Friday, February 15, 2013

Pruning the fig tree


Well, I've gone and done it.

I can hardly bear to post a picture of the pruned tree. I am used to pruning roses, clematis, blueberries, even raspberries, and I barely blink at cutting them back hard, once I understand when they bloom and on what growth. For instance, I wouldn't want to prune the blueberry now, or I'd lose a lot of berries, this year. Instead, it was pruned after it fruited, last summer, and had time to put out new growth, on which it will bear fruit this year...

But I have never pruned a fig tree. Instead, I satisfied myself with pruning this fig's roots. Last year, however,  the tree had fewer fruit than usual and the leaf-growth was restricted to the very ends of the branches. It needed renewal. The scary thing is that visible growth always happens at the tips of the branches. After today's activities, there are no tips of branches. It seems impossible that new shoots will break out of the most mature grey wood that is left.

The pruning definitely means that there will be no breba crop - that's the first, smaller crop that forms on older wood. But, in theory at least, there will be plenty of new, green growth in the spring and summer, and that is where the main crop forms.


Yup.

Not a very encouraging sight. I hope to have a wonderful After picture. One day.


In the meantime, I'll be learning about rooting fig cuttings.

Anybody want a baby fig tree?

33 comments:

  1. I can tell that hurt.

    Save a mini-tree for me, please!

    ReplyDelete
  2. ME ME ME ME ME! I want a baby fig! I am sure that must've been a little scary to prune the fig back that hard, but I'm sure it will be so happy this year! :D

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  3. I want one! But you'd have to put it in the mail. Have faith (you clearly already have courage). Spring will come again and so will your figs and I'll be sitting here in Boston, feeling envious.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I want a baby fig tree! Also, a baby panda and a baby hedgehog, but I'd be blissfully happy with a baby fig.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Remember not to prune your baby panda. I hear hedgehogs can take it.

      Delete
  5. Oh I'd love a baby fig tree please!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I would love a cutting! I don't have much to offer in return except maybe some spring flowers and seeds (if the fluctuating winter temperatures don't kill my roses in the meantime).

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  7. Well, I have six cuttings. Assuming they all root, the first five requests will be honoured. I would like to keep one for myself :-)

    (It's possible my cuttings are too big, in which case the six may increase...)

    If some die, the successfully rooted cuttings will be bumped up the ladder to first responders. So, in this order, so there are no fights, later:

    John, Jill, Judith, What Possessed Me, Martina, A February.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, even if I do get bumped from the queue ("A February"), maybe I can give you roses. I've always been a big fan of your blog(s)!

      Delete
  8. Brave soul, you've done the right thing. You've cut the leader, you've terminated apical dominance, auxin hormone not repressing side buds. Nodes will deliver new buds now. Yay!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I feel so clever, now. Tell me about these nodes.

      Delete
  9. Almost glad I missed the "deadline". Would love to have one, but then would have to find a place for it - a daunting act these days.

    Am sure that with your green thumb, along with your courage, it will do just fine. But, i sure can see why you are horrified ... me, too. Keep the faith! Mama Nature will not desert you, i'm sure.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I have fig trees causing problems enough in this small yard...big fig trees.
    If you ever said, I forget - which fig do you have?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Chop 'em?

      I don't know what mine is. It's very sad. Not knowing, I mean.

      Delete
  11. In your terrace, you do a spectacular and encouraging work!

    Oh thank you for the pictures! I should do the same thing to my japanese medlar tree, potted. This summer after fruiting, but I cannot find real information. The branches that I have shortened in the past... no longer have sprouted, have stagnated and could use them to hang jackets. Do you have any information on the medlar?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Sale. I have never grown a medlar, but I read that they should be pruned in winter, like other fruit trees. That is when they are dormant, and resting. Where do you live - what is your climate?

      I am not sure why your pruned branches turned into coat hangers :-)

      Delete
  12. Oh Boy- that looked like it hurt. I have a fig also, and will repot it this year without trimming the roots (too scary). I've already pruned, but only about four inches from every branch. I guess we'll see. Fig trees grow like weeds in New Orleans!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Replies
    1. Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

      Delete
  14. Ugh! I read your post too late. Would you cut one long twig into two so you could have one extra to trade with me? I have a tiger panache fig I am planning to prune early spring. Just saying. Anyway, I'd still give you some even if I don't get anything...if you're interested. (That is if my panache fig comes around...I am not sure how the flood in Long Beach affected it.....it sure killed my 15-foot blue spruce.) I love the colors of your figs.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Ah we cut our gigantic fig tree down like a buddleia every year and up up up it grows.

    Keep the faith. And thank god you don't understand what Frank is saying either....or is it just me?

    xo J.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, it's not just you.

      Yes, your fig. Of course!

      Delete
  16. My sons and I grow and sell fig cuttings and trees in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn. Here are is a post about our process from cutting to fig harvest, some good fig porn!


    http://flatbushfigfarm.tumblr.com/post/43001035916/our-process-from-day-1-to-harvesting-and

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those are beautiful pictures, Nelson - great work!

      Delete
  17. I'd also like to be put on the list, if there are enough (I know this is a bit late). Otherwise, I'll be in touch with Nelson.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I think I have run out of cuttings...Nelson's look pretty.

      Delete
  18. :)
    I live in Milan, northern Italy. Climate is continental, with damp, chilly winters and hot, humid summers. My terrace is quietly -13 ° in winter and +35° in summer, wind-blown.
    My potted trees are very brave, I counseling theme showing photos of your roses.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds like New York! Terrible. Except for spring and autumn which are beautiful.

      Delete
  19. I'm sorry for my english. A medlar becomes coat-hanger when many branches do not want to sprout. Ahah... argh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, I understood you, your English is good. I liked the image of the medlar as coat hanger :-)

      Delete
  20. Does anyone have any Panache Fig cuttings, not rooted? I will buy or trade. Pat De Winne; pdewinne@earthlink.net

    ReplyDelete
  21. I want baby fig tree. I think hire a professional for trimming and pruning or take advice before trimming if you don;t have knowledge. Nowadays many companies are giving service of trimming and pruning including tree trimming company in los angeles.

    ReplyDelete



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