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  • Varieties for Hilo, Hawaii

    I'm going to be traveling to the Big Island next week to help out on a family construction project! My brother just purchased a house lot, and we are going to frame up his house, family-style. I'm wondering about figs for his rainy tropical location, any varietal choices? Root nematoad resistance would probably be a plus as well, I hear they are bad...
    Osborne Prolific was one I thought of, because of it's reputed rain-tolerance. Maybe Nero 600m for the same reason?
    Jesse in western Maine, zone 4/5
    Wishlist- Figues Juane, Demos unk, Nantes Maroc, Thermalito

  • #2
    Where's Nate (figgiefive0) when we need him? He's in Hawaii.
    https://www.figbid.com/Listing/Browse?Seller=Kelby
    SE PA
    Zone 6

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    • #3
      Jesse, please beware, Hawaii has very strict rules about bringing in agriculture. Better check first. If caught could cost you some money.
      Dave- Waterford, Ct. Zone 6a

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      • #4
        I'm aware of Hawaii's importation rules, they are there for good reason!
        I certainly wouldn't try to bring a plant with me on the plane, thanks for the reminder Dave.
        Jesse in western Maine, zone 4/5
        Wishlist- Figues Juane, Demos unk, Nantes Maroc, Thermalito

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        • #5
          There are a few Malaysian growers who participate in F4F. While Malaysia is a bit warmer than Hilo, they also have the muggy, rain forest thing going on. If you are only planting one or two, I'd look to the LSU varieties.
          Littleton, CO (zone 5b) - In Containers
          N.E. of Austin, TX (zone 8b)- In Ground.

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          • #6
            Jesse,

            There's a lot of info on the internet some of it authored by Ken Love...

            From a Google search for "Ken Love Hawaii figs"
            http://www.hawaiifruit.net/index-figs.html
            http://www.hawaiifruit.net/figs.htm
            http://www.sare.org/content/download...7/FW07_034.pdf
            http://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/oc/freep...f/12fruits.pdf
            http://www.hawaii247.com/2008/12/29/...gs-for-hawaii/
            Recommended:
            Key: * Good producers for all elevations.
            ** Limited production but high quality fig– further testing indicated.

            Common Figs

            Black Mission *
            Rattlesnake Island *
            Brown Turkey *
            White Kadota *
            UCR 187-25 *
            Excel *
            LSU Gold *
            Osbourn Prolific *
            Flanders *
            White Texas *
            Early Violet *
            Violette de Bordeaux *
            Ischia Black **
            Col de Dame **
            Conadria **
            Beall **
            White Genoa **
            Archipel **
            Masui Dolphin **
            Santa Cruz Dark **
            http://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/oc/freepubs/pdf/PD-100.pdf

            Good Luck.
            Last edited by AscPete; 04-10-2015, 01:40 AM. Reason: added link
            Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b

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            • zone5figger
              zone5figger commented
              Editing a comment
              Thanks, Pete!

          • #7
            I agree Ken would be a good resource, however, Hilo's climate is not the same as Kona. Hilo is much more of a rain forest where as Kona is drier. Also, most of the varieties that Ken tested were sourced from UCD. So there are many other varieties which might do better that were not tested.

            As a side note, I met Ken's wife two weeks ago while browsing at a farmer's market in Kona. She had mentioned the University has (or is planning to) raze the field the fig trees were in. Ken is now growing on his own land. If you'd like to make the drive from Hilo to meet her, I think they are at the market every Saturday. The address is:
            78-6831 Alii Hwy # 101
            Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
            Littleton, CO (zone 5b) - In Containers
            N.E. of Austin, TX (zone 8b)- In Ground.

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            • #8
              Originally posted by DaveL View Post
              Jesse, please beware, Hawaii has very strict rules about bringing in agriculture. Better check first. If caught could cost you some money.
              I have mailed a fig tree to Hawaii before and it was no big deal. I called the Hawaii Dept. of Ag who put me in touch with the actual officer from whatever agency does the inspections of incoming mail. He told me to bare root the tree so that there would be no soil and to mark the package very clearly on the outside with "LIVE PLANT MATERIAL" and to include a description of what kind of plant it was. No special forms or documentation. I'm talking about a Sharpie on the outside of the package. I sent a tree that was about 3/4" caliper and 2 1/2' tall. It took a little over two weeks for the tree to get from California to my sister's house in Hawaii. When it arrived, the package had obviously been opened for inspection. That's all there was to it. The tree lives in Hanalei now.

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              • DaveL
                DaveL commented
                Editing a comment
                Thanks for the info, my daughter lives on Oahu and I really would like to send her a fig tree. I wonder if the same rules apply for plants send from Hawaii.

            • #9
              Thats good to know cyberfarmer. I had read similar info about house plants. As long as its bare rooted it isnt a problem. It gave me hope if I decide to relocate to the Hilo area. I have also been looking for info on which figs to try there.
              I'm not sure how long bare rooted will survive but I fig ure if the tree doesnt make it I will cut it up and start again.
              As anywhere there are micro climates and especially in Hawaii, elevation will make a big difference I think.
              Over on the south west side there are a couple of fig orchards for sale. Mostly black mission and brown turkey figs though. I know its dryer there but not sure about anything else in the area.
              http://honolulu.craigslist.org/big/reo/4894640118.html
              Jeff in 6a

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              • #10
                Augh! Sorry everybody, I've been in and out of sorts with school and work. I've peeked in from time to time and just saw this topic. Yes, Hawaii has some of the strictest import/export rules re; plants and animals, and for good measure. Pete's recommendation (HawaiiFruit.net) is probably the best reference for varieties of fig that would do well here. Paul (cyberfarmer) hit it right on the head as far as sending/receiving plant material here in Hawaii. Here's some more info...

