Common Diseases And Insects
Figure 6. Symptoms of possible fig rust on fig leaves in our trial. Photo by Gary Gao, The Ohio State University.
Several diseases and insects and have been found on common figs in other parts of United States , and these can be very region dependent. Since hardy fig is a new crop in Ohio, it is difficult to say which diseases and insects will be prevalent. So far, we have observed tiny brown spots on leaves . The symptoms resemble those of fig rust, but a positive identification is still needed.
Alternaria and Fusarium are two fungal diseases that have shown to cause internal fruit rot in California, while fig mosaic disease is a viral disease that produces yellow rings on leaves and sometimes symptoms on fruit and is more of a worldwide concern. . No specific insect pests have been observed to feed on fig plants in trials at Piketon. Scale insects were noted by Dr. John Strang of University of Kentucky on a potted Celeste plant that was overwintered in a garage in Lexington, Kentucky . These were controlled with a summer oil spray. Ants and birds may also be a problem when they feed on the ripe figs.
|Figure 7. Scale insects on a fig plant. Photo courtesy of Dr. John Strang of the University of Kentucky.||Figure 8. Bird damage to Celeste fig fruit. Photo courtesy of Dr. John Strang of the University of Kentucky.|
Hardy Figs Grown In Ohio For Profit
|Figure 9. Fig fruits that fail to ripen around late autumn due to low temperatures. Photo by Gary Gao, The Ohio State University.|
There is a big difference between being able to grow hardy figs in Ohio and making money from it. Since a majority of the fruits ripen from September to November, growing in a high tunnel is highly recommended for growing hardy figs for profit in Southern Ohio. Potential growers in central and northern Ohio will need to be even more cautious when considering a fig planting since our observations are from Southern Ohio. The total amount of ripe figs per plant ranged from 2 to 5 pounds per plant during the first three years inside the high tunnel while that amount was about 1 pound outside the high tunnel. Without protection from a high tunnel, a large percentage of fig fruits will fail to ripen once cold temperatures arrive . We do not have accurate economic data on hardy fig production due to funding limitations and a short project period. Based on the information from the University of Kentucky, 10 pounds of hardy figs will need to be produced per plant and sold for at least $3 per pound for growers to turn a profit .
Growing Hardy Figs In Ohio
The fig has been grown as a fruit crop for many centuries and is even considered an ancient fruit . Many people all over the world have enjoyed the edible fig with Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Iran, Algeria, Greece, Syria, the United States, Spain, and Tunisia topping the list of fig-producing nations .
|Figure 1. Fresh Brown Turkey figs from trials at OSU South Centers near Piketon, Ohio are delightful to eat. Photo by Gary Gao, The Ohio State University.|
While it is encouraging to see fresh figs available for sale at some grocery stores in the United States, Americans are more familiar with fig cookie than fresh figs. In the United States, fig production is concentrated in California since most edible fig cultivars are not cold hardy and can be killed to the ground when temperatures are 20°F or below.
In an effort to test how hardy figs will perform in Ohio, two demonstration plantings of several hardy fig cultivars were installed at The Ohio State University South Centers near Piketon, Ohio as part of a 2017 Specialty Crop Block Grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture through the Ohio Department of Agriculture. The information presented in this fact sheet summarizes the data collected from those plantings from 2017 to 2020. When considering a commercial fig planting in Ohio, you should exercise caution, since this study was short-term and a comprehensive marketing study was not performed.
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Using The Chicago Hardy Fig In Your Garden
You can grow the Chicago Hardy Fig in the ground, or in a planter. Choose a sheltered spot with plenty of sun the base of a south-facing wall is ideal. You can let it grow naturally, or, against a wall or fence you can spread out the branches and tie them flat. This will expose the stems to more sun, giving more fruit and helping to ripen it as well. To grow in a planter, choose a large pot with drainage holes, and fill with a mixture of one part garden soil, one part coarse sand or fine gravel, and one part houseplant potting soil. After the tree has dropped all its leaves, stop watering and place it in a cold shed or unheated garage light is not necessary. Store there until early spring and place it back outside. Dont try to grow it indoors in a warm room for the winter, as it wont produce any fruit without some winter cold.
Do Chicago Hardy Fig Trees Need To Be Winterized
Even though Chicago Hardy Fig Trees are hardy to negative 10 degrees, we recommend that you take a few extra precautions againsst severe weather in zones 5 to 7. This winterization process involves adding extra layers of protection to sensitive parts of a plant, such as branches or root systems, in order to buffer against extreme temperature changes. Add extra mulch and soil over the base of the tree, and wrap the branches together very gently with burlap cloth. If you have your tree in a container, wrap the container in burlap as well. Or, simply acclimate your tree to be inside during the winter months. With these extra layers, you should be able to minimize winter die-back.
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Growing Chicago Hardy Fig Trees
Grown in the ground, the Chicago Hardy Fig can reach between ten to fifteen feet in height. In a garden pot, the trees height will be reduced by the size of the container. Outdoor potted trees should be brought indoors for the winter.
Buy a Chicago Hardy Fig tree and enjoy delicious figs and from this hardy plant.
How To Use Chicago Hardy Fig Tree In The Landscape
This highly adaptable tree can survive Zone 6 and into Zone 5. But don’t let the name fool you!
Chicago Hardy Fig also is also a great choice for the hot climates of central California. With its small to closed eye, Chicago Hardy is a good choice to plant in Texas as well as all along the Southern Seaboard.
This versatile selection can be grown in the ground or in containers with plenty of drainage holes. Enjoy it as a single trunk tree, or prune for size control. It can also be developed into a lower, spreading shrub.
