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Sprout

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Reply with quote  #1 

I am interested if anyone has tried Justin Brooke’s method, as stated in his publication ‘Figs - Out of Doors’ (Published by Rupert Hart-Davies, London, 1954) for increasing crop production in colder climates by encouraging shorter compact growth.

He suggests achieving this by ring barking, about half an inch (1.3cm) width, from the main stem of a young fig tree, and then replacing the bark upside down and covering in the same way as covering a conventional graft to affect a secure union.

Anyone given it a go?......... What results did you get?


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Figs grown:  Madeleine des Deux Saisons’, ‘Osborn's Prolific’, 'Dalmatie', ‘Peter’s Honey’, ‘Kew Palace’, ‘Desert King’, ‘Ronde de Bordeaux’, ‘Rouge de Bordeaux’ and 'Ice Crystal'.
Location:     Guildford, Surrey, UK (Just south west of London).
Hardiness zone:   8b/9a (Based on the USDA system).
Latitude:  51°   Longitude  -0.56°
Sas

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Reply with quote  #2 
I'm not convinced that reducing the vigour a the fig tree by injuring the main stem results in increased production.
I found that quite often fig trees are capable of easily repairing themselves by creating new stems.
In addition, this claim is too general , since not all fig trees have the same growth habits.


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Sas from North Austin TX Zone 8B

LaFigue

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Reply with quote  #3 
Sprout, you can search F4F a topic in 2014 dealt with this. Also search the forum Tropical Fruit Growing
Topic: Bark Inversion to accelerate flowering on a seedling tree. They have an extensive discussion and references to various videos and papers.

Marcel

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eboone

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Reply with quote  #4 
Would have to read the book or section of the book to see exactly what he was claiming.  Did he cite experience with this or theory?
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Sprout

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Reply with quote  #5 

It’s in chapter five of his book. (I should mention that he was trying to grow figs as a commercial crop grown in the ground, Justin Brook was already a very successful fruit grower in the UK)

Premise #1:

Many figs grown in the ground in the UK produce ‘long sappy barren growth’ i.e. long internodal growth…..by reducing this internodal growth more figs can be produced in a smaller growing space.

Premise #2:

Fig trees with short internodal growth are hardier.

Aim:

To get the intermodal growth on figs grown in colder climates to be no more than three inches in length in order to maximise fruit quantity without diminishing fruit size.

Method he used:

He experimented on fig trees which were growing more than one stem from the ground, he did not reverse the bark on all the stems (the bark grafts were carried out in April/May when the sap was rising)….the result was the reversed barked stems grew with shorter internodes and therefore produced the desired result of producing more figs in a smaller space.

Justin Brooke uses the example of grafting scions onto rootstocks to achieve dwarfing, as his inspiration to try the above on figs.


Marcel - thank you I'll take a look





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Figs grown:  Madeleine des Deux Saisons’, ‘Osborn's Prolific’, 'Dalmatie', ‘Peter’s Honey’, ‘Kew Palace’, ‘Desert King’, ‘Ronde de Bordeaux’, ‘Rouge de Bordeaux’ and 'Ice Crystal'.
Location:     Guildford, Surrey, UK (Just south west of London).
Hardiness zone:   8b/9a (Based on the USDA system).
Latitude:  51°   Longitude  -0.56°
fignutty

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Reply with quote  #6 
Figs with "long sappy barren growth" are too vigorous. The excess vigor is caused by excess water and nitrogen. The obvious way to cure that issue is by reducing water and N. In a cool moist climate like the UK reducing water may be difficult. In that case maybe bark inversion would help. That's a difficult graft because cutting a perfectly square section of bark is difficult. So when inverted it may not fit nearly like it did right side up.

I might try it just to see what happens. How long of a section of bark is he talking?

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Sprout

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Reply with quote  #7 

Thanks for the interest in this…..I am lucky to work were we have one of the world’s best horticultural libraries, so I have a copy of the book in my hand.

Justin Brooke’s book mentions influences from two other sources on growing figs and the techniques used:

  • John Evelyn’s translation of the 17th Century work by Jean-Baptiste de la Quintinye - Director of the fruit and kitchen gardens of the French Royal households from 1670 to 1688, and the man given the task to produce fresh figs from June onwards for six months!! for the King, at the Palace of Versailles...... the book is called ‘The Compleat Gard’ner’ published in 1693

And

  • Professor Ira J Condit’s book called ‘The Fig’


Has anyone read these?


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Figs grown:  Madeleine des Deux Saisons’, ‘Osborn's Prolific’, 'Dalmatie', ‘Peter’s Honey’, ‘Kew Palace’, ‘Desert King’, ‘Ronde de Bordeaux’, ‘Rouge de Bordeaux’ and 'Ice Crystal'.
Location:     Guildford, Surrey, UK (Just south west of London).
Hardiness zone:   8b/9a (Based on the USDA system).
Latitude:  51°   Longitude  -0.56°
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