My Ficus rubiginosa fruiting HEAVILY!

WBDB(Sunset 19 USDA 10a)July 25, 2014

Moved to this house 4 years ago. The back yard has a mature Ficus rubiginosa, about 40' tall, canopy about 50'+.

Had it pollarded a little over a year ago, the whole yard was shaded, it was very dense. The canopy has completely grown back, though it is smaller. The tree looks very healthy, it is an outstanding specimen.

Previously, it has fruited pretty much insignificantly, not much at all, as is the leaf drop. But this year, my tree has turned on me!

About a month ago it began to drop A LOT of fruit. You can not avoid stepping on the 1/2" fruits littering the wood deck and concrete patio areas. I have to sweep every other day, just to be able to water the other plants, or every day if you want to walk anywhere out under the tree. I almost filled a 5 gallon bucket with less than 2 days of fruit drop. An added "bonus" is that most of the fruit is so soft that gentle sweeping smears it on the deck and patio. The yard reeks of rotting fruit.

This is the first time this tree has exhibited this behavior. We love this tree, and consider ourselves very lucky to have this as the focal point of the back yard.

I would like to hear if others have experience with this species, and if our recent problem is unusual, or perhaps climatically triggered. Do understand that the ficus is in no danger of being removed, but I would like to know if this will happen regularly, as it has not in my limited(4 years) experience. Until now, this tree has had no bad traits, and I would recommend it as a specimen tree for any climate in which it would thrive.

Thanks, Dave

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tonytraveller

I have the same problem in S. California with a large, mature, beautiful Ficus R. It shades a sitting area in our back yard and the fruit is a substantial annoyance. This year I learned about Florel, a fruit tree fruit eliminator available on Amazon.com. Apparently the Monterey Brand Florel is legal in California. I contacted the manufacturer and was told that, used properly, Florel will control the ornamental fruit on a Ficus R. Follow the directions, obviously, but I believe you will need one thorough spray in the spring and the treament should last four years or so. I learned of this product too recently to use it this year. I will try it for the first time next spring and hope that I can avoid having to walk on hundreds of 1/2" mushy balls.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 6:44PM
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WBDB(Sunset 19 USDA 10a)

I don't think Florel will work for successive years. It would be very difficult to apply to a tree of mature size. You would need a good arborist to do the application, unless you are very handy and have access to sophisticated equipment.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 8:12PM
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