You know, I love figs for their sweetness ever since my childhood when my granddaddy in South Alabama would grow fig trees in his back yard. I always thought figs would only grow in that subtropical environment. Until only about 20 years ago, I discovered that they grow right here in the Northeast at USDA Zone 7a. It’s all fun and exciting until bouts of maintenance occur… either with maintaining fig trees or Figgi Riggi. Read more
As you know, I love fig trees for the bountiful sweetness that they provide and have enjoyed this since my childhood when my granddaddy in south Alabama grew them in his back yard unless disease decides to infect a tree. I like it when my friends come to me seeking advise for diseased problems they might have with their trees or showing off their successes as well. One day my friend from college sought me out in Facebook with his diseased problem and here I am sharing his story. Read more
Rabbits are so sweet, cute and lovable. Right? Everyone wants one to own as a pet since they’re so innocent and couldn’t hurt a fly if it tried. That’s only if you own them as domesticated pets. Not such the case with the monstrous wild rabbits who are on a survival mission to eat anything in sight that has nutritional value and to be food for the cute foxes. I’ll leave the foxes out of this story since they seem to be the guardians of the fig trees. Read more
Sometimes when you do all that you can for protection of your fig trees from natural forces, nature and a rabbit will prevail somehow.
This winter was a rather harsh one. Snow was protection over the ground for over a month with several snow storms and frozen temperatures. Most winters in New Jersey have periods of snowfall where the snow melts completely between storms, but not this year. The result is that the wild rabbits in the area couldn’t feast on their usual meals such as grass, ornamental plants and bushes. It turns out that when their normal food sources are eliminated, they go after tree bark. But not any ordinary tree. They go after the sweet stuff, such as fig tree bark. Today, I looked out the window and noticed a white coloration on my trees as though the bark had been scraped off. Read more
A killing freeze is when temperatures fall to or below 28ºF for at least a week. Most trees can survive brief periods of 32ºF. The killing freeze weather condition can kill a young fig tree if not protected. You can’t always make the best judgement when a freak cold blast comes down from Canada.
When autumn emerges, a tree will gradually drop it’s sap down to the base of the tree to help protect the branches from the Winter season, while it remains dormant. The problem that usually occurs is an early Spring during the month of March. At this moment, the weather warms up and the tree begins to leaf out as the sap returns to the branches.
Figs are a popular sweet treat in nature for both humans and the sneakiest pests
Figs are attacked by all sorts of pests and they do it ferociously as if the end of the world has come. They can drain the juices from the figs within a day or two. Although there is one thing that I noticed when hurricanes come to the region. The day afterward, the flies come. I don’t understand it, but the fruit begins to rot very quickly and this attracts the flies. Here are examples of the most common creatures that I’ve personally come across through observation. Read more
Training your fig tree, not training your dragons. Here are some basic examples on fig tree shapes. There are two common forms that a fig tree can be trained into: Single trunk [D], open vase type and the multi-trunk system [C]. Northeastern fig trees can be trained to grow from a single trunk when planted in a 200-hour chilling zone. You can control the trees through pruning. A winter frost that kills most of the branches, shows when a single trunk system should be used. To maintain the single trunk, be sure to cut away new growth that may appear at the base of the tree. Use a wooden stake, if necessary, to keep the trunk growing straight. Read more
There are fungi that can attack your fig tree leaves. If you find large brown areas, or with a mold growing – immediately cut off the affected leaves and discard them so that the fungus will not spread throughout. Take note that there is a very dangerous common leaf mold pathogen called Rust. It mainly affects potted plants and can spread to your house plants. It will begin with small brown spots and gradually spread through the leaf. When you discover this type of infection, cut the leaf off and burn it. Read more
Solutions are available for injured fig leaves. Fig trees in this area of the Northeast don’t have many pests. Once in a while, you’ll come across leaves being eaten or discolored. Sometimes you’ll find that nothing is eating the leaves or branches most probably because the sap (latex) is sticky and can be irritating (even to human skin). Other times, the problem might not be a pest, but a rust fungi infection. Read more
Yellow, wilting or curling leaves. This is a sign that your tree is dehydrated and needs water ASAP.
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If the tree has been growing in the ground, place a garden hose directly at the base of the tree and let the water trickle over it for at least 1-2 hours. Watering a tree can be a daunting experience sometimes, so I bought this Drip Irrigation Water Rock. It might look ugly, but you can apply latex paint to it to change the color. In the meantime, it has a continuous water drip into the roots of the tree. If it’s a young freshly planted tree, continue to water it on a regular basis about once every 3 days (skipping on rainy days) until the growing season has ended.