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  • The Good and Bad about Scion Cutting Events

    Well, I spent most of yesterday in the sun down at Prusch Park yesterday. It was the annual Scion cutting/trimming event for the California Rare Fruit Growers. Most of the scion wood at CRFG scion exchanges comes from this event. Not only did we have the entire orchard at Prusch Park to cut scions from, but also two big box trucks of wood. It was great spending all that time in the fig orchard. I'm sad to say, IT-358 was way too small to take any cuttings from. And I didn't see any IT-258 cuttings, but there were some suspiciously labeled "IT-253". I've never heard of an IT-253. Nor have I heard of IT-212, but we took cuttings from it.

    So, here's the super good part. Once the wood is out of the orchard, it has to be cut into smaller pieces. I did 90% of the fig scion cutting-up (Everything except Igo and one other fig) and the instructions were to remove side shoots. Basically, anything 6" or less was considered trash. Well, they may consider it trash, but I certainly don't! I stuffed my pockets full of "trash". Thank goodness my sweatshirt had lots of pockets. Next year, I'll bring bags so I can take more "trash" home. One man's trash is another man's treasure! Now i've got some ammo for trading.

    And here's the bad part. While cutting up some Mary Lane cuttings, I took a nice bite out of my hand. Wasn't big, but deep enough that I could see the stuff inside my hand moving. I guess it's a good thing I keep my Felcos sharp! Ended up having to spend 2 hours in the ER to get it cleaned and super-glued together. So if you get a piece of Mary Lane wood with blood on it, think of me!

    PS: I'm a little sore all over. Arms are sore from working the loppers all morning. Hands are sore from working the pruners all afternoon.
    Fig & Blackberry Farmer in Sunol, CA.

  • #2
    Well besides being sore, and taking a chunk out of your hand, it sounds like a great time. I wish I had events like that by me, but I'm located in the wrong state/wrong growing zone. It's also awesome that you we're able to score a bunch of what some people would call trash.

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    • #3
      Glad you had a good time and got lots of cuttings. Sorry you got hurt. That's never fun.
      Jerry, Canyon Lake TX 8b

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      • #4
        Sorry you got hurt, but it sounds like it was otherwise a great day!
        Bryant...Franklin County, VA...Zone 7a. Wish List: a 32 hour day....more sleep

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        • #5
          Thanks for the effort, Scott. I'll think of you when I'm at the Santa Rosa scion exchange in a couple of weeks. Did you prune Italian 376?
          Gary USDA 9A
          Sebastopol, CA

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          • #6
            Sounds fun!

            I've seen posts where IT-253 is suspected as a typo for IT-258 at Prusch Park but when HarveyC's 253 fruited it was green. Haven't seen anything definitive about what it really could be.
            Don - OH Zone 6a Wish list: Zaffiro, Moro de Caneva, Nerucciolo d'Elba, Bordissot Blanca Negra, Rubado

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            • HarveyC
              HarveyC commented
              Editing a comment
              A couple of us had theorized it my have been someone who misread 258 and typed it as 253 but they are definitely not the same. Don't know much about it's history. Good enough fig but not I-258 for sure.

          • #7
            Ouch
            Cutting sales start Nov 1 at 9PM eastern time as always at willsfigs.com

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            • #8
              Get well soon
              Rafael
              Zone 10b, Miami, FL

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              • #9
                Ouch dude, sorry to hear about snipping your fingers. I did that with my corona's this summer, probably no where near as bad as you but enough to make me cuss. Handy piece of information there, super glue for cuts. Good to know in a pinch to have a bottle of it handle just in case. Hope you feel better dude!
                May the Figs be with you!
                ​​​​​

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                • don_sanders
                  don_sanders commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I prefer Bohemia or Dos Equis to Corona.

                  Make sure to stop the bleeding before super gluing or it will just seperate in a short time.

                  Probably not the best in deep wound where there might be some nerve damage either. When I scratch the side of my hand, I can still feel it in my pinky, lol.

              • #10
                Don - thanks for letting me know that IT-253 is a different fig.

                Funny thing is, the cut never hurt. It stung a little afterwards, but no "ouch" pain.

                PS: Just wanted to say - I cut a lot of fig wood, but only because I had 4 other people working with me to divide the scions into 5 groups (one for each NorCal exchange), bundle them, and label the bundles. The whole day really was a team effort.
                Fig & Blackberry Farmer in Sunol, CA.

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                • #11
                  We thank you for your sacrifice! Sounds like it was a productive day for you!

