Should I buy one?

terrisoflaSeptember 27, 2010

I have seen black mission figs for sale at a local Lowes for $5.00 each. I have passed them up twice, but I'm off for the next two days and they are calling me. The reasons I've passed them up are:

1. I've never tasted a fresh fig, so don't know if I like them.

2. They have brown spots all over leaves, which is probably rust taking over.

3. It looks like they rooted 3 cuttings in each pot, so they will look like a big bush.

3. I'm worried about getting that fig virus in my yard, and living in south florida, I don't need to introduce any more pathogens than what are already here. I have a Celeste that I planted in May, but haven't tasted any fruit yet.

The reasons they are calling me back:

1. I read somewhere on one of your posts that black mission have a closed eye and so will do well in a rainy, buggy climate.

2. I read they taste really good.

3. They are only 5 bucks.

I have placed an order with UCD for VdB and Col de Dame because they have closed eyes and are supposed to be very good tasting too. Will I eventually get this bad fig virus in my yard anyway when I get these cuttings?

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You will get the virus on the trees you grow from cuttings.
But not on your healthy trees.
The virus needs a spreading agent wich is missing on the east coast.
But if someone imports trees from Ca with leaves on,(The agent lives in leaves,inside them)and grow them in hot climate like Florida ,then yes the Agent will be introduced and survive just fine, in Florida. climate.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2010 at 3:14PM
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Oh well, too late now. I checked to see if anyone was going to talk me out of it, and nobody did, so I now have a Black Mission along with my Celeste. I consider it more of a rescue now. There were about 10 left and they look like they've been allowed to get too dry. They've lost a lot of leaves. Should I pull all the spotted leaves off this plant? I do have some rust on my Celeste, on the older leaves and I spray it with copper. I left all the old leaves that were in the pot at the store, but I could pull off the other spotted ones and give it a spray of copper. Would that help? I'll send some pictures. Also wondering if I should cut off the smaller of the two little trunks so I only have one.

thanks, Terri

    Bookmark   September 27, 2010 at 3:16PM
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Herman 2,

I wrote you a long message and then for some reason it was deleted. It said I had already responded so I couldn't do it twice. Anyway, do you mean that if I buy an infected plant, or get infected cuttings, that the virus won't transfer to a healthy tree?

Can someone tell me how to post pictures?

    Bookmark   September 27, 2010 at 4:38PM
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No it will not transfer to a healthy tree ,if the spreading agent(aceria fici,fig mite,is not present).But someone can bring it with live trees from Ca,or southern Europe,in the leaves of the imported tree.
If tree leafless,then the danger is very small,only if there is some mites hiding under the bark.
Ones in your yard they will live in the soil under your tree because in Florida the soil does not frezees deep enough to kill them.
Here in Nj they will die the first winter if introduced.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2010 at 8:02PM
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The first 3 are the new black mission and the next two the Celeste I planted in May. I still have 7 figs holding on through all this rain. Hoping to taste at least one. Should I remove the spotted leaves on the black mission? Should I remove the stem that is leaning to the side and leave just the larger straight one? Should I plant it now?

new black mission

This is the Celeste I planted in May.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2010 at 10:38PM
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noss(Zone 9a Lafayette, LA)

Hi Herman,

That means, then, that those mites would live here, as well. SHOOT!

If there are no mites, can a person transmit the virus from infected to uninfected plants by using the same pruning shears on both plants?

I guess the mites do live here because a retired UL professor told me several years ago, the virus came through here and decimated many older Celeste trees. I'm surprised at that, really, because the Celestes are so tough. They're like the "junkyard dog" fig trees of the bunch.

I'm concerned because I think I bought a young tree with FMV.


    Bookmark   September 28, 2010 at 12:16AM
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I do not know the answer to all your questions,and even if someone said it will not transmit trough shares,I still clean my cutters,every time I move from one tree to other and prune.Just to make sure.
As for planting your tree in ground,I woiuld do it right away,and do not worry about leaf spots,that is minor.
Just check for nematodes in soil ,if you have a fig tree in ground allready.Check the roots,for round balls,if not found plant all your fig trees ingeround,in Florida.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2010 at 11:20AM
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frozenjoe(9 Arizona)

The leaves on your Black Mission look very different from mine.


    Bookmark   September 28, 2010 at 1:16PM
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wabikeguy(7 AB)

What frozenjoe said.

The leaves on my black mission are larger and broader. Yours more closely resemble the leaves on my violette du bordeaux.

Both produce awesome figs.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2010 at 1:32PM
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Wow, that's interesting. Glad I posted the pictures. I would be happy with either one. I thought they looked really narrow, and they feel much scratchier than my Celeste, but I'm a newbie with figs, so didn't think anything of it. Well, she's in the ground and already being watered by the tropical storm heading our way. I may be one of those people trying to figure out which fig I have next year. Kind of fun!!

    Bookmark   September 28, 2010 at 7:08PM
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noss(Zone 9a Lafayette, LA)


Good luck with your new fig tree. :)


What do you use to clean your shears that would kill the virus?

I use Clorox wipes, but don't know if that would kill FMV.



    Bookmark   September 28, 2010 at 9:35PM
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oregonwoodsmoke(5 OR Sunset 1A)

If you bought Violette du Bordeaux for $5, you did very well for yourself.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2010 at 3:27PM
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Clorox solution or wipes is ok,anything that is disinfectant is ok,as long as is done every time.
I am not sure it works but I do it anyway.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2010 at 7:31PM
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noss(Zone 9a Lafayette, LA)

Thanks, Herman. It probably helps at least some. Clorox kills the parvo virus and that's not easy to kill. I'm not sure if the clorox wipes has real clorox in it. Will have to go see. Just wiping things helps. They are now saying that all those antibacterial soaps don't do any better than just washing one's hands well with regular soap.


    Bookmark   September 29, 2010 at 9:06PM
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