Sunday, September 5, 2010

Fig Cuttings - August 31, 2010


All those wonderful figs in my recent post were not from my 6 fig trees, sadly, but were from the one fig tree on the sheltered southern side of my parents' home. Mine produce sporadically, due the the location they are in.

Figs will produce two crops per year, IF your growing season is long enough and your winter is mild enough. The problem with my figs is that they have been winter killed down to the ground nearly every year, so the crop they would normally produce early in the year on last years wood does not happen. Then, the crop that would normally ripen in the fall, from the newest wood, does not have enough warm days left to finish them. The trees go into dormancy and the half-grown figs are lost.

I was lucking out pretty well the first few years they were in, but I've not gotten a crop, but for a handful, for the last three years. So I decided to do something about it. Sadly, I decided this at completely the wrong time of year!

Cuttings should be taken in spring or early summer, when growth is rampant. Now in late summer - heading into fall, I'm just begging for failure here, especially knowing I'm not the most skilled at causing cuttings to come to fruition.

However, I wanted to give it a shot. So the idea here is to convince these cuttings that winter has occurred, so that they will think spring has sprung soon after.

These leaves smell great! Can you see the little figs in there? They will never ripen before dormancy sets in.

I chose to take cuttings from the tree that is the largest every year. I figure it must have good root genetics.

Then, when I thought I was done, I realized that tree hardly had any figs on it....

So I began all over again with one of the smaller trees that had figs.

Basically I took smaller wood, some brown and some green, figuring I'd let the plant choose which it likes the best.

I trimmed off the leaves.

There are some baby figs on there, so those get trimmed off as well.

Now I'm down to just bare branches.

These and several other branches were all trimmed into varying lengths of cuttings, some 6 inches and some 24 inches. I don't know what will take the best, so I am trying them all.

These were put in a bag, labeled, and placed in the refrigerator. The necessary chill hours for figs is about 100 hours below 45 degrees.

So far they've been in there for about 5 days and they look just the same, no wilting or browning. I hope to remove them after the proper amount of time, put them into soil, and have new trees to plant in more sheltered locations on the place.

I will keep you updated on the figgy news.




I always enjoy hearing from others. If you become a regular commenter, I'll assume you are being friendly and pretty much comment regularly right back. :o) God bless and have a terrific day!