[NAFEX] Figs

Doc Lisenby longdistshtr at shtc.net
Sat Jul 22 14:41:48 EDT 2006

"Doc: Where are you located and what kinds of figs do you have? I am very 
impressed with my Celeste! It is a young tree, just planted three months 
ago, and it is bearing a great little crop and I don't see any kind of 
blemish on the leaves or any insects on it!  We have a very hot, humid 
summer here, but the winter can be biting cold, too (6B). I'd like to plant 
other varieties of fig next year. I'm hooked on them now."

Hate to bring this up but you may not have a Celeste. Certified 
identification of figs is practically non-existent.  The "experts" don't 
have a lot of credibility among people who grow figs.  Roy Givans of NAFEX 
comes about as close to being reliable as far as identification of figs in 
his booklet  as any I have researched.  Years ago a guy named Sal who was 
successful growing a fig in Connecticut sent me a couple of  cuttings.  He 
didn't know the name of it so we called it "Sal's Fig".  It has become 
rather popular and is available from several sources. (or at least they say 
it is a "Sal's Fig".)   Chicago Hardy Fig draws praise from some who raise 
it in colder zones.  I have both Sal's and Chicago Hardy in addition to 
several so-called "Celeste Figs".  I'd advise not to get hung up on fig 
names.  I have several Brown Turkey Figs and none of them match the several 
descriptions and identification criteria of  published data.  Discover what 
will grow where you are by experimental planting as many different kinds of 
"cold tolerant" figs as you can.  You happened to hit it lucky with the one 
you have.  Thank your lucky star 'cause you aren't in a fig raising region. 
I'm in the upper region of South Carolina and I get a lot of winter fig 
die-back some years.  Wrap or cover your tree before winter and try to save 
it.  Glad you're entering into fig growing.  It is challenging.  Sal's is my 
most productive here.  Root nematodes, Japanese Beetles and June Bugs are 
the only pests which seriously effect production of figs here.
Doc Lisenby
Zone 7/8

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