Bark falling off fig tree

azjacketOctober 14, 2007

I noticed today that one of the branches on our large outdoor fig tree has leaves that don't look as healthy as the rest of the tree. Looking closer, it appears there are large sections on this branch that have no bark left. Has anyone had this problem? Any treatment that can fix this? Thank you

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azjacket, The information you've posted doesn't give any indication of the cause. Are there gnaw marks on the branch, does it rub against anything, evidence of fungus or insect infestation, or kids with new jacknives, etc., etc.?
Healthy bark doesn't just fall off, but spraying an insecticide if the problem is a hungry rodent, isn't going to help. You have to figure out what is causing the problem before you can fix it.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2007 at 12:51PM
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Nothing is gnawing on the branch and it isn't rubbing. I would imagine some kind of fungus or insect but i'm not sure. There are large sections with no bark, then others that appear to be normal on the same branch. Is there anything on web with pictures of possible causes that help me diagnose what is causing this? Thanks

    Bookmark   October 16, 2007 at 12:34AM
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azjacket, I'm not aware of any diagnostic pictures for figs. If you could post some pictures of the damage, perhaps someone might recognize what is causing the problem.
If that's not possible, try to see if there are any clues - adjacent bark spongy, or discolored, unusual insect or animal activity, etc.
Sorry not to be more helpful.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2007 at 9:10PM
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i have a couple of pictures but haven't figured out how to post them on this website. are there any simple directions on how to post a picture here. thanks

    Bookmark   December 16, 2007 at 2:54PM
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The little description you have provided makes me think of Canker. Make a Google search for Canker. It is a disease that normally aflicts the bark. If you make yourself sure that it looks like canker then it is better to cut that limb off to save the tree.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2007 at 8:28PM
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It took me months to attempt posting pictures - it looked very difficult. Peg sent me directions and it is actually quite easy.
Locate the picture you want to use on your computer and jot down its location and name, so you know where it is and can go right to it.
Go to and set up an account (free). Once you get to your page hit "Browse" and choose the picture file you've already located. BEFORE you hit "Upload" change the size by clicking "Options" (it's just above the "Browse" buttons) and choose "Message Board" size (640 x 480). Hit "Upload" and the picture will appear on your Photobucket page.
Once the picture is on Photobucket, copy the "HTML Tag" code (its the third one down under the picture) and paste it into the body of your post. When you preview your message, you should see the image on the preview. That's it.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2007 at 9:06PM
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Thanks fignut
Your description of how to post pictures will help many others.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2007 at 12:49PM
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genecolin(Zone 9, LA)

AZ, perhaps it has been damaged by freezing temp. I lost 2 trees a couple of years ago after a hard freeze. It started with cracking bark lengthwise on the branches. They didn't die right off but as they developed the following spring and set fruit you could see that something was wrong and the north side of the trees did not look healthy. We did get a crop from the tree before a thunderstorm blew it down. At that point we found out that the roots on that side of the tree had rotted and it was only being nurished and supported by the roots on the other side. Hope you don't lose yours.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2007 at 5:51AM
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thanks for your replies. i did do a google search on canker and that is what this tree has. unfortunately, it looks like it is also on big branches that look healthy, not limited to "bad" branches. from searching web, the only remedy appears to be cut bad branches which seems too late for our tree. any other experiences with canker? or do we just resign ourselves to replacing this tree once the canker spreads further on the "healthy" branches which it is showing up on.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2008 at 11:42AM
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The reason I had suggested to check for "Canker" was because I had got a similar problem as you described with a mulberry tree only on the north side of the tree main 4.5" diameter trunk. The edges of the canker effected area have healed but there is wood area visible over a 1.5" x 7" spot with no bark. I just applied pruning paint to the visible wood area hoping it would stop wood rot (I did not know what else to do). The tree is still alive two years after the canker attack.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2008 at 10:16PM
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