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  • Fig Hunting & Caprification Questions

    I definitely have caprified figs this year on my trees, and I was surprised at this because I have never seen wild fig trees in my area, at least not visible from the road. My area is rural, and they do a lot of brush removal for fire prevention here, so I figure there is a chance any wild trees could be removed at any time. So, I would like to find them if possible before that happens and was trying to figure out where to start.
    • To get an idea of the area involved I’m wondering, how far is the fig wasp likely to travel? Maybe it’s not actually in my immediate area? I’ve seen varying info on this & am uncertain.
    • Are wild fig trees more likely to be found in certain types of places, i.e. dry stream beds, in with other trees, in the hills, etc.?
    Any tips from the experts?

    (If I missed any past posts about this, I apologize! Sometimes tidbits of info are buried in there & get missed. 😬)

    Thanks for any help and input!
    Last edited by RosyPosy; 08-17-2021, 04:22 PM.
    𓂃𓂃☽︎​ᨏ𓂃High Desert Foothills𓂃ᨏ☼​𓂃𓂃
    Zone 9ã • Southern CA

  • #2
    The wasps are very very sneaky.

    There's been talk that on the right gust of wind they have traveled over 100 miles. Yet, we had Richard in the heart of Vista, which should be wasp central, state he didn't have the wasp around and he was saying they probably stay within a 1-2 mile radius around the caprifig wasp factory.

    Maybe your place lies on a wind stream similar to the Pineapple Express or maybe there's some hidden caprifigs around in ditches and crevices.
    Tom V
    On the road! USA
    Make compost not war


    • #3
      I'm not super experienced at this but I have found wasps before. These are something I learned. Finding wild trees is one thing. Finding wasps is a bit more difficult at least in SF. We have some seedlings here but so far I have not confirmed wasps within the city. Looking near streams, near hillside where it captures the water runoff like a ditch, then you should see some wild trees. Caprifigs might also be in people's yards. I know of one near me but because of the pandemic, I haven't reached out to check if there are wasps.
      I noticed that if there are wasps, you get a higher number of seedlings per unit area. Once you map out the seedlings, you can start looking for wasps. I think their range is about 1-2 miles but they can get carried by the wind for sure. I hope this helps
      Last edited by oat; 08-17-2021, 06:10 PM.
      San Francisco Zone 10B.
      WL: None


      • #4
        I don't think you should be asking about wasps. They don't transport the seeds to where seedlings sprout. The birds do that. Seedlings are going to spread around from wasp colonies as far as the birds who eat the figs fly.
        Zone 7B/8A Wake Forest, NC. Wish list - 1. To stop murdering fig cuttings. 2. To find the biggest, juiciest, cold hardiest, most delicious common fig in the world! (and not murder it)


        • RosyPosy
          RosyPosy commented
          Editing a comment
          goodfriendmike It’s hard to say how much wasp activity I have because the majority of my trees are less than 1 years old, so many did not put out figs this year. I’ve had 3 figs on two different trees in different parts of my yard that were definitely caprified, I think in June. Another tree next to one of them had no caprification. All had figs set at the same time. I have other trees that I’m waiting for the figs to ripen to check them.

          I was hoping to cultivate a colony myself. I have 4 varieties of capri figs, but 3 are edible, so I would like to get at least one or two more that have a late season, and a persistent one if possible. So, if I can locate the wasps near me, I can 1. take cuttings to grow that variety myself, and 2. bring back profichi next year to my orchard. If somehow there ends up being enough wasp colonies in my area, I don’t need to go to that trouble, which would be great. But if it’s a single spot anywhere near where they do clearance at times, it would give me an idea of what is needed for future plans. Because like I’ve said, I haven’t seen any wild fig trees near me, so I’m not sure how reliable it is to figure that it will just happen every year.

          Because I’m in a rural area, I’m surrounded by land. Having an idea of where wild fig trees typically grow would give me an idea of the type of land to look at, and knowing how far the wasp typically travels would give me a radius to search in. It gives me a place to start and I have zero experience in this, so I can use the tips.

          It probably wouldn’t matter to a lot of people, but I am curious, find it interesting and would like to ensure something for the future. Don’t know if it’s a fluke or what.

          ZomVee Yes, exactly 👍🏼

        • goodfriendmike
          goodfriendmike commented
          Editing a comment
          RosyPosy You are already better off than me. You have the wasp in your area. I am in Louisiana. I am now at 20 different caprifigs. In hopes to get a colony here at some point. As far as locating this caprifig. As Tom said wind could play a big part in it. But I would generally say 1 mile at most in any direction.

        • RosyPosy
          RosyPosy commented
          Editing a comment
          goodfriendmike 20 caprifigs! Nice! You’re better off than me in a different way 😁 I hope you get a colony going there for yourself, that would be awesome!

          At least 1 mile isn’t a big area!

      • #5
        I imagine (and this is coming from a newbie) you could still utilize the fig map and look for caprified wild figs.

        Seems like you'd have some sort of shot finding the wasp, but then again I assume finding a Fig being extremely caprified is a good indicator since over caprified fig is an indication of multiple wasp inside a fig.

        Either way, at least you might find a new fig type and end up naming it.

        Hell I would love to find a new fig, just so I can give it a ridiculous name - like Trash Bag.

        California - Zone 9b


        • RosyPosy
          RosyPosy commented
          Editing a comment
          Good idea! But I’ve only seen one fig map and it did not have any fig trees mapped out in at least a 30 mile radius of my house.

          I hope one day you find a fig you can name 😊

        • Kid Fig
          Kid Fig commented
          Editing a comment

          Dont know why I assumed there was such a thing as (multiple) fig maps.

          I get it though; I've read a few stories about fellow fig lovers finding a new type in the wild, post about where they found it, only for the tree to be cannibalized by the masses and then it's gone.

          Maybe someone here knows an area and is willing to pm you the details.

          Would love to go wild fig hunting but knowing me I'd be busting out all my camping/survival gear just so I can put them to use.

        • RosyPosy
          RosyPosy commented
          Editing a comment
          Kid Fig There could be multiple maps! I’m just saying I’ve only seen 1 that someone posted a link to here at one time. No harm in bringing some camping/survival gear, you never know!