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  • Tree Size to Fruit Volume

    Has anyone noticed any striking correlation between tree size and fruit quantity, that is, cultivars that tend to produce a lot of fruit for their size, as opposed to cultivars that tend to be big relative to the amount of fruit they produce? Mainly interested in potted growing conditions, where size per fruit often matters more than it does for in-ground conditions.

    In my experience not only does Celeste produce small individual fruits but it produces a small volume of fruit compared to its tree size. Have others experienced this?

    The Late Bordeauxs on the other hand in my observation produce a lot of fruit per tree size, if, however, you can get that fruit to ripen. The main crop is not early.

    Improved Celeste and the Mt Etnas seem to fall in the middle, though with the Mt Etnas closer than IC to the Late Bordeauxs. Ronde de Bordeaux seems to have a decent ratio, as does O'Rourke, and others. Hunt seems to grow a lot of tree per volume of fruit, as has Grantham's Royal this year.

    Since most cultivars may occupy a middle ground, tree/fruit, it may be worth pointing only to the near outliers and think of the question as amount of fruit per pot: the Late Bordeauxs, the Mt Etnas, Ronde de Bordeaux, and some LSU cultivars quite a lot, Celeste, Emerald Strawberry, Grantham's Royal, and others not so very much? Last year I harvested far more fruit from the Mt Etnas than from the Late Bordeauxs, not because the Mt Etnas necessarily set more fruit per tree size than the Late Bordeauxs, but because most of the Mt Etna fruit actually ripened. That said, the fruit set per tree size might have been comparable, or nearly. I can say something similar this year of Ronde de Bordeaux, and possibly O'Rourke.

    I'm not referring to individual fruit size but to overall volume of crops.

    Quantity of fruit per pot also depends heavily, probably overwhelmingly, on quality of fertilization and pruning, external environment and growing medium; however, all external factors equal I assume that there are inherent differences by cultivar regarding tree size to fruit volume ratios, when grown in pots or not.

    Tony WV 6b

  • #2
    I have a White Genoa...it's been in a 3 gallon pot...forever. Was going to be the sacraficial lamb for espalier trial a few years ago...then got moved to the porch for a little "greenery" because it's branches came out at right angles to the trunk...just at the porch handrail height...it got stuck in a modified SIP...not a true SIP, just a coverup nice decorative pot...to make the lady of the house happy. I figured it would be a good mother for cuttings one of these days....

    this year......now it's been in the same pot for about 5 or 6 years...no root pruning....1 1/2" trunk 5 or 6 branches splayed out to the sides at nearly 90 degrees, not long, maybe 24"....and 63 figs at last count...It's only 30" from the top of the pot to the top of the "tree"....but this year I started feeding it...some special sauce...hydro food....and it's a happy baby...nice bright and shiny leaves, dark green...one thing though...last winter, one branch was frost damaged at the tip and lost about 5" of growth..may have had something to do with production. I'm sure the feeding program has....same program has now been utilized in the "yard"....new cuttings from just a few months ago..have figlets...some multiples...and a couple are producing doubles at a single node (on plants less than 12" tall)...I've been taking some pictures and I'm working on resizing them...for the figlet show...same comments are going on in the fertigation thread.

    It's my belief that the food is the key to production...this fig has survived the worst potting mix, been cast out the the shade structure with 47% shade for years...left in the same pot for years, abused with cruel and unusal punishment...and has come back to be one of my treasured babies this year...with a little TLC and some Sauce. Talk about a silk purse!
    Ross B. Santa Rosa Calif zone 9b, wish list: CdD Blanc, Igo, Palmata, Sucrette, Morroco, Galicia Negra


    • #3
      Can't beat special sauce! I had a somewhat similar explosion of fruit on a several year old Lattarulla this year though not due to added food and water, rather due to finally slicing apart its badly bound roots.
      Tony WV 6b


      • rusty hooks
        rusty hooks commented
        Editing a comment
        I'm sure when the day comes to remove this child from the pot...it will be nothing but roots...the new roots have come out the side of the old pot and are submerged in the sub irrigation well I've provided for it. Lattarulla...one of my favorites

    • #4
      I have 2 Black Marseille VS in the ground that I started from cuttings last winter. Both are about 3' tall and loaded with figs. One is in full sun and the other is in way too much shade. There about 50 yards apart with many different varieties in between. They really stand out and several people have stopped ask about them. Out of 25 trees and 20 varieties. Nothing else is close in productively. Most of my trees are three years or less so time will tell. All of my trees are in ground or will be come fall. Looks like 2 won't be enough. First cuttings I rooted also and I be leave 5 out of 7. Strictly outside under a tree with my usual minimalist aproach.
      Pine Prairie, LA 8B


      • mountainfigs
        mountainfigs commented
        Editing a comment
        I have one RDB tree that is really loaded with figs but other RDB trees have surprised me in being much shier to fruit this year, though they are all young. A few Latarollas are really booming, Improved Celeste and so on, but my experience has been similar to yours, not only this year but each year: it's the Mt Etnas that standout and stand apart for their productivity. (Also for their taste - not as sweet as the Celeste types but more flavorful.)
        Last edited by mountainfigs; 07-16-2015, 08:24 PM. Reason: punctuation

    • #5
      I'm treating my fig trees like any of my garden vegetables and fruiting plants, Tomatoes, Beans, Peas, Collards, Kale, Raspberries, Blueberries etc, they have a specific minimum quantity of produce per plant. The 2 year old 5 gallon trees are pruned to produce 60 - 80 main crop figs per year (~9 fruiting branches) and the 3 to 4 year old 10 gallon trees are pruned to produce 120 to 160 main crop figs per year (~18 fruiting branches).

      The actual fig sizes determine the volume produced, Celeste @ ~ 14 grams each, Champagne @ ~ 25 grams each, Kadota @ ~ 28 grams each or Brunswick @ ~ 50 grams each, etc.

      An individual fruiting branch...
      Last edited by AscPete; 07-17-2015, 04:33 PM. Reason: added photo and caption
      Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b