What’s Happening To Our Figs?

I’m really asking the question, and I really don’t know the answer. We’ve had four out of 11 fig trees to die on us this summer. That’s way too high for coincidence.


It started with the brush fire I set by accident back in January, when all the deciduous trees were dormant. I’ve already catalogued at length the trials and travails of the Blueberry Strip and its recovery from the fire. In addition, I had several fig trees that failed to leaf out in the spring. I was relieved when several of them at least sprouted new growth as the summer wore on, but now the new growth is faltering.

So discouraging to see the promising new growth go down, and it happens literally overnight.
So discouraging to see the promising new growth go down, and it happens literally overnight.

The latest setback came this week when one of our two Papajohn figs went down hard and fast. The speed of the collapse made me suspect vole damage, but the roots don’t show signs of physical damage, so I have to keep looking. It’s also possible we have some kind of wasting disease.

What I know is that this is heartbreaking. Right now we’re looking for a little production from our undersized Brown Turkey (which lost one of its largest little trunks this spring) and our LSU gold, which has never been one of the stars.

I’m no longer saying that figs are easy to grow in the Deep South. My “hot list” of sturdy and prolific fruits for a low-input orchard in the South consists of blueberries, mustadines, and maybe pears.

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