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  • Whose head is on chopping block or been given notice they need to improve

    We have a lot of topics on figs that are keepers. What are some that have failed to impress and you feel you have given them adequate opportunity and considering removing or have already removed. The reasoning behind would be useful as well. Not to be a negative person just feel this type input is almost as useful as accolades on a fig. It’s one thing to remove because it’s to similar to others and you are limited on space, but some just fail to perform for us.

    My candidate is Osborn Prolific. I rooted UC Davis Cuttings 5?6 years ago and received cuttings from a forum member as well. Not really vigorous or productive and with subpar fruit in my evaluations. It seems to have performed better for some, but not in my location for me. they have been told this information verbally in person, but now that I have written it down Osborn Prolific is on Official notice.
    Phil North Georgia Zone 7 Looking for: All of them, and on and on,

  • #2
    I have 3.

    Pied de Boeuff - was given to me as a 2nd year plant last year, was small to start with. Had a couple figs that fell off early that year. This year it developed a fair number of figs, which started dropping off in August when other figs were starting to ripen. I posted about it and others counseled me to be patient. It finally kept a fig that ripened, mostly, was not very good. There are a few more on the tree that are hard and green and look unlikely to ripen this year. I have read mixed reviews on this variety regarding fig retention and quality, am still trying to decide.

    Sultani (Iranian) - this was a small plant from Aaron from F4F, all figs have dropped off so far this year. I think it likely needs caprification but one forum member says that his ripened a nice fig - he is in CA but says he does not have the fig wasp.

    Tricase Porto - received as a plant in trade last season. Italian variety from 'Maggie', figs dropped this year. I emailed Maggie and she says she has not gotten good figs from hers yet.

    I have room to grow these, but my winter storage space is limited. If I can fit them in storage they will get one final season.
    SW PA zone 6a


    • #3

      I hope I'm wrong but I believe the PDB may need the wasp.

      Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.


      • eboone
        eboone commented
        Editing a comment
        Rafed - Thanks for your input. I have read mixed reports on that. There were some eastern US growers who reported on F4F in the distant past that theirs produced fine figs, others said the figs were bland, others reported they dropped. Maybe not all the same fig or the same strain of the fig. I did finally get one fig that seemed 90% ripe, there was one spot on the back side of the fig that was green and seemed undeveloped or unripe.

        I guess the bottom line is that there are likely better figs to be had

    • #4
      Two this season...
      Beers Black BS - produced good tasting breba this season and good tasting main crop last season but the tree has severe FMD symptoms and has not ripened any figs as yet although they've been sitting there since June. The VdB cultivars are more productive have a similar flavor profile (Bordeaux Flavor Group) and ripen earlier so this 5 gallon tree will be donated at next Springs NE meeting.

      LSU Gold AE - produces large moderately sweet figs, it was eliminated last season, a small rooted cutting was up potted to a single bucket SIP and grew to a 8' tree this season but will not ripen any figs this year. The figs are relatively large with a small open eye. They take too long to ripen and often sour or get infested by insects. My Champagne has a similar flavor profile (Honey Flavor Group) is sweeter, has a closed eye, ripens sooner and ripens quickly in cooler temperatures. The 5 gallon tree will be donated at next Springs NE meeting.

      One Last season...
      Papa John PP - produces medium sized figs, the tree and figs are similar to Hardy Chicago but they ripen late, usually in mid October. I was only able to harvest 5% of the figs from the tree, compared to a 90% harvest for Hardy Chicago in the same season. I've found several unknowns that have a similar flavor profile (Dark Berry Flavor Group), ripen at least 1 month earlier, and I also have a healthy productive Hardy Chicago.
      Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b


      • #5
        I need to add quite a few to this list so I can make room for all the others, it's not as easy as it seems, at least for me anyways, lol
        Ryan- CenLa, zone 8a/b


        • strudeldog
          strudeldog commented
          Editing a comment
          Post them Ryan, I am having separation anxiety myself

        • quackmaster
          quackmaster commented
          Editing a comment
          So far I know I will dig up one of my ronde de bourdeauxs, and as good as it can be I may get rid of my celeste because it is dropping the whole second crop right now. I will have to do some serious thinking on the rest but there will be more.

