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  • Hole in top of cuttings = poor performance?

    I’ve noticed that cuttings that have a hole in the top of them tend to grow more slowly. I’ve always assumed this is due to water constantly getting into it. Has anyone else noticed this?
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  • #2
    I don’t have this problem but it also doesn’t rain here.
    San Francisco Zone 10B.
    WL: None

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    • #3
      I think that is the pith where the stored nutrients are because I notice cuttings that take the longest to root and leaf out have the deepest hollow space. It dries up on its own when no longer needed. I never seal those holes because of the possibility of sealing in harmful bacteria or fungus. If you got the cutting originally with that hole it was not a fresh cutting.
      7B Southern NJ

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      • #4
        Some people seal such wounds, and some people don't. I have no idea which approach has proven to be the most effective. I myself would apply bleach-water, allow it to dry, and then seal it up with wood glue, but I can't say if that is actually a good idea.
        [Figs] -- Eastern Missouri -- Zone 6

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        • #5
          FWIW I have always added a bit of wood glue and never had a problem.
          Joe - Rhode Island Zone 7a

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          • #6
            Imagine the tree to be a pipe with the node being potential outlets. As the cutting grows, anything above the last node that is open ended will no longer get any sap flow and it will dry , leaving the hole. This has nothing to do with the growth and infact, as new growth emerges, I look for this hoke to know that all energy is being directed to the new growth.
            Dallas,TX - Zone 8a - Follow me @thefarmingtales on Insta.
            WL - Angelito, El Sueno Yellow, Yellow Absheron, Fico Giallo, Tia Penya, Campaniere, Moro de Caneva, Cessac, Boysenberry Blush

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            • #7
              when the cuting is beinng set upfor rooting or grafting cover the end with parafilm or asphalt emulsion (more antiseptic than wood glue or wax ) if already got hole cut off to fresh wood, i often angle this cut to position node on top end .
              Zone 10a So. Calif. W.L. Super tasty new finds !

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              • #8
                One of my two Smith trees had one of those holes where the original growth tip dies and I eventually cut it off at up potting. It was too high to get below the soil, so it sat as an open hole for the first year, then started slowly closing up over the next two years. Now, other than an odd little buckle in the trunk, you can't tell there was ever a hole there.
                “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”
                – Source Unknown
                MA 5b/6a

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                • #9
                  Many of my cuttings have had this. By now in their second year, these holes are slowly being sealed by the surrounding wood as the trunk thickens. By next summer I’m sure they’ll be gone completely

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                  • #10
                    You need to stick something down the hole to make sure there isn't an Ambrosia beetle inside. Then fill and seal with wood glue.

                    figs are not a hardwood and the dead wood can hollow. The dead wood should be cleaned up as much as possible. It gives off methane which attracts the Ambrosia beetle.

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                    • #11
                      I'm not sure if you are asking about newly rooted cuttings or more established trees, like what is shown in the photo. Regardless, I haven't noticed slower growth in either case. I don't think there is a relationship between an exposed hole and slow growth.
                      FigLife: www.figlife.com
                      www.youtube.com/figlifedotcom
                      [email protected]

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                      • #12
                        WHAT you are all saying is true but asthetics means somthing ?? dont want to "gaze" at a hole for a couple years while it grows over ,assuming no rot or beatle comes along . BESIDES HALF THE FUN OF GROWING FIG TREES IS SCULPTING THEM .BONZI LIKE BUT BIGER ?
                        Zone 10a So. Calif. W.L. Super tasty new finds !

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                        • ginamcd
                          ginamcd commented
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                          When the hole closes over it gives the trunk more character!

                        • Fig Gazer
                          Fig Gazer commented
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                          Got me there ! Want to borow a drill ? Lol

                      • #13
                        I do as fig gazer suggest but for a better looking tree set an air layer. Keep the ugly one for backup .
                        JLB zone 8b south Mississippi. Wish list really good figs thay don't split with all this dang humidity

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                        • #14
                          I’m a fan of filling holes with wood glue. I had a carpenter bee take up residence in a hole similar to your photo. It had me stressed that it was and Ambrosia beetle! Now I go around periodically and fill all holes to keep any insects out, eventually the tree will grow them over.
                          Wish list. White Baca, 5 Terre A UNK, Kafe Te Jiate, Crozes, Angelito, TD Yellow Crinkle, Brown Sugar Crunch, Fig Jaune/Jaune d`Escoussans

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