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Pick figs when green? Also, best help for leaning young tree?

Posted by cinnamonsworld Garden Hardiness Zon (My Page) on
Sat, Jun 13, 09 at 19:33

Hi - we have a fig tree a couple to few years old that suddenly has tons of green figs on its branches. None that are any other color yet that I can see. What color are they supposed to be when you pick them? (Ripen on tree vs. - potentially - ripen on counter.)

Also, while the tree had started growing a bit off to the side (a neighbor's tree was shading it directly above, since cut down), we secured it with a rope tie to the fence, so the bottom part of the trunk is now straight. But it's still a young and somewhat spindly tree. Above where we tied it to the fence, it has gotten adventurous in branch-growing more off to one side than the other, so leaning a bit higher up. Should we be staking it or trying more ties? Or is pruning a substantial branch or two the only way to ensure its health over the long run?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Pick figs when green? Also, best help for leaning young tree?

Figs do not ripen after removing from the branch.
Ripe figs come in many colours such as black, green, yellow, purple and in between (& even stiped). So you have to know your fig variety to know the colour of the ripe fig (or wait until you get some ripe figs this year).

You can stake your tree for straightening if you want to grow it as a tree (in your Zone 10). Other option is to prune it low above a coupe of buds then select and train a new shoot straight.
Many people in cold zones grow it as multi-trunk bush form. This is another option open to you too.

RE: Pick figs when green? Also, best help for leaning young tree?

Firstly, unripe figs WILL NOT ripen off the tree. DON'T pick them unripe. You'll notice I said "unripe", not "green". Also, once ripe, figs spoil very quickly. Refrigeration will slow it somewhat, but most people thing it also ruins the "fresh" taste of figs straight from the tree. IF you've never had figs on this tree before, you're not going to be able to go on color alone. It could be green, yellow, blue, brown, or striped when ripe! The thing to watch for is the figs will start to droop and soften a bit when they approach being ripe. Some will wrinkle considerably. If you have a lot of figs, watch for the first to droop, and pick one. If it doesn't seem ripe, let the next stay on a little longer. Continue letting subsequent ones stay on longer, until you're satisfied that you have a ripe one. THEN you'll know what color fig you have, and how long to leave them on the tree. Hope this helps.

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