      • #6
        Hmmm. I haven't tasted a fig yet I didn't like, some more than others and the ones I think as more bland, wife seems to prefer. I've only been growing figs for a year and three months so can't count any out. The vast majority are young and have not made any figs. Every variety I have except for the UCD plants at the fig trial is a result of favorable reports by forum members and the pictures. I have a love/hate relationship with all the fig pictures.


        • #7
          I have a few whose figs I tasted for the first time this year, they will be given at least one more year.

          Desert king - I got this for the earliness and while it was early, it was not prolific and had an underwhelming taste. Maybe it will be better next year.

          Tena - this came from usda/ucd and it was prolific as a second year tree but was underwhelming in taste. The one conadriai had was much better. The figs were large though.

          187-25 - another one from usda/ucd and has yet to ripen a fig. Maybe more sun/heat will help. Maybe I'll keep one in the greenhouse next year.

          nazarti - another from usda/ucd, no fruit yet and very little growth. It's small size may give it a reprieve for another year or two.
          Kevin (Eastern MA - Zone 5b/6a)


          • #8

            Last year I got rid of Brooklyn White (underwhelming) and Paradiso Morle (soured quickly). This year I got rid of Grasa's adriatic (allegedly) which I received by mistake and it did not impress me. Not really sure what that was. Also got rid of Phil Kobal's diseased and mangy fake I-258. And also, Morle's Goccia D'Oro (small gumdrop figs-too small actually). Most of my unknowns are getting the hook. I may keep one for nostalgia.
            Zone 10b, Miami, FL


            • #9
              Desert King - Low productivity and mediocre taste here in CO.
              Andy - Zone 6a Lat 39.9º N, Altitude 5390' Westminster CO ⚘ Scion List


              • #10
                I have been less then impressed with my Desert King and Grasa's Adriatic as well but as they are both fruiting 1st time for me thought I would give them another year, but as I think I saw posted the other day Grasa's Adriatic appears to be Desert King and I was thinking it prior to seeing it posted. I can't understand why I have main crop on my DK anyway, but I have seen others commenting the same, or maybe I don't really have D.K.

                Another I am getting rid of is a Unknown from a fig found at a local homestead. I call it unk Holland Shed. I sent it out to a few folks to try and I might owe them an apology. The Breba is terrible and the main crop is odd tasting to me. Different tasting than any fig I have tasted. I like different taste profiles, but this one just doesn't make me want to go back. I have 2 in ground I might keep one.

                I think I might move a couple non-performers to the goat pasture. Been wanting to test if goats will eat fig plants and why risk a preferred cultivar, If they don't like the latex that opens up a huge new area for some plants.
                Phil North Georgia Zone 7 Looking for: All of them, and on and on,


                • #11
                  The White Genoa ripened for the first time in its second year and they were so bad we didn't bother finishing them. Hoping next year or two will be better, otherwise it goes. Everything else that's fruited for the first time has been pretty good considering. I know most improve with age, but this baseline was a pretty low bar.
                  Bay Area, CA (zone: 9B)


                  • #12
                    Galbun is getting the boot here. It was amazingly productive with big fruit but the figs just didn't have much flavor and went from not ripe to spoiled too fast. I suspect it'll do better in warmer climates.
                    SE PA
                    Zone 6


                    • #13
                      Originally posted by aphahn View Post
                      Desert King - Low productivity and mediocre taste here in CO.
                      I knew you were planning to cut that one Andy. What's your plan considering the size of the tree?
                      Scott - Colorado Springs, CO - Zone 4/5 (Depending on the year) - Elevation 6266ft

                      “Though the problems of the world are increasingly complex, the solutions remain embarrassingly simple.” – Bill Mollison


                      • aphahn
                        aphahn commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Dynamite! Ok, maybe not. It's up for grabs. If anyone wants to come get a 6' tree in a 25+ gallon pot, it's theirs. I might offer up cuttings too if there was interest.

