Which Fig Tree?

berkeleyluddite(z9 ca)October 2, 2007

I'm thinking about planting a fig tree in my front yard that gets a lot of sun. Any advise on which fig tree is the best for the coastal area of Northern California??? I want to find a tree that theoretically ripes the earliest.

There are a lot of trees in my neighborhood that are huge but 80% of the fruit never reach the edible stage. Total shame since the tree is extremely vigorous and bears tons of hard fruits.

Thanks in advance for all the comments....

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A hardy chicago would work pretty good in your area or Osborne Prolific. Herman or John might be able to provide more suggestions.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2007 at 10:42AM
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berkeleyluddite(z9 ca)

I thought Osborn Prolific ripens late???

I've been reading how birds and neighbors generally leave green or yellow fig trees alone. Is that really true or is it simple urban legend?

    Bookmark   October 2, 2007 at 2:14PM
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    Bookmark   October 2, 2007 at 3:07PM
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I have an Osborn P in San Jose (east foothills sunset zone 16) My OP is 2 years old and still in a pot. I got maybe 24-30 figs from it in August and then it was done. Good flavor but if I was only going to have one tree, I'm not sure I would want one that has that short of a harvest period. Its still young though so its hard to say if that is how it will continue. I was very impressed with my Desert King this year. It also gets ripe early. If you look for trees that do well in the Pacific Northwest I would think they would work for you in the cooler areas of the east bay.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2007 at 2:53AM
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berkeleyluddite(z9 ca)

Thanks for your feedback gwarrington... How old and big is your Desert King?? My local nursery told me that Desert King and White Genoa are my best bet in Berkeley's cool weather.

Apparently this year has been so unusually dry and mild in Berkeley that Fig trees for the first time are yielding more edible fruits than ever. In fact, some of the neighborhood's old black mission trees are yielding a basket of figs a day right now. This is a drastic increase from a basket or two for every year in the past.

BTW, being where you are in San Jose, maybe the Osborn P is too hot for the weather? If you ever want to trade your OP for another tree, let me know, I'll buy the potted plants from you so you can get something more suitable for your area. Hate to see a good tree go to waste.

Thanks again for your feedback!

    Bookmark   October 3, 2007 at 6:44AM
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My Desert King is 2 years old, about 5 ft. tall, and fairly bushy for it's pot size. It has been very happy this year. I plan to put it in ground this fall - normally I would wait until next spring but I'm concerned about water restrictions next year so am thinking I might be better off putting it in this fall.

I'm pretty happy with my OP, I just wouldn't want it as an only fig tree because it seems to have a short (but prolific) production season compared to my other trees. Because it is still young I will be curious to see if that pattern changes as it gets older. The weather where I am is not that warm, so the cool weather trees such as OP and Desert King seem pretty happy and the figs they produce have good flavor.

The rare fruit growers group in my area is having a talk on growing figs in the bay area next week-end, I will ask about best trees for Berkeley.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2007 at 11:55AM
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berkeleyluddite(z9 ca)

Please let me know how it goes.... I'm very interested on their feedback, especially on White Geonoa.


    Bookmark   October 5, 2007 at 4:29AM
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I went to the fig talk today given by Todd Kennedy at the Santa Clara California Rare Fruit Growers meeting. Lots of good information hope I can remember some of it. I googled him when I got home and pulled up a list with his (and others) picks for the bay area. At the talk today he especially mentioned Desert King (or King), Excel and white/green Ischia as being good for Berkeley.

Here is a link that might be useful: figs for the bay area

    Bookmark   October 13, 2007 at 8:10PM
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berkeleyluddite(z9 ca)

Thank You! Desert King is on top of my list and I'll keep you updated on the decision of second tree....

    Bookmark   October 15, 2007 at 3:40PM
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berkeleyluddite(z9 ca)

Any recommendations where to buy +5 gallons size Fig Trees in the Bay Area???

    Bookmark   October 15, 2007 at 4:03PM
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Not really. You have such terrific nurseries in your area, maybe you could ask if they can order you one.
I ordered all of my figs this fall from Encanto Farms - figs4fun.com - he has Desert King on his available list.
I ordered my king last year from Raintree. It was not very big, but they do grow fast.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2007 at 4:54PM
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