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  • Fig fruits with specks

    Hi I just joined and need advise from the fig experts.

    I have a mature fig tree for many years now and almost died 3 years ago but came back to life with new branches 2 years ago. This year it produces a lot more fruits. But I noticed some branches and fruits have specks. The leaves and everything look healthy. Attached are some pictures.

    I know fig fruits can have small white lines/spots, but have not seen these specks before.

    Does anybody know what they are and are those figs safe to eat? Any advise will be helpful.

    Thanks.
    Attached Files

  • #2
    DOH!

    That looks like a form of scale.....have you tried scratching them off?

    You may have to trim it back to control it better.

    Though I have never dealt with scale, some good peeps here could interject with more info.
    Kevin, N. Ga 7b Cheers!

    Wishing all of you a bountiful harvest!

    Comment


    • jessup42
      jessup42 commented
      Editing a comment
      Gotta be Scale

    • Ktrain
      Ktrain commented
      Editing a comment
      Agreed....gotta tackle it quick!

  • #3
    Thanks for your response. Some comes off and some don’t when I scratched them off. Those scales are only on the skin so I peel off the skin before eating.

    Assuming these are scales. I started looking into this online and some suggest using alcohol or neem oil or horticulture oil. Any suggestion?

    i was told I can only trim the tree when it’s dormant season. Is that correct? What if I have to cut off the branches that are mostly invested now, will that kill the tree?

    Comment


    • #4
      The only reason I mentioned trimming out the really bad parts is due to the size of the tree.
      To treat every branch (given every branch has them on it) would be a task I would not want to jump into.

      I have never dealt with scale, so maybe someone can chime in on what works best.
      Or do a forum search and see what they talked about.

      Taking branches off now will not harm the tree in any way, though if you do....you may want to seal the wounds where you make the cut.
      You can buy wound sealer from home depot or lowes, maybe even walmart.

      If you have alcohol and you read it works...try it out first, it will be the cheapest attempt.

      Good luck saving that beautiful tree!
      Kevin, N. Ga 7b Cheers!

      Wishing all of you a bountiful harvest!

      Comment


      • #5
        This is from TruGreen web site.


        Treating Tree Scale
        • Prune and dispose of infested branches, twigs, and leaves.
        • Dabbing individual pests with an alcohol-soaked cotton swab or neem-based leaf shine will also work when infestations are light.
        • Plant flowers around your trees to attract beneficial insects, such as ladybugs, bees, and lacewing, which are natural predators of the crawlers.
        • Organic pesticides, like insecticidal soap, can also be used to kill the larvae.
        • Dormant oils are moderately effective on overwintering soft scale insects when applied in early spring before trees come out of dormancy.
        Kevin, N. Ga 7b Cheers!

        Wishing all of you a bountiful harvest!

        Comment


        • #6
          I’d eat it🤷
          Round Rock, TX 8b
          WL: Delicious figs

          Comment


          • Otis
            Otis commented
            Editing a comment
            Me too after a little finger nail action 🤣

        • #7
          Thank you Kevin for the advise and steps in treating scales. I will work on this in the next few days. And will let you all know how it goes.

          Comment


          • Ktrain
            Ktrain commented
            Editing a comment
            Sure thing, Please let us know how it turns out.

        • #8
          I'm with @Ktrain... it'll be faster and easier to contain if you cut the tree back. Take the cuttings and burn them! Burn them now!! Burn them with fire!!!
          South Jersey, zone 7a- 20 mins from Philly, 30 mins from AC

          Comment


          • Ktrain
            Ktrain commented
            Editing a comment
            Absolutely!, burn burn burn those little you know what's. lol

        • #9
          Hi. Here’s some updates.

          i cut off those highly infected branches and sprayed and wipe the other branches with alcohol solution. It looks better now, but I still see some white scales as shown in the picture (if you zoom in) here and there.

          Do I have to wipe/scratch or scrape out completely every branch that still have some scales Or should I order some lady bugs to continue cleaning these? Will there be other issues later, if I use lady bugs?

          When I went to harvest the fruits last week, some very ripe figs seems to be flowing with transparent syrup and there were a lot insects that look like flys or bees (can see on the leaves in the pic).

          BTW, do these scales gets inside the branch or are only on the outside? I am thinking of pruning quite a bit and leave just a few main trunk/branches when it goes dormant. So, as to start fresh next season. Any thought on this?


          Thanks.
          Attached Files

          Comment


          • #10
            Wow that looks a lot better, Though I would still maybe thin it out some more.
            It will come back rather quickly as I'm sure you know.
            The honey drip is a common thing from many figs...I have some that do it, and it does attract some bugs.
            It does pretty much stop bugs from crawling inside the fig.

            As for lady bugs, you can try if you like....but the chances of them flying away are pretty high.

            I would stick to your plan of pruning it down to a few mains, clean them up and get a fresh start on it next year.

            Scale is a surface insect....sap sucker, so not inside the wood.

            Here is a link to learn a little more about what they are and what they do.
            https://ppmtree.com/2020/05/18/tree-scale/
            Kevin, N. Ga 7b Cheers!

            Wishing all of you a bountiful harvest!

            Comment


            • #11
              Happy Labor Day to all!

              Kevin,

              Thank you so much for your response. And the link about scales.

              I think it’s toward the end of fruit season as the fruits are not that much anymore. I am thinking of waiting it out until all leaves are off (around Nov) and then identify which main to keep.

              What’s your thought on this?

              Will the scales cause any more damage in a month or so?

              Comment


              • Ktrain
                Ktrain commented
                Editing a comment
                Happy Labor day to you too!

                As for your situation, if it were me....and I believe you have taken pretty good measures to tame the problem.
                They are sap suckers, so they are going to considerably slow the growth way down, and could eventually kill off branches.

                But if you are confident that they are under control enough to wait it out, by all means do that.
                I would try to assess the numbers at least on some main trunks....make sure there are not legions in there.

                The fig is a fast grower, so I wouldn't worry too much about taking out any suckers or smaller weaker branches that may harbor a lot of the little critters.

                And you would be helping the inner trunks by allowing light to penetrate to the inside.

                Thanks for keeping us posted on your progress.
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