                    • #14
                      Geez, I feel like Mr. Nice-guy this year and nobody is really on the block as of yet. Heck, I even granted a Pardon! I do have 2 unknowns, which I believe need the wasp, but they grow well so I'm thinking I'm going to spare them for rootstock.
                      Last edited by cis4elk; 09-30-2015, 02:21 PM.
                      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!


                      • #15
                        This is a tough one for me. Just when I plan to "can" a fig, the next year it takes off and taste great. My orchard Papa Jon sucked pond water! But my container tree did not.

                        My orchard Atreano did not produce one fig. My container tree came through.

                        A month ago, I walked my container orchard. Here are those that will bite the dust.

                        Marylane Seedless
                        LSU Late Black
                        Normans yellow

                        I may cull some more. Starting to like pawpaws more......
                        Charlotte, NC /Zone 8a


                        • eboone
                          eboone commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Dennis, why are you eliminating Marylane Seedless and O'Rourke? I am just trying to understand to compare with my own. I had read a post on F4F by you in the past where you praised the ML Seedless. What has changed?
                          And O'Rourke is supposed to be such a good fig, what is the problem in your orchard?

                      • #16
                        Dennis how would paw paws do in Fresno?


                        • don_sanders
                          don_sanders commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Does it get cold there? They needed chilling hours.

                      • #17
                        Ed, I'm just not that impressed with O'Rourke and Marylane. I have eaten figs from them both. O'Rourke is no hardy at all! And I wasn't impress with the flavor and taste. Improved Celeste, Tacoma Violet, Gino's, Sal's, and many other dark figs are hardier and more prolific. Marylane is quite good and I may plant it in my orchard and give it one more year. My new rule for figs is, if you feed me...I will feed and take care of you. Neither of these 2 figs did that this year. So, they're on the chopping block. I got too many good one to play arround with versus spend time with those struggling and haven't deceided to thrive!

                        After the rain clears away, I will be planting figs in the orchard and see how they do. I have a lot of unknowns to plant and one huge tiller! So, next weekend there will be a planting party at my place!

                        Brian, I'm not sure how they would do in Fresno. I'm on the east coast....North Carolina and I know they grow perfect here.
                        Charlotte, NC /Zone 8a


                        • #18
                          Hi all.
                          on the top of my list, it has to be Black Madeira, six years old and hasen't ripened a single fig yet.
                          second one is Raspberry Latte, about four years old , hasen't set a single fig


                          • #19
                            For me that will be Asfar as it turned out to be a smyrna, Dauphine, Macca and Filacciano because they're san pedro's but keep dropping all breba's.
                            Rotterdam / the Netherlands.
                            Zone 8B


                            • #20
                              I agree with Dennis' position. I've got many figs that have tasted pretty good for me, but can't justify keeping them when I have similar figs that produce better or taste a bit better. I haven't finalized my list of gonners yet - will do that over the winter months - but these I know I'll kiss goodbye.

                              Mary Lane Seedless - actually produced better figs for me this season than any in the past four, but I still find it lacks when compared to other honey figs in my collection

                              Celeste - I have at least five trees of this, four of which came to me as unknowns or were a misidentified as Improved Celeste. I may keep one, but I doubt it. It's a nice, sweet fig, but isn't productive enough or tasty enough to keep over many other figs in my collection

                              I know I'll eliminate others, and these are on the chopping block. It appears I am incapable of making a list without qualifiers and explanations. Sorry if you suffer for that fault.

                              Any number of other honey (or sugar - have a tough time differentiating some of them) figs in my collection. This is my least favorite flavor profile. I've got plenty of them and don't need more than the two or three best in my growing conditions. Likely on the block now or after next year are: Peter's Honey, Italian 358 (first figs this year were a real disappointment, but needs another year to properly evaluate), Excel (similar story to IT 358 but a year older tree), Salce (only because production has been really weak; it's been one of the best tasting), Alvas Verdal (story again like IT 358) and maybe a couple more.

