Just What Is a 'Mature' Fig Tree ?????

bronxfigsSeptember 25, 2011

Forum Members:

When does a rooted branch become/morph into a "mature" fig tree????

Lets say someone air-layers, successfully, a 5 ft. branch, cuts it off and grows this well-rooted branch throughout the season ... even getting a nice main-crop of figs by the end of the summer. This new "tree" has grown on its own roots for only a few months, yet it produced fruit and sprouted new branches. It now looks like any well-branched nursery tree, but it's only one growing season old. So, when is this new "tree" considered to be mature? Is it technically/botanically as old as a newly rooted, one foot branch, that didn't produce fruit?

Just asking.....

Frank

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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

The term mature has many definitions and means different things in different contexts and to different people. Sometimes maturity refers to a tree's ability to flower or to produce viable seed, given proper environmental conditions. At other times, the term is used to describe a tree's relative size (especially height) or canopy development compared to the expected potential maximum size, in its current environment. A third group of definitions refers to the desired size or age for a particular use.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2011 at 9:54PM
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bronxfigs

For the sake if this question, let's confine this discussion specifically to edible figs.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2011 at 5:30AM
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ottawan_z5a

In my opinion a tree after its 3rd summer can considered mature from fruit production point of view.
Another thread had mentioned that by its 7th year there can be no question about fig tree maturity.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2011 at 11:41PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

"For the sake if this question, let's confine this discussion specifically to edible figs."

If you're trying to specify which definition you meant, I don't think that would do it. Edible fig trees can be defined as mature in multiple ways, as described above.

Ottawan's meaning is another possibility that doesn't exactly fit into any of the three I mentioned earlier, but is another good one. It somewhat combines aspects of my first and third example.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2011 at 1:07AM
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bronxfigs

Thanks guys.....

So a fig tree can be considered to be reaching maturity anytime after the third year, and definitely, in the 7th year.

A bit vague,... but, OK. It just depends.....

Frank

    Bookmark   September 27, 2011 at 5:57AM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Yep, or even before or after those periods depending on "Just What...a 'Mature' Fig Tree" is and the tree's growing conditions. The growth and development of a fig in one climate may be considerably greater than in another climate. In my climate, for instance, there's no way a fig will be considered mature, from fruit production point of view (IF that's what you had in mind), in just three years. Even seven years would be pushing it (although I have seen some decent sized fig trees of that age). A gardener downtown has a tree that is surrounded by brick and concrete (which creates a much warmer microclimate) that is very large and about that age. I don't know if the tree's fruiting capacity has maxed, but, based on its size, it probably has.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2011 at 1:36PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

I have a fig tree I planted 5 years ago when it was about a foot tall that is now 7' tall and 5' wide...and it produced its first fig this year. I have others that I planted about the same time that are up to 10' high and produce a fair number of figs. I don't consider any of mine to be "mature." Could be the species, could be the Zone, could be climate change, could be normal. When the trees are really big and producing more figs than I can eat, I might consider them mature.

I'll update this report in 5-10 years!

    Bookmark   September 27, 2011 at 2:22PM
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bronxfigs

Interesting points of view. Thanks guys for the interesting postings. I guess the "maturity" question is open-ended, and subject to differing opinions. I find Humans to be much like this also. :)

Frank

    Bookmark   September 27, 2011 at 2:58PM
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dtarman69

My figs never produced fruit until I covered them last winter. Now I have beaucoup! Western Pennsylvania.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2011 at 5:20PM
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wally_1936(8b)

Then I guess a tree with a 12 dia trunk over 20 feet tall with a spread of 20 feet would be called a mature tree? :D)

    Bookmark   September 29, 2011 at 9:22AM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

wally-
I think you have made a safe assumption! I'd be willing to classify that as mature...

    Bookmark   September 30, 2011 at 2:21AM
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