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ScottA

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Reply with quote  #1 
I've done some high density planting with fruit trees in order to stunt their growth (similar to the video shown below). I'm curious if the same is possible with fig trees. I really enjoy how my fig trees are super low maintenance compared to my apple and peach trees. I was thinking about planting them to grow wild on parts of my property where I go walking. Could a high density planting scheme keep them a reasonable height without pruning? One of my absolute favorite things is to pick wild berries as I go walking; it would be so much fun to do the same with figs.

Scott


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Chaorleston SC 8b

Looking for: Strawberry Verte
Growing: Impoved Celeste, VdB, RdB, Smith, MVSB, LSU Purple, BT, Galicia Negra, BM, CH, Latarulla, Ice Crystal, JH Adriatic.

fignutty

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Reply with quote  #2 
Scott:

Frequent summer pruning is a key component of BYOC in order to hold down tree height. I stunt my fruit trees some in a dry climate by withholding water. You could do the same in a dry climate for figs. But in SC I'd have to wonder how much success you'd have. There would still be some low fruit on a big fig tree if it wasn't shaded. But unless the trees freeze back in winter I think they'd get pretty tall.

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Steve in Alpine TX 7b/8a
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NoelG_123

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Reply with quote  #3 
Close planting? Only if you like Tall, Wispy, Ungainly with smallish fruit that is just out of reach.  (Sounds like a girl I once had a crush on).
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"A fig by any other name, is a Newton."

ScottA

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Reply with quote  #4 
She was just put of reach or she had smallish fruit that was just out of reach?
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Chaorleston SC 8b

Looking for: Strawberry Verte
Growing: Impoved Celeste, VdB, RdB, Smith, MVSB, LSU Purple, BT, Galicia Negra, BM, CH, Latarulla, Ice Crystal, JH Adriatic.

drew51

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Reply with quote  #5 
First time I heard high density stunts growth, high density orchards I thought were done to increase overall yields, increase early production, and to cut down on labor and liability. Nobody is on ladders. Harvesting is much quicker, and nothing to fall off of. Here in MI we are heading that way. Various systems are being tested at MSU and other places. Pruning is used to keep them small, hence you can plant them closer together.  Never seen anything that indicates this will stunt trees. Most are kept small by pruning and rootstock.

Here in MI doing the 2-4 in one hole isn't a good idea. Too many fungal pathogens, they love it, trees are so dense it's like a giant dinner table for them. Closer plantings are fine, but not that close. Also it's a maintenance nightmare. I feel this is more for marketing and selling more trees. In CA it can work, but still requires a lot of maintenance. I think for ornamental reasons it's cool, I would do it if it worked here. I have never seen a commercial orchard employ this technique. They tend to use more traditional high density techniques developed in Europe.

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Drew
Zone 5b/6a Sterling Heights MI

arachyd

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Reply with quote  #6 
I had a planted dense patch of fig trees I'd grown from seed. No common figs among them so they didn't stay more than 6 or 7 years. They were tall, thin, few nodes and grew straight up very quickly. Pruning is a better option.
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ScottA

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Reply with quote  #7 
Drew, high density planting can increase overall yield if done properly. It is only practical if using a dwarfing rootstock, but the planting density does contribute to the dwarfing effect. From what I understand about certain systems, such as the tall spindle system for apples, the additional dwarfing due to the planting density is necessary to get optimum results. I'm not an expert on this so I could be mistaken.
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Chaorleston SC 8b

Looking for: Strawberry Verte
Growing: Impoved Celeste, VdB, RdB, Smith, MVSB, LSU Purple, BT, Galicia Negra, BM, CH, Latarulla, Ice Crystal, JH Adriatic.

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