                General guidelines for the importation of plants to Hawaii are as follows:
                • All plants require inspection upon entry into the state.
                • Plants must be apparently free of insects and diseases.
                • Plants do not need to be bare-rooted but the growing media cannot contain soil.
                • Parcels brought into the state by mail or cargo must be clearly labeled with the words “Plant Materials” or “Agricultural Commodities”.
                • Shipments must be accompanied with an invoice or packing manifest listing the contents and quantities of the commodities imported.
                • http://hdoa.hawaii.gov/pi/pq/import-...nt-guidelines/
                Faith, family, friends and figs. (Not necessarily in that order).

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                • #11
                  Ate some fresh figs at a neighbors place, probably bt and kadota, not bad.
                  Jesse in western Maine, zone 4/5
                  Wishlist- Figues Juane, Demos unk, Nantes Maroc, Thermalito

                  Comment


                  • #12
                    Figgyfive_o, when you say plants entering the state must not contain soil, what are some media that they can be rooted in. Coco coir?
                    Dave- Waterford, Ct. Zone 6a

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                    • #13
                      Aloha, Dave. The state department of agriculture is the one who laid down the law. Trust me, for the sake of saving time from rooting to fruiting, I wish we could receive fully grown fig trees. As far as coco coir, and I'm not an agricultural agent, I wouldn't consider that "soil." But to keep everyone happy and out of jail, I'd rather just stay with cuttings.

                      Nate
                      Faith, family, friends and figs. (Not necessarily in that order).

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                      • #14
                        Aloha, Jesse and e komo mai. Do the fig trees there in Kona bear fruit year round? The fig trees on Oahu don't have mature fruit yet, but they're forming. A couple of my trees have some tiny fruits, but probably will fall off because they're keiki still.
                        You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 2 photos.
                        Faith, family, friends and figs. (Not necessarily in that order).

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                        • #15
                          Nate,
                          Congratulations! Very nice looking figlets!

                          On the topic, could you wrap the roots in a moist paper towel and ship a bare rooted 1-2 ft tree?
                          Not a potted fig but not a cutting either.
                          USDA z 10a, SoCal. WL: De la Roca, Lampeira Prush, Raspberry Tart, Boysenberry Blush

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                          • #16
                            It seems like all the LSU hybrids and even Louisiana heirlooms would do well in Hawaii if they do well in Louisiana. Aren't the climates similar? Only LSU Gold is on the list above.
                            Mara, Southern California,
                            Climate Zone: 1990=9b 2012= 10a 2020=?

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                            • #17
                              Aloha, Igor! It's been a while. It seems as long as there's no soil, you sure can mail it. Also must be conspicuously labeled "plant materials" or "agricultural commodities." I'm learning some new stuff, too. Used to be "no roots, no leaves, no soil."
                              How you doing with the spices?

                              Aloha, Mara. As a matter of fact, I've seen a couple of LSU hybrids (LSU Purple and Celeste) sold at Home Depot and Walmart here. I've heard of the LSU Gold being sold here, but I'm always a day late. As far as climates, I've been deep south and the heat and humidity is waaay more than I can handle. At least out here, we have a good tradewind to keep us cool.

                              Nate
                              Faith, family, friends and figs. (Not necessarily in that order).

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                              • #18
                                Nice figlets Nate. Does the keiki(I googled it) refer the tree being young or the figlets being..well..figlets?

                                I've got to say your profile picture is great. Makes me smile every time I see it. Is that your little one?
                                Calvin, Wish list is to finish working on the new house, someday.
                                Bored? Grab a rake, paint roller, or a cordless drill and come over!

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                                • #19
                                  Aloha, Calvin. Gotta love google, lol. Yes and yes. I just planted those cuttings last February after rooting them in mid-December. The pic is something I found online that kinda reminded me of me when I was once young: mischievous. There's a bunch of memes of this kid, all hilarious!

                                  Click image for larger version

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                                  Faith, family, friends and figs. (Not necessarily in that order).

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                                  • #20
                                    Had a good trip, the plane rides were a bit rough but worth it. Got to eat some great fruit out in Hawaii, yes even figs at a neighbor's place, which were probably BT and Kadota. Saw a vendor selling some nice 2 year Gulbuns for $15 at the Pahoa farmer's market. Spent a good amount of time helping my bro clear albizia, an invasive tree, from his new lot, and did some masonry using the local blue stone. Also did some sight seeing, snorkeled in a reef with a sea turtle, lava fields and so on.
                                    Figs seem pretty limited as far as available varieties, probably more around on the dry Kona side of the island. 150 inches of rain annually where my bro is building! I think that rain tolerance would be a very useful trait for any fig in his area, once he gets set up I'll send him some cuttings of some LSU varieties and Osborn Prolific. We did plant some citrus and mangos on his new site.
                                    Our house sitter did a good job nursing my starts in our absence, now they really need that up-pot I've been promising them!
                                    Jesse in western Maine, zone 4/5
                                    Wishlist- Figues Juane, Demos unk, Nantes Maroc, Thermalito

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                                    • #21
                                      Welcome back Jesse. Glad you had a good time. You're back just in time for all the spring work here in Maine!
                                      Greg, Maine, zone 5. Wish List: Green Michurinska

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