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What happened to my fig trees?

Posted by frdnicholas Albuquerque NM (My Page) on
Sun, May 14, 06 at 18:06

I planted 2 Brown Turkey fig trees last season. One stayed short, but produced around 10-12 figs. The other one grew taller, but didn't produce fruit until too late in the season for it to ripen before the frost. The one that grew tall has 1 branch with a few new leaves, but nothing on the other branches. The one that produced fruit has nothing on any of the branches. I have been soaking them since the weather warmed up here in Albuquerque. Should I continue to water both of them and wait and see if the one starts showing leaves? Shouldn't they both be producing new leaves? Why haven't any of the existin branches put out new leaves? Did I do something wrong over the winter? Do I need to prune or just be patient? I would appreciate any help, as I love figs!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: What happened to my fig trees?

  • Posted by
    annie-lee
    (gw:annie-lee) on
    Mon, May 15, 06 at 15:01

Sounds like your fig never really took hold last year. But why soad them with water? Figs are desert plants, you don't want them to dried out, but soaking wouldn't be a good idea. And yes, at this time of year they should heave leaved out. I wouldn't worried about pruning until they are well established and over grown its space.


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RE: What happened to my fig trees?

Alright, I'll cut back on my watering. How long should I give the fig that has no leaves at this point before pulling it up and buying another one? If I do get another fig, is there any reason not to plant it in the same spot as the first one?


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RE: What happened to my fig trees?

  • Posted by
    annie-lee
    (gw:annie-lee) on
    Tue, May 16, 06 at 11:15

Is Albuquerque still reasonably cool at night? If so I would give it another month or so to see if it will come back. Meanwhile if you are itching in buying another fig, then find another location for planting. There is no reason not to plant in the same spot, but either new or old spot, the important thing is to make sure the soil is loose and easy to drain, no standing water after rain. I would also mulch heavily around the fig plant during hot dry weather.


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RE: What happened to my fig trees?

Thank you. The night time temperatures are around 50 degrees. Is that warm enough to stimulate leaf production? Should I just be patient till the weather warms up? We have a fig tree around the block that has all its leaves, but it is a full-size tree unlike mine. I have put down alfalfa hay around the plant and will put more down as, or if the plant grows. I also have a tansy plant growing next to the fig. As it gets large I trim it and put the branches down around the fig for mulch.


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RE: What happened to my fig trees?

I'm no expert on growing figs but I'd give it some more time. I put 6 Brown Turkey figs in the fall before last. 2 of them didn't leaf out until very late the following spring, matbe even early summer, and then it was from new growth at the base. They also didn't produce fruit until late in the season. This year they all look great and I'm hoping to get ripe fruit before the first frost.


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RE: What happened to my fig trees?

My 2nd leaf figs, Celeste and Brown Turkey, froze to the ground last winter. We got down to about 2F. Figs are supposed to be hardy to about 10F...as far as I know. The mature figs around town show varying degrees of damage with some 15ft tall bushes frozen back to the ground just like mine. So I would ask how cold did it get last winter?

Mine are just leafing out from below ground now and I am at 4500ft and 500 miles south of you, so we are warmer.

The Fruitnut


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RE: What happened to my fig trees?

I live in Albuquerque, New Mexico, as well. Our elevation is about 5500 ft. I live in the valley close to the Rio Grande river. It gets colder here than most places in the city during the winter. I had two five foot fig trees freeze to the ground as well. As I recall, we had several exceptionally cold days in December with temps into the single digits.
Ironically, my trees are leafing from the ground level as well. So it sounds like we experienced similar conditions. I know of several folks in Albuquerque who had well-established fig trees die completely with no recovery whatsoever. It also depends on the variety of the tree.


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RE: What happened to my fig trees?

I'm no fig expert by any means, but I'd be surprised if well established fig trees didn't sprout back. May just need more time for the reserve buds to kick into gear. Maybe someone else has more experience and will chime in.

The Fruitnut


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RE: What happened to my fig trees?

I am so grateful to you all for this help. I will patiently watch and wait to see if anything happens. Should I continue to water the non-leaf bush, and if so, how much here in Albuquerque? I also live in the Rio Grande valley, I think. I'm new to the city. Judging from the titles of some of the other posts here, it looks like I'm not alone in figs having trouble. I do hope they make it; I love fresh figs!


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RE: What happened to my fig trees?

You can quit watering until the new growth appears and has a chance to dry the soil some. As another poster mentioned, figs hate too much water, the roots will rot. You will also not like the figs if you over-water. They will be watery and tasteless.

The Fruitnut


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RE: What happened to my fig trees?

I have a small fig tree purchased this year now about 3 ft. tall in a 10 inch pot on my patio that gets about 4 hours direct sun daily. The leaves are mottled with whitish discoloration. What gives? Any suggestions? Am I over or underwatering from this description? Any suggestions? Thanks. Bruce


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