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FrozenJoe

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Reply with quote  #1 
It has been very hot here in Mesa, AZ.  113 today.  113 yesterday.  111 the day before that.  I water my trees every second day.  I will water them after I post this.  I know these plants will bounce right back after being watered.  I also know that many advocate providing shade.  I feel that allowing the plants to experience the full sun will help them in the long run to be strongly rooted and well adapted.

It seems variety plays a role in how well a plant can tolerate the heat and sun all day.  Here are the photos.  Judge for yourself how well each variety does in this intense heat.  They all receive the same care.

Black Mission NL


Col de Dame


Violette de Bordeaux


Joe's Jersey


LSU Purple


Hardy Chicago


Desert King


LSU Gold


Barnissotte


Black Madeira


I observe that many of the varieties have put out leaves with highly serrated edges, which I believe is some sort of adaptation to the intense dry heat.



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Joe
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rafed

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Reply with quote  #2 
I think they look good for what you are going through as for the temperature wise. Another year or two you just might need a ladder to climb them ( wishful thinking ).

FrozenJoe

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Reply with quote  #3 
Thanks Rafed.  They'll get there.


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Joe
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TucsonKen

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Reply with quote  #4 
We don't get quite as hot down here in Tucson, but mine look similar to yours as far as some mild drooping. Several of the lower leaves are shriveling up and dropping off without changing to yellow first (a few do turn yellow and drop off as well). Maybe they aren't getting quite enough water, but each gets irrigated from a micro-sprinkler every day, and in addition, the basins get filled from the hose every other day. Everything looks basically healthy, and all in-grounds except a small Black Madeira and two younger trees (started this year from rooted suckers) have developed fruit.

I'm not sure about the leaf edge serrations, because I don't have a good grasp of the normal range of variation.

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Ken
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pitangadiego

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Reply with quote  #5 
What size were the trees when planted? 5 gallon? What time of year were they planted? How long have they been in ground?

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FrozenJoe

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@Ken
Good to know they're not too far off from how yours are doing in Tuscon.  The Hardy Chicago and Joe's Jersey show the most extreme leaf edge serration compared to the standard form I saw in the Northeast.  They also are two of the most heat tolerant.

@Jon
These trees were all planted in early March of this year, except for Black Madeira which was planted in early April (it's the air layer you sent me).  Before that most of them were in ground for six months at a different property in AZ.  Before that most were in 2 gallon containers.  The VDB was in a 5 gallon and is older than the other plants.


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Joe
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OttawanZ5

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Reply with quote  #7 
Frozenjoe
You preempted my question. When started to look at the pictures, I thought to ask why the Desert King and Hardy Chicago leaves have serrations but you mentioned the observation.
It will be interesting to know how the leaves will start in the spring next year before it heats up there.

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FrozenJoe

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Reply with quote  #8 
I'll have to pay attention to the spring leaf shape to compare.  On Joe's Jersey I can still find a few leaves without much serration at the bottom of the plant.


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Joe
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Reply with quote  #9 
In my opinion its not the heat so much. It's the low humidity. Trust me there is no such thing as 'oh its hot but its a dry heat'! when it comes to us. But humidity plays a large part for me up here in MA. When it was 90, my trees never drooped since the humidity was high. In my self watering containers they have never drooped with the combination of humidity and access to constant root moisture.

Love the area but just a bit 'WARM' for me! LOL


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FrozenJoe

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Reply with quote  #10 
The low humidity makes it tough for the plants.  Moisture gets sucked out of the leaves faster than the roots can replace it.  I can tell when it's real dry because that's when the leaves curl up on several of the fig trees.  I think the high heat intensifies the problem.

I believe that certain varieties have the ability to handle these conditions better than others.  It is still too early for me to really understand why.  But I'm starting to believe that leaf shape, size, and thickness matter.  I also think that plants that produce large fruit are at a disadvantage.  These are just preliminary ideas.  A few years out here growing figs will make these things clearer to me.


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Joe
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pitangadiego

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Reply with quote  #11 
Joe, this is experience that will benefit a lot of people.

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saxonfig

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Reply with quote  #12 
Funny, it doesn't LOOK that hot. HaHa. Was just too easy for me to say from my AC cooled house.

Interesting about the leaf shape change.

So, do you feel that maybe the varieties with thicker leaves might hold up better in that kind of heat?

I agree with Jon. Documenting the experiences you're having with your figs in that environment will be a big help to alot of folks in similar climates.

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TucsonKen

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Reply with quote  #13 
Joe, I don't have enough of a track record to be sure, but I'm wondering if the dryness actually reduces the size of the fruit in my yard. My fruit always seems a little smaller than what I would expect, based on what other people report. Even the figs from my long-term, in-ground Black Mission are noticeably smaller (and denser-fleshed) than I remember from other Black Missions when I was a kid. Of course, I was smaller then, too, so maybe it's just a case of a kid's memory bumping into adult experience.
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FrozenJoe

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Reply with quote  #14 
@ Jon
Thanks.

@ Bill
I grew figs in northeast Massachusetts from 2007 - 2010 and now I've been growing them in central Arizona since 2010.  I see that the same plants have put out different shaped leaves as a response to the change in climate.  If I had to make a call right now I'd say that plants with thick, medium lobed, small to medium sized leaves handle this climate the best.  But I really need to be here a few more summers and let the plants grow out to know for sure.  This climate makes leaves curl, regardless of how much water you give the plant.  I think there is an ideal leaf type to resist leaf curl.  I think that plants that are able to resist curl in this climate stay healthier and have the potential to put out a lot of growth and fruit in our long season.

@ Ken
I noticed the same thing with Celeste.  The Celeste fruit was significantly larger in MA.  I also noticed that figs were juicier in MA.


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Joe
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pitangadiego

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Reply with quote  #15 
Joe,

I will be at the CRFG Festival of Fruit, in Tempe November 5. If you get a chance, come on by. would love to meet ad chat.


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FrozenJoe

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Reply with quote  #16 
Jon,

I plan on being there.  I just have to fill out that registration form.  See you then.


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Joe
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