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  • Suggestions for fig rust

    Most of what Ive read indicates theres not much that can be sprayed thar will take care of this fungus. its been attacking 1 of the rooted plants i ordered. ive been removing leaves i see with it but looks like its spreading to a different variety in a pot next to it (a lignified cutting that i rooted and is doing really well).

    any suggestions on what members have been using that seem to have success? im isolating it. only watering soil. ive sprayed neem oil but that didnt seem to help. ky summers are known for humid heat.

    first 2 pix are the problem tree. leaves are we bc it just rained, not from watering. 3rd pic is my lignified cutting. ive removed leaves with lots of spots. should i remove the others?

    thanks for any help.
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Bonide Liquid Copper Fungicide Concentrate (purchased at local Nursery or Big Box Stores), works well, kills Rust and stops the spread but not Labeled / Listed for use on Figs / Ficus carica, just many other fruit, vegetables and shrubs.
    Concentrate @ 1 (- 2) Tbsp per Gallon of Water, Spray on top and underside of leaves.
    ... https://www.domyown.com/bonide-liqui...te-p-1539.html

    Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b


    • CaliGirlInKY
      CaliGirlInKY commented
      Editing a comment
      thank you so much. my dad was just asking me about this stuff (if it wotked for the rust). he is a gardener (24 raised boxrs). he has takem a master gardening course and he learned a lot of commercial tomato growers lost a lot of fruit in KY due to a specific kind of fungus. the copper fungicide is what they used. hes had great luck with using it on all his veggies this year.

      on an older post, it was sayimg that the copper fugicide worked well for rust preventative for the next year. i wasnt sure if it worked for current problems.

    • AscPete
      AscPete commented
      Editing a comment
      CaliGirlInKY ,
      You’re welcome.

      It needs to be sprayed at least twice at 7 - 10 day interval to get any developing spores. Copper is a “Contact” Fungicide it kills on contact

      The inoculated and damaged leaves often remain viable for the entire growing season. In fall the leaves should not be composted they should be discarded or burned to reduce or eliminate any chance of re-occurring outbreaks.

  • #3
    I'm struggling with the same issue on a new tree. While I use Sulfur to combat my rust issue, copper will work too. Be proactive and spray every 10 days or so.


    • CaliGirlInKY
      CaliGirlInKY commented
      Editing a comment
      the way the articles read, i thought maybe the rust spores stayed on the trunk. so as long as im spraying regularly, it should be easy enough to control next year?

    • Achilles
      Achilles commented
      Editing a comment
      Absolutely you can. Just be complete with your picking up of the infected leaves and you should be ok.

    • CaliGirlInKY
      CaliGirlInKY commented
      Editing a comment
      the leaves ive removed, i just throw in the trash. i always feel bad when the little trees "bleed" after punnching off the leaves.... 😬

  • #4
    At what time of year should one preemptively spray for rust? I think I may have read someone recommending a spray even during dormancy. Is that advice right?


    • DrDraconian
      DrDraconian commented
      Editing a comment
      Many fruit trees are sprayed when dormant with copper compounds to try to control a bunch of different fungal issues, many of which can be present in the bark and/ or buds.

      For fig rust, as long as you do a decent job of cleaning up fallen leaves, dormant spraying is not really necessary, rust is really only a leaf issue, and although the spores will always be present in an outdoor environment, it takes time for them to actually build up enough presence to be noticed. As long as you don't leave any overwintered leaves on the tree (these can develop noticeable rust spots early), the young leaves don't need to be treated. Here in San Diego, I won't start my first preventative spray of a fungicide until late May / early June, at which time most of the trees have had mature leaves on them for at least 2 months and don't yet have any symptoms. In very wet / warm areas (ie Florida), you may want to start earlier to stay ahead of the problem.

    • Figaro92
      Figaro92 commented
      Editing a comment
      DrDraconian Thanks for your answer! That point about leaving overwintered leaves on the tree could be a key for me, as in my zone 10, some of the trees don't fully go into dormancy. Those were tending to develop rust in the wet winters, which spread to other trees in spring.

  • #5
    I spray my trees with Copper Fungiside in the winter 2 or 3 times when the leaves are gone, easier to cover everything and I even spray the top of the pot it seems to work well
    Wallingford,Ct. zone 6b


    • #6
      Spray Copper before leaf bud and soak branches well. In the midsummer do the undersides of leaves, again in 3-4 weeks. Stop pulling infected leaves as long as they are predominantly green, you are just robbing your tree of energy. That has worked for me, you may still see some rust. Some fig types are more susceptible than others.

      LSU Ag Service that brought us the great LSU figs has a paper that advocates doing nothing but raking up the leaves after they fall. In the South/Southeast any leaf drop is followed by a growth spurt and it is early enough for the new growth to lignify before first frost. So they feel it may be a good thing in some areas. This year I'm doing nothing to see what happens.


      • #7
        Does anyone have any familiarity with Bordo copper spray? It's 53% Tribasic Copper Sulphate. It is all I could find here, and I think I am currently having rust. Thanks
        Ontario Canada Zone 4b
        Wish List: Florea, De Tres Esplets, Campaniere, Texas Peach; early varieties in general


        • #8
          Raking up leaves seems simple but it can be virtually impossible in the fall when you have a lot of surrounding trees.
          [Figs] -- Eastern Missouri -- Zone 6


          • #9
            Keep in mind the dangers of using fungicides that are not listed for what you are growing. How much do the figs absorb the copper in the various stages of ripening? Probably little to none, but the danger is there and copper is not particularly healthy to ingest. Its probably safe to spray when there are no fruit forming, but be cautious otherwise.
            Jason. San Diego, CA - Zone 10A WL: Boysenberry Blush