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  • Desert King - keep main crop or not

    Hello all,

    I have a Desert King that is in it's 3rd season that has produced a couple breba figs but also has a number of main crop figs on it as well.

    I know that unless there is some super hardy mutant fig wasp in my neighborhood that these will most likely drop at some point.

    My question is should I remove the main crop figs or just let them drop on their own?

    One other question, will the breba crops for next year be in the same location as the main crop figs this year?

    Here are some pictures:


    You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 3 photos.
    Kevin (Eastern MA - Zone 5b/6a)

  • #2
    Kevin,

    Breba are 'embryonic' main crop figs that did not develop last season, usually at the ends of the growing branches. They overwinter on the trees and swell early in the following growing season. Attached is a Web Photo of a Desert King Tree in the Northwest where the mild winters do not kill the dormant embryonic figs...
    Click image for larger version

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    Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b

    Comment


    • fitzski
      fitzski commented
      Editing a comment
      In the picture I attached would you say that there is only 1 breba fig per picture (on the old wood)? And this year's main crop figs would be on the new green wood, right?

    • Harborseal
      Harborseal commented
      Editing a comment
      That's right. This year's main crop is on this year's green wood.

    • AscPete
      AscPete commented
      Editing a comment
      Yes, it looks to be a single breba with several developing main crop figs.
      Since the main crop figs of Desert King are not usually viable it wouldn't hurt the tree or production to remove the main crop figs to increase vegetative growth (and more future dormant figs).

      For colder zones changing the established pruning practices for the fig trees (San Pedro figs) for better and larger breba crops may be a solution, but its just a theory that I'm currently exploring.

  • #3
    ok, thanks for the comments which leads to more questions

    Will the breba (or embryonic main crop) figs be visible on the green wood this year as figlets or just bumps above the leaf stem?

    Do people try to push a late growth spurt with their breba only figs to get a better crop next year?
    Kevin (Eastern MA - Zone 5b/6a)

    Comment


    • AscPete
      AscPete commented
      Editing a comment
      Breba are usually bumps to rice sized in the fall before dormancy and sometimes simply at the tips of the growing branches (new leaf nodes).

      Most recommendations are to prune as normal but to leave the branches unpruned for at least 2 seasons to harvest the 2nd year brebas.

      The new theory is to prune late in the season to encourage new growth and brebas before dormancy in colder zones, while allowing enough time for hardening.

    • fitzski
      fitzski commented
      Editing a comment
      thanks, Pete. I think I'm going to try that "new theory" and prune one of the branches after it's breba ripens.
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