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pearson1662

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Reply with quote  #1 
A friend told me about some friends of hers who had a fig tree they wanted to get rid of.  I offered to remove it and fill in the hole.  They accepted my offer and I transplanted it in my front yard.
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20170319_190249delcityfig_1.jpg 
To be honest, it looks hideous to me.  Couple of questions:  Even though I amended the back filled soil with 5 bags of a tree and shrub mix, the mix was still heavily weighted toward the native soil and when I watered it, the water didn't seem to percolate into the soil very quickly.  Do I need to be concerned about this?  Can the soil be amended in any meaningful way?  What suggestions might you have for pruning this pig to make it beautiful or should I rip it out and just propagate the cuttings?  (In spite of the fact that I have no idea what variety of fig it is, I do intend to take some cuttings because it's survived unprotected in zone 7a and reportedly produces an abundance of fruit.  The stockade fence in the top two pics is on the east side of the tree.)


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Chapman

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Reply with quote  #2 
You've done a lot of work to get it dug up and planted.  I would wait for it to leaf out and start growing before I did anymore pruning.  You can decide later what to prune off of it.  Did you water it with plenty of water to get rid of air pockets around the roots?  I would not worry about amending the soil anymore.  You could add some root stimulator fertilizer when you water go give it a boost on getting established.
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ADelmanto

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Reply with quote  #3 
At this point just mulch it well. Wait for leaves and don't over water before then. When it has good growth you'll be able to see what has survived. I would assume everything will be fine. Use some stakes to get some of those branches to grow vertical and air layer away anything you don't want.
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ANDREASC

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Reply with quote  #4 
Having been in ur position and having thought of it and searched about it and stressed about a transplant i would do the following if i were u.
I would water very very well daily for three days for soil to settle around the roots and air pockets to dissapear. After the last watering i would also throw a bucket with fungicide and seaweed extract solution... then i would prune right away all the bush and leave only a central strong shoot which will form my main trunk of a pretty tree in the future..i would also head it now for 3 lateral shoots to develop now. i dont like bushes. Also after a transplant u dont need the excess foliage that will occur on all these shoots...too much loss of moisture... throughout the season and after the buds open u ll need watering day after day since the root system is not as efficent... some more seaweed solution monthly and monthly mild fertilisation will also help. U will have figs this season but i believe u ahouldnt set it as priority.. now the tree needs some time to recooperate
ADelmanto

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Reply with quote  #5 
Sorry to dis agree Andrea, but that fig bush will never be a single trunked tree. You would be pruning out suckers every week for that to happen. You'd be better off taking a single air layer and throwing the rest of the thing away if that's what you were looking for. IMHO.

Again. I'd be careful about the water. There are no leaves on the thing yet. It should not need much. If it was well planted there should not be air pockets. Mulch will keep in the moisture. When the leaves pop out it will need more water.

Not sure about fungicide, seaweed or any other organic fert would not hurt.

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Rewton

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Reply with quote  #6 
If it were me I would remove about half of the canes/trunks.  Then next year at this time do some more pruning to get down to 5-6 main trunks.  You don't want a situation where there are so many trunks that the sunlight has trouble penetrating the canopy.

Andreas, what is the rationale of adding fungicide?  Fungi in the soil are generally beneficial as they break down organic material into nutrients for use by the fig.

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DomGardens

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Reply with quote  #7 
Load that sucker with air layers!
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pearson1662

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Reply with quote  #8 
Regardless of what I ultimately decide to do with the ugly fig tree, I want you all to know how much I appreciate the feedback and ideas.  My interest in figs was originally stimulated by this tree which exhibits a bush-like growth habit.  I had taken some rock to be dumped in the ravine of the gentleman who owns the property and didn't see him about so I went to his front door, rang the bell and since he's quite elderly, realized I might have a wait.  I turned around, looked down his lawn and saw a beautiful bush that I'd somehow managed to never notice before.  The huge green leaves were especially attractive to me.  I ask him what it was and in his thick middle eastern accent replied, "Oh, that's a fig tree!  Ever had a fresh fig?"  It was so wonderful and different than any fruit I'd ever had, especially the sweetness like honey.  It was loaded with figs. He volunteered to give me a start.  It took me a few years to get back to him on that, unfortunately but recently I did and cut out some of the shoots in the center of the mass and I'm anxiously looking forward to the fruits.  This is not the tree that I transplanted, obviously.  He doesn't know anything about it except that it has been there since before he bought the property, 27 years ago....  It's uniquely beautiful enough, to own as a specimen, even without the fruit, IMO.  My point in relating this story is that I'm not opposed to the bush like growth habit, if I can get it to look something like this, probably prefer it, actually.