In some colder climates, the tree can freeze to the ground. Don’t be alarmed when this happens, though, as it will come back in the spring as a relatively fast-growing plant.
Chicago Hardy Fig has proven to be dependable in producing a crop in the same year, even after being frozen to the ground. Even after die-back, it will produce fruit that same growing season because the Chicago Hardy Fig fruits on new wood. This cycle does not affect its fruiting at all.
Fig lovers are also gaining a successive harvest of fresh figs by choosing several different varieties in marginal regions. Add Brown Turkey and Celeste in a containerized collection. or protect the crown with a wrapping or heavy straw mulch.
Chicago Hardy Figs also do well as container-grown trees, which opens them up for dedicated, hungry backyard orchardists in extreme cold weather Zone 3! Pot them up, and bring them into a dark, cool area inside to go dormant during the winter months.
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Chicago Hardy Fig Trees For Sale
* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.
* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions
History And Origin Of The Chicago Hardy Fig
Humans have been growing the fig tree, Ficus carica, for thousands of years, originally in countries around the Mediterranean. Plants were brought to America by Spanish missionaries in the West, and mostly by Italian immigrants in the east. In the 1960s there was a famous old fig tree growing in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. It seems it was grown from branches taken from a tree in Sicily, Italy, and brought over by immigrants. At that time plants from that tree were offered for sale as Bensonhurst Purple by Chris and Bill DiPaolo, at their Belleclaire Nursery in Plainfield, New York. Branches from that same tree in Sicily were also grown in Chicago, and became known as Chicago Hardy. Most experts agree these two varieties are the same. The rules of priority mean the official variety name is Bensonhurst Purple, although most people know it by the common name of Chicago Hardy, or sometimes Hardy Chicago.
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Chicago Hardy Fig Tree
This is one of the most prolific figs to grow in cold areas of the northern U.S.. The fall fruits are born on the new canes that grow during the summer, a plant with four new stem growths can produce up to 150 purplish brown figs. The figs are of excellent flavor.
What Kind Of Mulch Is Best For A Young Tree
We recommend that you use a 2 to 3 inch layer of mulch around the base of the tree, using organic wood shavings such as ground cypress or ground hardwoods. This kind of organic mulch will help prevent resource-stealing weeds from growing nearby, and it will help regulate the temperature of the soil around the root system. Make sure to push the mulch at least 1 to 2 inches away from the base of the young tree trunk. In colder grow zones , winterizing your fig tree will include adding additional mulch over the base of the tree, which should be removed back to its original depth once spring weather returns).
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Sun Exposure And Soil Conditions
For good results and the best chance of a crop, plant the Chicago Hardy Fig in the sunniest place in your garden, but sheltered from winter winds. It grows well in any well-drained soil, and prefers poor, drier soils to rich, moist ones so no compost is needed when planting. If you have rich soil, planting against a wall, where it is dry, helps, and you can also build a box of paving slabs sunken in the ground. Fill it with 2 parts garden soil and 1 part coarse sand or fine gravel, mixed together. This will reduce vigorous, leafy growth and encourage fruiting.
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Why Chicago Hardy Fig Trees?
No matter how cold it gets, the Chicago Hardy Fig Tree will never let you down. Why? For starters, the Chicago Hardy can literally freeze over and still come back strong the following spring, producing bushels of plump, delicious figs.
And you get a ton of fresh fruit.Perfect for peeling and eating right off the tree in late summer to early fall, you’ll be enjoying these amazing figs in your first season after planting. The numbers may surprise you: Your Chicago Hardy will yield as many as 100 pints of figs each season!
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Aside from the versatility in use you get from your delectable figs, whether they’re tossed into salads, added to oatmeal or wrapped in prosciutto for an unforgettable appetizer, our Chicago Hardy Fig offers proven performance. Because we’ve planted and grown each of our trees for success, along with healthy roots and developed branching, you get amazing results in your own landscape.
We’ve done the hard work so you don’t have to. Now, you’ll reap the rewards of our painstaking processes at the nursery.Order your Cold Hardy Fig Tree today!
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How Cold Hardy Are Fig Trees
So, just how cold hardy are fig trees? Well, you can cultivate cold hardy fig trees in areas where the minimum winter temperatures do not dip below 5 degrees F. . Keep in mind, though, that stem tissue can be damaged at temps well above 5 degrees F., especially if it is a prolonged cold snap.
Established or mature winter hardy figs are more likely to survive an extended cold snap. Young trees of less than two to five years old are likely to die back to the ground, especially if they have wet feet or roots.
Do I Need To Prune My Chicago Hardy Fig Tree
Pruning can help a tree focus its energy towards growth and towards developing fruit, so it is a very good idea to establish a good pruning routine. For fig trees, make sure you do so during its dormant season in late winter. Focus on removing dead branches, small sucker branches near the base, and then removing about 1/4 of the main branches in order to create air flow between branches and let sunlight in to lower branches. This will help your tree focus on creating bigger figs overall. In the first few years, we recommend pruning away a few of the smallest fruits at the very beginning of the growing season so that the remaining fruits grow bigger.
How Do I Plant A Fig Tree
Dig a hole twice as wide as the root ball of your new tree, and the same depth as the roots themselves. Make sure that you do not make the hole too deep to start, as burying a young tree too deep when planting is a frequent cause for transplanting failure. Position the tree how you want it to sit , then backfill underneath the roots with a 50/50 mix of local soil and compost material. Amending the soil will also make sure the roots have the space to establish themselves. Once the hole has been filled, gently pack in the soil around the tree so it is supported, and give the area a deep thorough watering, and water the tree weekly until established.