                              I've got at least five Etna varieties (HC, MVSB, Gino's, Unk. Owensboro, Zingarella - disappointed when Tony pointed out that this was likely an Etna - Colasanti Dark). The latter two have not ripened figs yet, but still have lots on two year old trees. Still, Etna's taste similar and I don't need five of them, so I'll cut back to two varieties, though I'll probably wait one more season. At this point I'm leaning toward keping HC and Gino's because they've produced the best tasting figs from this group.

                              Possibly Kathleen's Black, but will likely get one more year as it's supposed to take a few years to really come into production. Still, the few fruits it has produced, while good, are inferior to my Mission, which they resemble in both looks and flavor. I like Mission (and KB) fine, but don't need a four foot tall one that produces four figs a year. Sobon Middle, an unknown find of mine from a California winery, is also teetering on the elimination fence but will get one more year. It, too, is similar to Mission, but I know it's not, as it grew side-by-side with an huge old Mission tree and the distinction between the trees was clear to me.

                              There will me more. I am hardening my heart. Do notice, however, that there are many on this list that will get another year. I wonder if they'll be granted the same stay of execution next year at this time. It's not easy getting rid of something you've poured so much love into.
                              Reno, 6b


                              • eboone
                                eboone commented
                                Editing a comment
                                Originally posted by Posturedoc View Post
                                I know I'll eliminate others, and these are on the chopping block. It appears I am incapable of making a list without qualifiers and explanations. Sorry if you suffer for that fault.
                                Neil, I appreciate hearing the qualifiers and explanations, helps me to evaluate what to do with my own, what to possibly avoid even though our climates are rather different.

                              • COGardener
                                COGardener commented
                                Editing a comment

                                I'm surprised about the Kathleen's black. While at Tim Clymer's a couple weeks ago I was able to try a Kathleen's Black and thus far it is hands down the best fig I've had (which is not a lot yet). It is one of my most anticipated for next year, understanding a 2nd leaf tree won't be as good as Tim's.... I'm still impatiently waiting. Of course I'm impatiently waiting on them all!!!

                              • Coop
                                Coop commented
                                Editing a comment
                                If it is truly a KB give it another chance. This is one of my favorite figs ever.

                            • #21
                              Last year it was a large Brunswick that grew nicely but the fig was boring. Nothing special and if it rained it had that watery consistency that I don't care for. No Regrets


                              • #22
                                I myself have a few at least that will be moving on. The first is Scotts Black which came to me as a second year tree three years ago and has yet to ripen a single fig. Next will be a few Italian Honeys which really do nothing for me as far as taste goes. Joe Morles Goccia de Orro has been nothing but a waste of fertilizer and time for me. Brunswick is a goner for sure as well. Grasas white(aka Desert King) is toast as well. I suppose at some point I'll have to start thinning out my Mt. Etna type collection as well.


                                • #23
                                  There are just so many others out there that really shine without touching. My La'Goccia de Oro is one of my largest trees. It put out a lot of figs every year. However, this year the figs were a bit watered down. I'm not sure why but I have a hard time getting rid of figs that put out lots of fruit. The past 2 years, my big boy LSU Black did great. This year....nothing! But I know it needs to be root pruned and placed in some better soil. So before I can it, I've got to give it another year. Desert King did great for me. It was the first one to ripen in my area. On the other hand, Florea sucked pond water this year! In previous years it did great. Not this year. I'm gonna plant it in my orchard and see if that will help it. I might even winterize it until it gets some size.

                                  Last year, Main Street Purple showed up and showed out! This year, it did nothing! Antonio Black and Macool did very well. These 2 might be the same. Last year, Mega Celeste was amazing....this year nothting. In previous years, LSU Tiger did very well. THis is one of the hardiest fig trees that came from the LSU program. The problem is it ripens in mid September in my climate. And if the rain comes in mid September, guess what happens? You guessed it! They all sour on the tree.

