Cutting back celeste

tntrex(8)August 2, 2006

Hi, Went to the nursery to buy my first fig and they only sell ones about 4 ft. tall in a 5 gallon bucket and it is trimmed like a tree. One trunk about 1 inch in diameter. They told me I need a big tree like theses and to chop off the top and this is the only way to have figs here because the freeze kills the bushes. I just left confused. Is this correct? Again Im very new to this so I really appreciate the help! I live east of Dallas zone 8 if that helps.

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My twin brother used to live in the Metroplex. His neighbor had a large fig tree with lots of fruit! I think you were told a lot of hogwash! That said, your area can be difficult for fruit production if you have a long winter warm spell, followed by a freeze. Plants start to grow in your area, only to be hurt by an arctic cold snap!
My negative experience with Celeste tells me to warn you that fruit production in hot weather seems problematical with this cultivar. My Celeste fig trees are dropping most of their fruit, as usual. I have been told it is the heat. Of course, your weather is much more consistently hot than mine in extreme South Jersey. My type of Brown Turkey seems very adaptable in different climates. You may wish to contact me by e-mail for a cutting this winter.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2006 at 3:00PM
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About cutting the fig tree, about 20 years ago I planted 2 Fig trees my 1st experiance with figs. They were in pots and about 5 feet tall, and the man told me when I plant it to cut the top half off. I did and the next spring it took off growing and in 3 years it was loaded with figs and large enough that I had to climb it to reacg all the figs.I would trim it like he said and hope he is right.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2006 at 3:36PM
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mountainman0826(z8B TX)

I live in Zone 8B Austin, Texas. My experience is that fig bushes (multiple-trunked trees) are the best way to go for our area. After you plant a young fig tree, don't be surprised if cold snaps kill it to the ground the first couple of years. If it is a cold-resistant variety, the tree will be more resistant to cold as it gets older. Trimming the tree back in the very early spring a week or two before the tree breaks dormancy is a very good way to stimulate multiple suckers (new sprouts) from the base of the tree. In regard to Celeste dropping its fruit in hot weather: If the tree is stressed for water in hot weather, it is much more prone to drop the fruit, particularly if it is potted. Mature in-ground Celeste trees in this area, where it is not unusual at this time of year for the temperature to approach 100 degrees F every day, seem to do fine. Although a number of my Celeste variants are still maturing fruit, mature in-ground trees tend to mature their fruits in June and July in this area.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2006 at 6:48PM
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I went to another nursery and they said not to cut it back. Here is URL link with a picture of it (hope it works). The wooden fence is on the east side of the fig 5 ft. away. Hope I did good.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   August 4, 2006 at 6:11PM
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mountainman0826(z8B TX)

The wooden fence is great for sheltering the fig and helping to create a favorable, slightly warmer microclimate. In my opinion, the tree is too close to the wooden fence and the wrought iron fence. It looks fine now, but a number of years from now, when the Celeste is a mature tree, it will be crowded by both fences. I would consider planting it at least 10 ft. away from both fences for ease of access to the tree as it gets larger. Your tree does look very healthy. If you decide to move the tree, wait until very early next spring, just before it breaks dormancy. If you would like for your fig to be a multi-trunked bush, then as painful as it will be for you, cut the top off of your tree and several new suckers will emerge from the base. If you would like to train the fig as a single-trunked tree, then trim all suckers when they emerge, and prune the shape of the tree to suit you. The pruning should also ideally be done in the early spring as well.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2006 at 7:26PM
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I Live in Connecticut. When I first took an off-shoot from my parent's fig tree in South Jersey, to plant here in CT, everyone said "No Way". It has been 7 years now and my fig tree has thick branches and gets hundreds of figs. Only about 20 figs rippen to be eaten. but the tree is fine out side and I am cutting it way back this year and I expect to get a good harvest come August/ September this year.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 10:20AM
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