Is my fig dwarf?

kumquat1May 4, 2011

My tree is maybe 6-7 years old. It has maybe 25 little branches with lots of figs, thanks to Herman's pinching technique. But I did a realistic assessment and it is only 3' tall and 3' wide. It is a bush with 4 main trunks on it. Could it be a dwarf? It has been in the ground since I bought it.

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noss(Zone 9a Lafayette, LA)

Hello kumquat,

What variety is your fig tree?


    Bookmark   May 5, 2011 at 2:49AM
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    Bookmark   May 6, 2011 at 10:01PM
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Most Celeste strains are not dwarfs. Sounds like your tree needs some fertilizer. "in ground" fig tree that is not growing at least one foot per year.....could use some fertilizer. That is normally done a month before bud-break in the spring. You want the nutrients from the fertilizer already mellowed in the soil when the tree sends forth its new growth (first flush).

Make sure that when you water, that you water DEEP......not just dampen the surface. In the first few years of an in ground fig tree's want to encourage "deep roots to form". For that you need moisture present deep in your soil. This will allow a larger root mass to form which in turn will speed up the maturing of your tree and allow it to support a larger tree mass. Keep in mind that fig trees do not have tap roots because they were not propagated from seed. So, if you do not water "deep enough"......the fig tree roots will only be just below the surface. You tree will grow very slowly when that happens. Deep watering is VERY VERY IMPORTANT in a young fig tree's life for proper root development. I cannot stress this point many people needlessly wait YEARS for their in-ground fig trees to become productive.

FYI......the fig experts in my zone 9 climate pinch their Celeste trees after 18 inches of new growth. They do not count leaves. And they will fertilize their mature fig trees with 13-13-13 all purpose fertilizer one month BEFORE bud break. Their trees are absolutely beautiful and super productive.

Semper Fi-cus

    Bookmark   May 7, 2011 at 6:48AM
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Thanks so much for the great info, Dan

    Bookmark   May 7, 2011 at 9:04AM
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After you pinch off the tips when they become 18 inches long.....your side branches will then come off the new growth and start a "second flush". The second flush will develop lots more figs on it. This has the added effect of "extending the fig season" for a given Celeste fig tree as fruiting is spread out over a longer period.

In a more northern climate, pinching is done earlier (pinch earlier when the new growth is LESS THAN 18 inches) accommodate force ripening in the shorter growing season.

......still dreaming away in my "made-up" fig orchard and absolutely clueless about any real fig research activities. lol at Mister Boxer Mann......and you know who you are!!!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2011 at 10:50AM
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wabikeguy(7 AB)

Great info Dan. A lot of us are still learning. Thanks.


    Bookmark   May 7, 2011 at 10:54AM
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I'm just sharing the GREAT advice an old (90+) Cajun fig friend of mine shared with me. This past Thursday I went to check the progress made on my mud-boat remodeling project and afterwards decided to pay him a short visit. Wish I had taken my camera with me. His trees are just so beautiful and loaded with figs. This guy has shared some really neat stuff with me over the last few years.....and I in turn opened his eyes to some other things too.

Semper Fi-cus

    Bookmark   May 7, 2011 at 11:13AM
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Thanks ever so much, Dan. These are just the things I need to know. And especially with my zone in mind. I have always wanted a productive fig tree. Have moved around quite a bit, but have settled in my retirement place now, and don't want fruit to continue to be a fig-ment of my imagination. I have a 1' tall Brown Turkey that I went out and put a dribble-bucket with fertilize in water beside the poor little thing. I made a pin-hole in a 5-gal bucket that I place beside the fig trees and fill up with water. This baby will not be deprived of fertilize. I have chickens also, so the little one will be seeing some of that. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2011 at 1:49PM
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