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  • Leaf drop prior to new growth...normal?

    Allo everyone.

    I've noticed on a lot of my first year plants that my figs will drop their oldest few leaves just prior to putting on new growth. Some of them I heat stressed, and they dropped leaves accordingly (as expected). Others haven't seemed to mind the heat, but are swelling up their terminal bud, then dropping their lowest few leaves, then putting on some new leaves. A couple have actually been growing new leaves while they drop the oldest.

    So is this just a life cycle thing? Out with the old, in with the new?

    Thanks.
    Brett in Athens, GA zone 7b/8a

  • #2
    That is the cycle that i experience.

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    • #3
      Brett,
      That's not been my experience.
      The older leaves may sometimes drop due to stress, lack of water, lack of sunlight or a nutrient deficiency (where the nutrients are re-absorbed).
      In cuttings and 1 year plants that are provided good culture the older (first) leaves should remain on the plant until fall.
      Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b

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      • Chrisk
        Chrisk commented
        Editing a comment
        We're also experiencing a bad leaf rust year due to the extreme heat and almost daily t- storms, in some areas! Most of the trees at LSU were naked and when I asked Dr Johnson he told me that it's a typical reaction in such a hot and humid season! I remove all the leaves showing rust signs and it's the only way to control it ,hoping that the new growth will be unaffected ! Works on most of my trees! LSU Purple is the worst hit one but the figs still ripen with no problems.

      • AscPete
        AscPete commented
        Editing a comment
        To combat Rust I usually spray the leaves with a Fungicide... Liquid Copper by Bonide has worked the best (I've also used Neem Oil and Sulfur Dust). It stops or slows the fungal spread in inoculated leaves.

    • #4
      Heh...I get the feeling that 95+ degree weather and a soil mix that holds a touch more water than I would prefer has a lot to do with it then. Appreciate the input, and glad I'm not the only one.
      Brett in Athens, GA zone 7b/8a

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      • #5
        I still have leaves on my plants from cuttings started to root in November '14 and the trees are about 5' tall now. A few leaves drop here and there and some of the old leaves look a little tattered with wind, bugs, etc but they are still hanging on.
        Don - OH Zone 5b/6a Wish list: Zaffiro, Craven's Craving, Izmir/Iznot, Calderona, Campaniere, Moro de Caneva, Nerucciolo d'Elba, Izbat an Naj, Blava Campenera, Makedonia Dark, Souadi, LSU Jack Lily, Violet Sepor

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        • #6
          Don...I've got some cuttings from around that time. Max growth I've got is 18" or so on a Ronde de Bordeaux. Poor things have been overheated, sunburnt, and drowned....many of them more than once. Yet they push on! Next year should be much better, now that I've got the kinks worked out of taking care of them. I'm also going to put several trees in ground next year, which should help immensely, and bury the pots for those that don't go in ground. That 95 degree weather every day I think takes its toll on the potted plants though...

          Still, it is a bummer that mine are wanting to drop some leaves. Guessing they're stressed. I'm hoping its just the heat.
          Brett in Athens, GA zone 7b/8a

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          • #7
            Oh and by the way, DO NOT listen to Brett. He does not kill fig trees! He has done a wonderful job rooting this past spring and the trees he gave me are awesome and healthy. Thanks again Brett!

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            • #8
              I highly recommend the 5 gallon sips for the first year too once the roots fill a one gallon pot. It's worked pretty well for me.

              I had 7 small trees interconnected together with a 5 gallon reservoir that have exploded with growth and had to do minimal watering at least in the beginning. I have 9 trees of various sizes connected now and they empty the 5 gallon bucket every day. I'm guessing there is about another 10 gallons in the bottom of the buckets so it would be bone dry in about three days?

              The weather has been fairly mild this year. Lot's of days in the 80s and a few into the 90s.

              Lot's of rain. Seemed to rain almost every day for several weeks. Since the tops were covered with white plastic, I didn't have to worry about them drowning.

              I'm not sure what to do next year. Might root prune and continue the 5 gallon buckets?
              Don - OH Zone 5b/6a Wish list: Zaffiro, Craven's Craving, Izmir/Iznot, Calderona, Campaniere, Moro de Caneva, Nerucciolo d'Elba, Izbat an Naj, Blava Campenera, Makedonia Dark, Souadi, LSU Jack Lily, Violet Sepor

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              • #9
                Don,
                I can agree with your statements of the increased growth rates of young trees in SIPs due in part to constant available moisture,
                my experiences have been similar.

                Attached are before and after photos That I've posted in an earlier topic. It shows the continuous growth and healthy original older leaves typical of fig trees grown in SIPs. The tree is in an exposed south facing location in all day sunlight (~8am - 5pm).
                You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 2 photos.
                Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b

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                • #10
                  Brett

                  I too have experienced loss of older leaves occasionally from the lower canopy on 1st year cuttings as growth progresses. I am not bothered by this. I doubt in my case that it is due to nutrient deficiency. Sometimes small pots (I usually graduate the plants to 3-gal in first year) can get dried out in heat and that plus the various stresses of being a new plant can cause leaf drop after a long season (my older leaves are probably from february or march).
                  Rafael
                  Zone 10b, Miami, FL

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