Return to the California Gardening Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Fig Tree- invasive roots, keeping pruned to 5 ft-

Posted by elvie z9CA (My Page) on
Mon, Oct 3, 11 at 18:05

Hi all. I planted a Desert King Fig tree this winter along with a bunch of other fruit trees with the goal of keeping them pruned as 5 ft. trees. The fig tree I am thinking as training it as a 5 ft. tall and maybe 7 ft. wide bush.

I keep happening to read everywhere that figs have very invasive roots. I am planning to prune it every year after the first (breba?) crop to keep it within bounds, so I will be losing the entire main crop.

My question is, under these circumstances are the roots still invasive when the tree is kept small?

Thank you!


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Fig Tree- invasive roots, keeping pruned to 5 ft-

  • Posted by bahia SF Bay Area (My Page) on
    Tue, Oct 4, 11 at 9:46

I don't grow this particular cultivar,but have several garden design clients with fig trees and haven't noticed any particular conflicts with growing other smaller plants below the fig, nor any tendency for surface rooting. As figs are known to be rather drought tolerant while also having large leaves, it follows that they must also have well developed and deep growing roots that are efficient at finding available moisture. If your concern is more about closeness to pavement or foundations, it is the trunk's distance to walls more than destructive surface roots than may ultimately cause conflicts IMO. Heavy continual pruning as for espaliered trees will tend to impact quantity and spread of roots as root system size and foliage canopy size are heavily linked


 o
RE: Fig Tree- invasive roots, keeping pruned to 5 ft-

Thanks Bahia, no walls or pavement to worry about. I just don't want it to get out of hand - it is grouped with other fruit trees.

Have you happened to taste locally grown figs? This first years small crop was not very sweet so i am not sure if it even gets hot enough here to make it worthwhile.


 o
RE: Fig Tree- invasive roots, keeping pruned to 5 ft-

  • Posted by bahia SF Bay Area (My Page) on
    Wed, Oct 5, 11 at 10:27

A cool summer can make a difference, and being in a windy or foggy area also lessens sugar content. I only plant them where they will get full sun and benefit from trapped or reflected heat here in Berkeley, and if you pick better adapted varieties they can be okay, but still wont quite match those grown in hotter climes.


 o
RE: Fig Tree- invasive roots, keeping pruned to 5 ft-

I have never tried your variety either, but had Mission when I lived in Watsonville, about four miles from the coast. We would only get some ripe figs one in five years. The 'Brown Turkey' did better. Yours may be better suited to a hotter dryer climate. Al


 o
RE: Fig Tree- invasive roots, keeping pruned to 5 ft-

  • Posted by bahia SF Bay Area (My Page) on
    Fri, Oct 7, 11 at 10:57

I suspect that any fig cultivar named "desert" will do best somewhere that is really hot and dry in summer. Where are you located?


 o
RE: Fig Tree- invasive roots, keeping pruned to 5 ft-

I think Elvie-your mixing up the big evergreen Ficus "fig tree's" with the edible Fig roots. The biggest Edible fig tree's have no large surface roots to lift a thing or do any damage.


 o
RE: Fig Tree- invasive roots, keeping pruned to 5 ft-

  • Posted by socal23 USDA10/Sunset23 (My Page) on
    Sat, Oct 8, 11 at 22:29

Bahia,

Ironically enough, Desert King is generally considered one of the more reliable varieties for coastal areas.

OP,

Edible figs don't generally produce the buttressing roots common among their tropical brethren (although you can induce an approximation by putting them in clay soil in the spray zone of an automatic sprinkler set to water for five minutes every morning... - sorry, pet peeve :).

Ryan


 o
RE: Fig Tree- invasive roots, keeping pruned to 5 ft-

I have a black jack that in about three years, has rendered three nearby raised beds almost useless. I suppose it could be some other tree ( I have redwoods and defers in the yard), but the fig is the closest.


 o
RE: Fig Tree- invasive roots, keeping pruned to 5 ft-

redwoods are very invasive. I have them all over from trees quite a distance away. The root system has to be big as my trees are huge.

Penny


 o
RE: Fig Tree- invasive roots, keeping pruned to 5 ft-

And fig tree-edible fig tree roots- are compartitively soft wooded. I have a whole group next to my home..not much problem digging through roots that dont seem invasive in the damaging sense-but they do send up shoots.
ANY tree is going to outcompete shrubs and small stuff for raised bed soils..Some like Redwoods,are champs at it.


 o
RE: Fig Tree- invasive roots, keeping pruned to 5 ft-

Research has shown redwood roots within the top two feet of soil as far as 100 feet from the tree. Al


 o
RE: Fig Tree- invasive roots, keeping pruned to 5 ft-

My apologies to my innocent fig tree then! Also, "defers" was supposed to be cedars.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the California Gardening Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here