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  • Start a tree from a piece of root?

    We had a nice day, sunny and 50s. So I decided to up pot a few figs and root prune while I was at it.

    Is it possible to start a fig tree from just a piece of root? I've been on the forums for a year or so and I don't think I've seen anything on it.

    Zone 7A - Newark, DE; Zone 8A - Wilmington, NC;

  • #2
    Theoretically it is possible, as in tissue culture. In practice, not so much, IMO.
    Frank Tallahasee 8B
    North Florida Figs


    • #3
      Others have tried without success.
      I've Tried and it doesn't work.
      It may work only if there is a piece of non differentiated tissue at the "apical" top end.
      Last edited by AscPete; 03-21-2015, 11:02 PM. Reason: correction
      Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b


      • #4
        Hi Phil,
        I don't think it happens without some significant intervention (chemical or otherwise) to induce it. I've tried experiments (lasting several years), and never seen it happen. Though some of the roots have continued growing, without making new tops, for several years.

        There were a few other discussions on it. One here (starting around post #12 in this thread):

        Also quite a few threads over on F4F over the past four or five years. (Use search if you want to look them up).

        I agree theoretically possible, but I think it requires some intervention. I think there are a few people who claim they've seen it... maybe it happens, but not much. One of the things that makes it inexact is that without careful examination, a bit of trunk that is below the soil line might seem to be a root.
        Last edited by MichaelTucson; 03-21-2015, 11:16 PM. Reason: Added the last bit about trunk below soil line.
        Mike -- central NY state, zone 5a -- pauca sed matura


        • #5

          The attached picture is of a sucker that grew from a taproot. The VDB EL was bare rooted and the sucker was removed and up potted. The mother tree had very visible FMD, while the sucker has not shown any visible symptoms in the past 2 years.
          The cells of the tap root were converted back to "branch" cells and sprouted a bud, similar to the process of rooting where "branch" cells are converted to roots, but the actively growing plant was needed for this process to occur.
          Click image for larger version

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          Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b


          • #6
            my only success. The narrative is with the photos.
            You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 4 photos.
            Littleton, CO (zone 5b) - In Containers
            N.E. of Austin, TX (zone 8b)- In Ground.


            • #7
              So how to get rid of a mature fig tree growing in the ground? Seems like impossible?
              Do not have any need, just a thought looking at the Bijan's photos.
              USDA z 10a, SoCal. WL: Boysenberry Blush


              • #8
                Brian that looks like a piece of trunk too! Not purely a root cutting.
                Darkman AKA Charles in Pensacola South of I-10 zone 8b/9a


                • #9
                  Thanks everyone!
                  Zone 7A - Newark, DE; Zone 8A - Wilmington, NC;


                  • #10

                    I like to think of the trunk as above the basal flair, and the roots below. This is part of the original cutting the tree grew from. At the time, I was playing around with a wide/shallow container so this piece needed to be trimmed off anyway. When I experimented, I was not able to root secondary or tertiary roots.
                    Littleton, CO (zone 5b) - In Containers
                    N.E. of Austin, TX (zone 8b)- In Ground.