                  I'm going to try to stop by the Prusch Park scion exchange this weekend if I can get away. It'd be my first scion exchange and I'm planning to bring what's left of the apple, pluot, Asian pear, and pomegranate scion I have at this point, but is there a preferred way of setting it up aside from keeping each variety in labeled plastic bags? And is there a list somewhere of what's being shared for everyone to post what they're bringing, or a process of requesting specific scion in advance?

                  I'm not going for fig cuttings so much as apple, pluot, and stone fruit scions. First year trying my hand at grafting!
                  Last edited by Sarahkt; 01-03-2016, 03:16 PM. Reason: typo
                  Sarah
                  Bay Area, CA (zone: 9B)

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                  • #12
                    Feel better. You took one for the team.
                    Bill - Long Island, NY 7a
                    Wish List: Glacia Negra and any fig from Bari.

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                    • #13
                      Originally posted by sarahkt View Post
                      We thank you for your sacrifice! Sounds like it was a productive day for you!

                      I'm going to try to stop by the Prusch Park scion exchange this weekend if I can get away. It'd be my first scion exchange and I'm planning to bring what's left of the apple, pluot, Asian pear, and pomegranate scion I have at this point, but is there a preferred way of setting it up aside from keeping each variety in labeled plastic bags? And is there a list somewhere of what's being shared for everyone to post what they're bringing, or a process of requesting specific scion in advance?

                      I'm not going for fig cuttings so much as apple, pluot, and stone fruit scions. First year trying my hand at grafting!
                      If you're going to bring your own scion, cut it so that it fits inside a 1 gallon ziplock bag. Then, label the bag with the variety. I'd put your name and/or or the nursery name on it so people know where it came from if you're comfortable with that. (I.E. Wickson Apple from Dave Wilson Nursery via sarahkt).

                      When you go, don't forget to bring a plastic bag or two, a roll of masking tape, and a pencil. When you pick up a scion, wrap a tape flag on it and write the variety name. Pencil ensures that it won't smudge from moisture.

                      I don't know of any lists being shared of what people are bringing, or ways to request specific scion.
                      Fig & Blackberry Farmer in Sunol, CA.

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                      • Sarahkt
                        Sarahkt commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Thanks!

                    • #14
                      Oh man! Sorry to hear about the cut, hopefully you are healed up!
                      Location: USDA Zone 9b / Sunset 13. Chandler, AZ

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                      • #15
                        Matthew,

                        I can confirm that IT253 is not IT258. It's one of the mysteries of the Italian Numbered figs that probably won't be solved. I picked mine up from the Sacramento CRFG exchange three years ago and had the same thought you did about it possibly being IT258, especially since neither the Italian Numbered fig document nor the Wolfskill Orchard in Davis list that variety. Harvey and I visited Prusch together almost 2.5 years ago and sampled IT253 from the mother tree and knew at that point it was not going to be IT258. As already noted, it's a medium size, yellow-green fig with a splash of reddish-bronze where the sun hits and is not as pretty as that description may make it appear. The flesh is light colored with a reddish tint near the ostiole. It is a mild tasting fig and not all that interesting to this point. As a honey fig, it's been average for me thus far in two fruiting seasons. If there is no improvement this year, I'm giving it the axe.

                        Edit: for some reason my link does not deliver the IT Numbered fig document once I post my reply here, though the entire web address shows up as I type this edit note. Whatever. Here's the link so interested readers can navigate to that page manually.

                        Edit-edit: So, this link shows up as a clickable link when I copy and paste. Whatever, whatever, Wills. It's simply too much effort for me to figure out the whys and wherefores of how stuff works on this board. Click away.

                        http://www.crfg.org/chapters/golden_...red%20figs.pdf
                        Last edited by Posturedoc; 01-05-2016, 03:49 PM.
                        Neil
                        Reno, 6b

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                        • #16
                          If I had not been having fun in Hawaii, I would have been there helping. Karl has usually also suggested that cuttings be made in lengths that were quite excessive.

                          Marta took the USDA cuttings that I ordered for CRFG. Did you handle those or did she? I had asked that Col de Dame be labeled Col de Dame Blanc but I don't think that got done. Also I saw her list typed with Black Madera (misspelled). Not a lot of those cuttings to go around but better than NONE!
                          My fig photos <> My fig cuttings (starts late January) <> My Youtube Videos

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                          • #17
                            I only handled figs that were cut in the Prusch orchard. They wanted all the cutting to be 12+ inches in length. That's not a cutting, that's a limb ;-} Harvey - thanks for ordering those USDA cuttings - they'll add some variety to the exchanges. I'll do what I can at the exchanges I'm going to re: the Col de Dame Blanc name.
                            Fig & Blackberry Farmer in Sunol, CA.

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