Please help me save our family's fig tree.

Michele_in_CAJuly 16, 2011

About three years ago while renting my house, a cousin felt our fig tree was too messy. He paid a day laborer to come out to 'prune' it (without my permission). All the branches were removed, leaving about 6" of the main branches. The wounds were left unsealed / unprotected and the tree has not recovered. Some small new branches began growing; producing fruit that falls prematurely and it's getting worse. The few leaves it has are not very pliable and are rusted along the edges. I've tried to get an arborist to come out (San Leandro, CA), but so far none have shown up or returned my calls.

This tree is the only clone remaining (in our family) from the tree my grandfather brought from Italy in 1901, so you can understand its importance to me.

Pictures are located here and you do not need to be a FB member to view them:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.2280164527895.135157.1362265854&l=aa9d12c6ca

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gorgi(z7a_NJ)

>>> and the tree has not recovered.
How long ago was the fig tree chopped down?

Your pics show only cut twigs (not the tree).

Fig trees are very resilient, and usually do come back.

Removing fruit (figlets), will help the tree diverting
energy into the more needed new shoot/twig growth.

Are any new suckers coming up from the roots?

    Bookmark   July 16, 2011 at 11:48PM
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gorgi(z7a_NJ)

Your pictures:

Using your link:
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.2280164527895.135157.1362265854&l=aa9d12c6ca

Clicking on each pic; choosing "inspect element",
then copy/paste here the part saying:

(>)img src="http://a1.s......

(>) equals >
[i.e., character ">" not inside brackets "()",
I had to do this to explain; else funny stuff happens]

    Bookmark   July 17, 2011 at 12:44AM
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Michele_in_CA

The tree was cut about three years ago. I've asked my daughter to take more pix of the tree itself and will post them when I get them.
Thx for the info on how to post the pix to the forum.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2011 at 1:21PM
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sautesmom

Wow, that looks seriously bad, especially after 3 years. The large cuts might have let some disease in, that the tree is fighting now.

But since your goal is to save your ancestor's tree, did you know figs are REALLY easy to start from cuttings? You can just start a new tree, which might be able to outgrow any disease. Normally you would want to do it when they are dormant, but you could still try now if you think it is dying!!!
You take at least one (but I would do at 5) 6 inch branches and clip off all the leaves, leaving the little top sprout. Dip it in fungicide or a light bleach solution, then wrap the top half in a damp paper towel, leaving a few inches on the bottom free. Dip the bottom in rooting hormone, put the whole thing in an empty sports/ water bottle with the spout lid on, but open, and put the bottle somewhere warm but NOT where it gets sun (top of the water heater is perfect) Check it periodically to see that it is damp, but not wet or dry, and soon you should see little white roots coming out of the bottom and the leaves on the top starting to go. When you have nice little roots you can plant it in very light potting mix kept moist but not wet, out of the sun still, with a plastic bog lightly over the top until it is growing well.

It's worth a shot for your family heirloom!

Carla in Sac

    Bookmark   July 18, 2011 at 9:22PM
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Michele_in_CA

I've added more pix of the tree. Sorry, but I can't figure out how to "inspect element". When I click on a picture, it opens up, but I don't see any "inspect element" by right or left clicking on it.

Pictures are located here and you do not need to be a FB member to view them:
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.2280164527895.135157.1362265854&l=aa9d12c6ca

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 9:08PM
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Michele_in_CA

Carla - thx for the info. I took a few cuttings and hope they are healty enough to clone.
I will try one of the cuttings using your method.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 12:21PM
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rchukka(7)

maybe you can also contact local nursery or professional and they might help identifying the disease and help curing it if possible. just an idea.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 7:56PM
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Michele_in_CA

@rchukka - I've called local arborists, trying to get someone to come out. However, none called back or showed up. Many of the "tree service" companies in our area only trim/cut/remove trees.

Anyone know a good fig tree 'expert' in the San Francisco East Bay Area?

    Bookmark   July 21, 2011 at 12:18PM
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sautesmom

Here is a link to find a certified arborist

Carla in Sac

Here is a link that might be useful: http://www.treesaregood.org/findtreeservices/FindTreeCareService.aspx

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 11:52PM
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