                                  I tell what! You just can't go wrong with Tacoma Violet, Gino's Brown Greek, Hardy Chicago, Black Jack, Marseilles Black, Marva Silka, Malta Black, Celeste, Beers Black, Tilsbury Turkey, Improved Brown Turkey and Peter's Honey in my climate. Now, Peter's Honey will suck water and split. But in my climate, the tree has to be winterized but it is absolutely delish!
                                  Charlotte, NC /Zone 8a


                                  • eboone
                                    eboone commented
                                    Editing a comment
                                    Do you think that all the ones that did well last year but not this year were in need of root pruning? Do you prune your normal potted plants every other year usually? Same for SIPs?

                                • #24
                                  Dennis, I have the same situation and I'm suprised it doesn't get acknowledged more. I feel like with potted figs especially it is year to year. I do pretty much the same thing every and some years the tree is loaded some years nothing some times they are great some times not so much.... That's why it's hard some times to get rid of a tree. I'm waiting for that good year.
                                  As far as chopping block, I'm mostly keeping a close eye on my unknowns and if they don't produce something good they will get the boot.


                                  • #25
                                    Originally posted by strudeldog View Post
                                    ... What are some that have failed to impress and you feel you have given them adequate opportunity and considering removing or have already removed. The reasoning behind would be useful as well. Not to be a negative person just feel this type input is almost as useful as accolades on a fig. It’s one thing to remove because it’s to similar to others and you are limited on space, but some just fail to perform for us. ...
                                    I agree such info is potentially useful... BUT I'd also like to offer a caution regarding interpreting the responses. There are LOTS OF VARIABLES that can make a tree underperform in any given locale (in any of the ways you might consider something to be "underperforming"... such as not making fruit, not ripening fruit, fruit you don't like the taste of, splitting fruit, etc etc.). Among the variables (a list that is not exhaustive) are:

                                    Location / climate. We've seen lots of stories of figs that are excellent in one locale but poor in others. (By this I mean climate-related factors such as amount of sunshine, heat (temperature), length of season, rainfall, humidity, etc). The lesson of this is to consider performance in a location similar to yours.

                                    Location / local. Specific location of a tree on a property can cause great variability in performance.

                                    Cultural factors. Soil, watering, micronutrients, macronutrients, etc.

                                    Individual specimen variables. I have two RDB trees, from different sources. They're both definitely RDB, and this is confirmed. They've been treated very similarly (not identically, but pretty darn close). One of them has been an OUTSTANDING producer of some of the best tasting figs I've ever had. More than 50 figs that taste wonderful from this tree every year (sometimes lots more). The other RDB tree has produced a total of two ripe figs in the past four seasons. (They tasted good, but... just two?). Both appear to be healthy trees in most visible ways. (By the way... I don't take cuttings from the "bad" one). Incidentally, I got the really good RDB after I got the one that doesn't produce much. So... my point in this is simply that there are variations in individual specimens of the same cultivar, and these sorts of differences can bring about dramatic levels of variation in production / performance.

                                    OK... enough of a cautionary comment I guess... just be careful in what conclusions you draw from data of this sort. Also remember how, historically, there is plenty of misinformation out there on cold hardiness of various varieties, resulting from data that wasn't sorted out carefully enough nor necessarily collected carefully enough (duration of the trial?), and consequently some varieties getting "bad reputations" undeservedly, only much later to have their virtues rediscovered (or hypothetically, never rediscovered). RDB is an illustrative example for me... I know another grower locally who had a similar "bad RDB" here, and then I got one too (both from different sources). And then I found my really great RDB tree... I would really hate to have jumped to the conclusion that RDB doesn't do well here... I'd have missed out on one of my favorite varieties!

                                    Mike -- central NY state, zone 5a -- pauca sed matura