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  • Lignification question.

    Random questions: Aside from stopping fertilizers high in nitrogen, is there anything else that helps with the lignification process? Does reducing the amount of water over time kick the figs into survival mode, too? Or do I just rely on less light per day for that to happen?

    I've read the other thread about fig growth rates slowing down/stopping and I'm just trying to prepare myself for my first figgy winter. I know I still have a bit more of the growing season ahead of me, but I have no idea what to expect and I tend to freak out easily. Thanks in advance!
    Alma from Maryland 7b

  • #2
    One thing I have noticed is that first year trees (i.e. ones rooted in the winter or spring) are often really reluctant to convert the green wood to lignified wood. Older trees are able to lignify faster. You need them outside as the weather cools so that they start to lose their leaves, etc; however, if you get lows past 30 deg. or so before they have entered dormancy you will probably want to move them into the garage. They can be shuffled back out the next morning when it warms up a bit. A little bit of frost is ok as it sends them the message to get with the program. When we are into November and they have lost pretty much all their leaves then they can stay in the garage for good (until Spring).
    Steve
    D-i-c-k-e-r-s-o-n, MD; zone 7a
    WL: Nantes Maroc

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    • #3
      Steve said it all. And I don't know if it helps, but I will pinch a growing branch, thinking it will help mature and lignify quicker.
      Frank ~ zone 7a VA

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      • #4
        Yes,stopping Nitrogen rich fertilization 6 - 8 weeks prior to first frost and reduced irrigation are the two methods used to slow vegetative growth and allow the plants to "Harden Off" before winter dormancy. The cooler temperatures as Steve (Rewton) mentioned will then kick the trees into dormancy.
        Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b

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        • #5
          Cutting back water will help, a little stress can convince plants to toughen up. Not certain, but I seem to recall that removing leaves can help too.
          https://www.figbid.com/Listing/Browse?Seller=Kelby
          SE PA
          Zone 6

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          • #6
            Thanks, everyone!
            Alma from Maryland 7b

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            • #7
              So what happens to the green growth if it didn't lignify before the plant went dormant? Will it still lignify instead of die as long as the tree is kept protected above freezing?
              Don - OH Zone 6a Wish list: Zaffiro, Moro de Caneva, Nerucciolo d'Elba, Bordissot Blanca Negra, Rubado

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              • #8
                Don, I can only speak from my 1 year experience, but I had many last fall that had lot of green limbs at the end of their first year's growth. They were in pots stored in a cold room of my basement and protected from freezing. I lost no branches.
                Ed
                SW PA zone 6a

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                • don_sanders
                  don_sanders commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Good to know. Most of my plants are still pretty little with new green growth. I'd hate to see them die back to the brown wood. Thanks!

              • #9
                However, green branches that are exposed to around 28 degrees F will die. Even some lignified branches died at that temp even though it had been between 30 - 32 the last several nights.
                Bob C.
                Kansas City, MO Z6

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                • #10
                  I see no one in this thread mentioned Silica supplement, I add it to watering can, it is supposed to help plants lignify, I use the Dyna-Gro version.
                  Rafael
                  Zone 10b, Miami, FL

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                  • 6b figs
                    6b figs commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I also heard somewhere that spraying it on the plants helps as well.

                • #11
                  I had several lignified branches die back on young trees last year. Mine were all kept outside and most were planted in the ground though. We had a November freeze that got down to 17 degrees which is very uncharacteristic for this area. I think such a deep freeze so early killed off a lot of growth.
                  Brian
                  Augusta, GA

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                  • #12
                    I was informed about this post regarding my post with similar concerns.
                    Zone 8B - Cottage Grove, Or
                    Wish List - Crema di Wheat

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