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jpfig

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Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #1 
Hi Everyone,

Looking for a little help here.

I purchased a new home in Westchester County, NY, which happens to have an old fig tree in the yard.  Really, it is more like a bush.

I will post a picture later, but there seems to be no real "trunk," rather about 30-40 shoots that come out of a central area near the ground.  They grow about 4 feet high.  Some are clearly dead.  Most are starting to bud.

There already are what appear to be breba figs forming (see picture).

I'd like some advice on what to do to cultivate this fig.

Should I leave it to grow this season, just to see what happens, and then make decisions about how to act for next season?

Do I pick these breba figs right away to save energy for the new crop?

Do I trim many of these shoots and try to make it into a tree, or leave it in bush form?

Any and all help would be appreciated!  I'm new to fig cultivation, but would like to learn!

Thanks!

IMG_5899 (1).JPG 

tsparozi

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Reply with quote  #2 
Greetings! Welcome to the forum... I am just above you in Putnam County... Mahopac / Carmel area..... Most figs in our area will die back to the ground and re-sprout unless they are protected or unless there is a micro-climate protecting them. Thus bush rather than single trunk growing habits usually prevail as a natural state. In any case, without special circumstances, breba crops are not usual.... The fact that you appear to have some on at least one branch is good news and suggests both cold hardiness of the fig and a strong, vigorous rootstock with that concrete block stone wall behind the fig in the picture providing a nice micro climate. I would suggest letting the fig do its own thing for a few weeks until you know what you have and what you plan on doing with it. If you are going to winter protect with covering, etc, you may want to think about how you want the plant shape to be going into the winter and remove any dead wood or shoots that might not align with your thinking / planning for the next cycle.... For example, you could want a single or a limited number of central trunks because they are easier to cover for winter protection...  Considering that now and possibly doing some advance pruning will allow you to manage the growth and funnel vigor into the shape you choose.

If you know nothing about the fig... i.e. type, color, etc then the year will be one of discovery... You can lookup and follow some of the fertilization guidelines others have posted on this and the other forum to maximize any potential fruit yields and ensure the plant is in good shape for next next cold cycle. If you do decide to cut away and live wood to better setup the plant for cold protection for next year, then I suggest you do not get rid of the pruned cuttings but either root them for yourself, or if you want, you can offer them to any interested parties on the forum in whatever manner you wish. Since it is an UNKNOWN cultivar  but seems very cold hardy, folks will be interested in that characteristic and you will find no shortage of interested folks....  Good luck with this fig, I will be interested in seeing what it looks like and tastes like  as the growing year progresses.

Tony

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Tony - Zone 6A
WL- Martina, Calderona, Bon Jesusa, SantMartina, Bordissot Negra Rimada, Fiorone Oro (Rimada), Renyeca, Mata Soldats, Craven's Craving, Fibonacci Nero
eboone

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Reply with quote  #3 
What Tony said.

And I would not prune out branches quite yet, often they continue to get buds popping out for weeks.  Maybe in another 4 weeks you could be sure that a branch is dead and could be removed.

Good luck with it

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Zone 6A - Southwest PA     
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Wish list: a bountiful harvest to share and enjoy
jpfig

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Reply with quote  #4 
Hi guys,

Thank you for the information.  Are you saying that you don't think this is a breba crop, or that it is, but it's unusual?  It's tough for me to tell exactly if these figs are growing on the old wood or new growth.  They seem to be right at the line.  Here are some better shots.  Please advise.  Thanks!



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tsparozi

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Reply with quote  #5 
For almost any place in Westchester County, getting anything in the way of a main crop THIS early from an in ground fig would be unheard of and really amazing regardless of any special micro climate. So, it is VERY likely that you are seeing Breba crop figs set on last years wood... I have a friend who gets Breba figs from his in ground Italian Purple fig every year and then an even more amazing set of Main crop figs.... Come mid August, he is swimming in main crop figs... back to your plant... by the end of May, you will know for sure what wood is dead and dried out (especially with this heat wave) and what is viable. Then you can hack away the dead wood and after deciding on what your future desired shape is and how readily it can be winter protected, you can then prune carefully. The main crop that comes in as your Breba mature as well as any remaining wood, will likely gain in size at a faster rate since the plants roots will be feeding a smaller amount of top wood after your pruning is finished. The plant may also respond to pruning by putting out suckers and maintaining a bush form. You can remove these as soon as you see them, if you don't want a bush form...
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Tony - Zone 6A
WL- Martina, Calderona, Bon Jesusa, SantMartina, Bordissot Negra Rimada, Fiorone Oro (Rimada), Renyeca, Mata Soldats, Craven's Craving, Fibonacci Nero
rcantor

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Reply with quote  #6 
Welcome to the forum and congratulations on your new fig!  Personally I'd fertilize it, water when needed and see what you have.  Try both crops and then make decisions about how to prune and maintain.  It looks like a great fig bush.  As was mentioned, in places with cold winters the bush form is almost inevitable.
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Zone 6, MO

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Martineca Rimada, Galicia Negra, Fioroni Ruvo, De La Reina - Pons, Tauro, BFF, Sefrawi, Sbayi, Mavra Sika , Fillaciano Bianco, Corynth, Souadi, Acciano Purple, LSU Tiger, LSU Red, Cajun Gold, BB-10 any great tasting fig
jpfig

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Reply with quote  #7 
Hi guys,

Again, thank you very much for the help.  What do you think I should fertilize it with if I were to do it this weekend?

Best,

John



Lewi

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Reply with quote  #8 
That is a beautiful tree.

This link may be helpful

http://figs4funforum.websitetoolbox.com/post/low-fig-production-and-high-nitrogen-fertilizers-6621590



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West Florida / Panhandle (Central time). Can get cold for figs...down to 12 F twice in last five years. Zone 8a.

Lewi = Levite
Cynthia24

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Reply with quote  #9 
Miracle Grow. It is a powder that you mix with water. Apply every 4 weeks.
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