I bet your tree will do the same.

Henry

    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 1:35PM
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newton101

Thank you, Henry, for your insights, as both the fig tree and I are a bit confused right now. The weather here in Spring, Texas (the Houston area) has been ideal for plant growth this year. Everything that I've planted this year has exploded with growth. This fig has grown only a few new leaves but the tiny figs (about 30 or so in all) have just appeared in the last few days all over the plant. I cannot tell how old this tree is but the thickest part of the trunk at the bottom is about one inch in diameter. That my not sound like many fruits but this is a skimpy looking 3 foot tall plant. I should feel blessed that I'm getting fruit but I hope that I didn't accidentally trigger it to fruit when I gave it a bit of fertilizer about 2 weeks ago. Lloyd (Isaac Fig)newton101

    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 2:40PM
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newton101

I'm trying to add a couple of pictures of my new fig.
Let's see if it works.
Well, I couldn't figure out how to embed the pictures but I was able to post a link to them. See link below.
Lloyd

Here is a link that might be useful: my little Celeste fig tree

    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 5:08PM
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newton101

After viewing the above link... would you cut off one side of this 'fork' or leave well enough alone? Not trying to be a worry-wort, just trying to get this plant off to a good start. I'm no longer worried about loosing this plant as it seems to have readily taken to its new home. I usually like a single trunk but I'm really tossed on this. I would ultimately prefer a bush instead of a tree for this location. Maybe hard to see in the picture but this is not 2 plants. It it forked about an inch or so above ground level but the mulch makes it look like it is AT ground level. What would you do?
Lloyd - needlessly worrying myself and others over a fig tree!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 7:25PM
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loslunasfarms

Newton,

For now, I would steak the tree, leave it alone, and enjoy some figs. If you really have your heart set on a bush you can prune it down in the fall, mulch, and see it sucker up in the spring.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 7:42PM
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newton101

Hi All, please pardon me for trying to embed the pictures instead of linking them. Here goes:

Hey, that wasn't so hard! Thanks, solstice98.

Lloyd

    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 8:03PM
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jerseyphresh(6 NJ)

It looks like those figs are Breba (growing on last years growth). If you want more branching and leaves, knock those figlets off. It is still early in the season, your tree will grow! - Chris

    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 12:18PM
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hlyell

jerseyphresh,

I don't think those figs are brebas.

Lloyd,

Please refer to the second sentence in my original post and confirm whether your figs are growing on wood that was produced this year or on wood produced last year. I can't imagine it is last year's wood given the timing of your post and the fact you are in zone 9. If the figs are growing on this year's new growth just let them grow.

Again, as I mentioned in my original post, just let your tree do what it wants this first year. I wouldn't cut off branches.

Henry

    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 12:48PM
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jerseyphresh(6 NJ)

That tree also looks like a 2 year old tree not a 1 year old tree. After looking at the second picture again, I don't think they are breabas... Just leave those figs on there (unless they are on last years wood)!

    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 1:48PM
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newton101

I bought this Celeste about 3 months ago. It has grown very little since I've had it but I would say all of the fruit is on new wood. Disclaimer: this observation is from a fig neubie working with a store bought fig. We did not get a winter here this past year but all of the other figs in my area appeared to have gone through a good dormancy period. My neighbor's Celeste is fruiting just like mine is. But her tree is MUCH bigger of course. Had I known about this forum earlier I would have asked her for a couple of cuttings from her tree!
I will leave this little tree alone for now and fuss over something else for a while. To all of you that have helped me see the wisdom in that I, and my fig, thank you very much.

P.S. When I first got this plant I cut a small 10" 'side shoot' off and stuck it in the ground under my new fig tree. It dropped all of its leaves and looked dead. Now I see new growth! Is it really that easy to propagate figs? Amazing!

Lloyd

    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 5:12PM
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