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ANDREASC

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Reply with quote  #9 
Well yeah u ll have to fight a bit with suckers but eventually and as the main trunk thickens they ll get discouraged... yet again if the bush works for u in ur regions then what u prefer is important... as i said i like tree-form and low open vase trees are better suited in my region's climate...

Not exactlt sure why but I was told by a local to use some mild root fungicide to ensure the soil was disinfected and that it wouldnt hurt... and it worked for me..so did seaweed extract as root growth stimulant
pearson1662

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Reply with quote  #10 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ANDREASC
so did seaweed extract as root growth stimulant


I saw a YouTube vid a guy posted of a large fig tree transplanting and he used that as well..... I just used some commercial blue stuff I bought at HD called "Root and Grow"...

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pearson1662

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Reply with quote  #11 
Also, please understand, I know next to nothing about growing and propagating figs.  So I appreciate all the feedback.
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CliffH

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Reply with quote  #12 

I would agree with some of the earlier comments. Mulch it in, and leave it alone for now. See what branches leaf out and look to be your more vigorous growers before doing any pruning or cutting back. This is what I did on a large Atreano that I transplanted in late November. Luckily all the branch on my tree came back and I could then work on shaping it up, knowing I was keeping only the healthiest growth that would survive.

CliffH


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rcantor

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Reply with quote  #13 
In 7 you're going to have a bush.  Follow Aaron's advice, although there's nothing wrong with taking out some crossing branches now if you can be sure the ones you leave are alive.  You want a significant amount of wood under the soil or mulch level because that's what the bush grows back from every year..
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TorontoJoe

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Reply with quote  #14 
I'd just thin it out but if it's producing lots of nice figs there's nothing ugly about that...

And yes, hold off the water...at least until it leafs out....If it's not actively growing where do yo think the water has to go?

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leon_edmond

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Reply with quote  #15 
Not only would I thin out the branches but I would also cut back the remaining canes down to just a few nodes.
Mario_1

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Reply with quote  #16 
Quote:
Originally Posted by leon_edmond
Not only would I thin out the branches but I would also cut back the remaining canes down to just a few nodes.


I agree

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mgginva

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Reply with quote  #17 
I agree with Rewton and Leon.
I would add that to wait for the tree/bush to leaf out is just wasting energy.
Whenever you transplant you need to make sure you trim off enough (or more) of the foliage to make up for the damage done to the root ball.
Best advise I ever got:
"Put a $10 tree in a hundred dollar hole."

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Michael in Virginia (zone 7a) Wish list:   Perretta, 
figgi11

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Reply with quote  #18 
One word: SUPERTHRIVE every three days for three weeks. It comes in a cartoonish like container and it looks gimmicky but I swear by it for established transplants. Last year I moved a 10 year old arborvitae bush and three large emerald green arborvitae's that grew too close to each other. Whenever I use the Superthrive, the plants take beautifully. I usually use a little bit more than the suggested amount for transplants. I also used it when I unearthed a Kadota and moved it into a pot.

Funny thing is that the landscapers are shocked when they see how I move the trees and they recoup so wonderfully. I'm not sure that I would have been a successful without using the product.

You can get it in Home Depot.


This is a picture of my Kadota that I dug up last spring and transplanted into a pot. It's growing like a weed and I keep it indoors during the winter. Zone 6 here.




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figgi11

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Reply with quote  #19 
... This is one emerald green arborvitae that I moved across the yard last August. The tree in the back corner. As you can see it didn't suffer any stress whatsoever. The tree is about 6 feet tall.

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