What is new at Figs 4 Fun


It is my hope to be able to make periodic contributions here which reflect my ongoing experiences and experiments with figs. I have scaled down nursery operations and I am more focused on meeting the plant needs of local customers and putting more emphasis on education and demonstration for those people. This will get me closer to my roots and passion.

July 2020

Root development on large cutting, which was rooted in a 4" x 12" tall pot.
Roots and vegetative growth.
Large cuttings potted up to 5 gallon pots and growing well. I have potted up more than 2 dozen so far. They appear to be much more energetic that a small cutting, and I expect them to produce a larger tree much more quickly. A typical 1/2" cutting would not have grown to this size by now.
Results of grafting.
Development of chipbud graft.
I unwarpped this graft because it was not showing vegetative growth and I though it might have failed. The small scion piece is healed to the rootstock, and you can see the green bud, but it hasn't begun vegetative growth. More time will tell.
This is one of the extra large cuttings I am attempting to root. It is the first to break dormancy. For reasons unknown these large cuttings tend to break multiple buds and not just the apical bud.
A second one is just beginning to break buds, and two more have at least one bud swelling. The rest are unchanged so far, though clearly still green/alive. I suspect that this particular variety is slower to root and grow. Small cuttings of the same variety are equally fussy.
Breba figs growing like a grape cluster. Sadly, this seedling turned out to be a caprifig. Looks like it will be getting stumped next year similar to the one I did this year, and then grafted into a multi-variety tree in 2022.
I read an interesting note about parthenocarpy in figs in Ira Condit's book, The Fig, page 40. "Some figs classed as Common type are incompletely parthenoparpic:" meaning that they only set a portion of their crop without caprification. This would explain figs that sometimes appear to be almost like Smyrna types, dropping most of their fruit and sometimes more like Common figs, or kind of half and half.

June 2020

Here is a NEW LINK to The Fig by Ira Condit. The old online book has disappeared.

I didn't have enough wood to make a wedge graft, so did a modified chip bud graft by cutting the bud off the scion and then cutting a matching notch in the root stock, and wrapping it with green nursery tape for about 6 weeks until it was healed together. I then removed the nursery tape and retied it only above and below the graft, leaving the bud exposed and free to sprout.
The bud is beginning to sprout. This is a weaker joint than the wedge graft because it is only connected a few cells thick at the union. The new growth will need to be supported for the first year until the graft union forms more and thicker wood. It is an alternative way to graft when there is limited amount of scion, but, unlike a T-bud, it does not require the the bark be "slipping".
The new buds and growth will easily penetrate through the parafilm, so there is no need to remove it.
After the graft has healed together, the new growth will progress as if it was from a bud on an established plant.
There is no need to remove the green nursery tape. The graft union is very thin and tender at this stage. the nursery tape will help provide more strength through the first growing season. It will stretch enough to allow the plant to continue to expand.
Another example of bud break.
The stumping experiment is progressing quite well. You can see how the branching has formed from the three buds at the top of the stump.
In late May, the shoots are between 18" and 30". I had to tie them up because they were growing so quickly that they were too soft to support their own weight.
A couple weeks later they are growing exponentially.
The tops of the shoots have reached about 7-1/2' from the ground. The stump was a little less that 4' to begin with.
Large cutting experiment. This has been progressing well with some amazing results. Not all cuttings have progressed at the same rate, but some are growing so fast you can almost watch them do it.
Also intersesting is the size of the growth. Some of the growth is 3/8" or larger and appears to be more like growth on an established tree, rather than the lighter growth that often forms on small cuttings. Perhaps the large cuttings "think" they are part of a larger tree, or maybe just have more stored energy. This pix is about three weeks after the one above.
This third picture is the most agressive example (which happens to be a Paradiso).
The extra large cuttings I experimented with this season were stored upside down. This is a bundle of Panache cuttings which rooted like crazy. Most of the rest of the cuttings showed little or no root growth. However, as in the example of the Paradiso cutting above, many of the cuttings have exploded in growth.
The accidental espalier experiment continues. Growth from each node is now about 12" long. Those closest to the roots are somewhat longer, and those further from the roots are a bit shorter.
And finally, my entrant in the large leaf contest this season. More than 12" across.
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