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Fig tree looking really sick

Posted by julieann_grow 9-LA (My Page) on
Mon, Aug 28, 06 at 19:27

I have a mature fig tree that was growing, producing figs like crazy...very healthy. Then, about 3 wks ago, it started getting brown spots with a halo around them on 1/3 of the tree. Now, it has spread to more than 1/2 of the tree and those leaves are turning brown and curling up. What is happening and what can I do?

I am also concerned b/c this tree is about 10 ft away from my organic vegetable garden that has tender new plants just set for the Fall. Should I be concerned that it could spread to the veggies?

Thanks so much.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Fig tree looking really sick

Pix would really help. My first reaction would be too little water, unless there are fig diseases in your part of the world that we do not have in San Diego.


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RE: Fig tree looking really sick

  • Posted by bjs496 z9 SE Houston (My Page) on
    Tue, Aug 29, 06 at 16:13

Julieann... what you describe is what I see all the celeste and alma trees in SE Houston doing about now. My trees go through the same thing with the trees in the ground seeming to fair worse than those in the pots. However, none seem to suffer any ill effects from it. I think it's an August in Zone 9 thing.

~james


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RE: Fig tree looking really sick

  • Posted by bjs496 z9 SE Houston (My Page) on
    Fri, Sep 8, 06 at 17:59

Okay, I may have been a bit too flippant on my last reply. My trees do the same thing every year. Its rust, but I do not normally treat the trees. This is primarily because it doesn't really get cool enough during the summer to spray plus I have not noticed any ill effects of it. I clean up the leaves under the trees regularly and pull off any leaves that look like they are about to fall.

I have five trees that are suffering from rust. Two are in the ground (as are most of the trees I see around my neighborhood) and are of the Celeste variety... my trees in the ground have RKN and suffer from pest infestation more so than the trees in the pots. None of this seems to hamper new growth or fruit production to any noticable degree. I have one (younger) celeste in a pot with only a few spots on the leaves and many in a raised planter which were grown from cuttings (from the larger trees) this year which have no rust spots at all.

I also have a Melanzana in a pot which is suffering from rust pretty severely. I think this tree was already compromised because it is not accustomed to the heat in Houston.

The fifth tree is an unknown variety and seemed pretty healthy until last week when it started getting spots all over it. I haven't seen any evidence of any other problems with this tree.

The rest of my trees are relatively spot free (maybe one or two here or there type). I'm not sure if some varieties are more inclined to suffer from rust or if rust is more likely to occur on trees which are always compromised.

As I mentioned, I haven't applied a copper or Bordeaux spray onto them in the past, however since originally posting, I've thought about spraying them to see if I can squeeze and extra crop out of the trees before we have our 3 days of winter. Otherwise, the link below indicates that the only real danger of rust is when defoliation occurs too early in the season, leaving new growth later in the year vulnerable to damage from the cold.

~james

Here is a link that might be useful: Figs - TAMU


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