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By Annec

Monmouthshire, United Kingdom Gb

We have a mature fig tree, grown from an offshoot of a friends fig tree, probably about 25 yrs old. It is a lovely shape and seems quite healthy.
It is covered in figs, but to my Hubby's dismay they are not edible.
It has been growing alongside a row of conifers, we wondered if they had affected it at all. Last year we had the conifers taken down, so we were hoping the figs would benefit. There are two more fig trees growing nearby about 5yrs old about 5ft tall, the figs on these are good.
Is there anything we can do to improve the figs on the mature tree so that they are edible?



I'm curious Annec - by "not edible", do you mean they're not palatable, or taste nasty? Or do you know they're not edible for some other reason? And do the fruits look different from the ones on your other plants?

16 Jul, 2010


You are a bit early to be saying 'they aren't edible.' We are still waiting for our figs to ripen here in the middle of France and I suspect we are a bit warmer than in Monmouthshire.
There are some types of green figs which you use mainly for jam.
I'm intrigued like Bamboo to know what you mean exactly by 'not edible'?

16 Jul, 2010


Thank-you for your prompt replies,

By 'not edible' I mean they are not formed properly and taste bitter.
We have been getting a large crop on the mature tree for many years. They have never been edible.

I have added some photos to my profile (don't know how to include them in a question!) Obviously they are not ready yet, but there is a big difference between the two. I had said they seemed healthy, but looking at the photos it is obvious they are not. Need I say the affected ones are the yellow ones.

16 Jul, 2010


They look like different varieties, actually - there are yellow figs, and certainly the best fig for eating that grows well here and produces rich, sweet fruit is F. carica 'Brown Turkey', which most definitely isn't yellow. there's also a yellow fig which is seedless, so it might be that, although I can't understand what the hollow inside the one in your photo is for if its not meant to be filled with pulp and seeds.

16 Jul, 2010


The fig tree in question is a pollinator.Edible fig trees variaties must have
one of these within a certain distance in order to ripen.Pollination is initiated by means of a special insect which carries pollen from the pol-
linator fruit to the edible fruit.The fig fruit contains a large mumber of very small flowers inside it when still not ripe.The insect goes inside the pollinator fruit and carries pollen and enters in the edible friut.The insect enter the fruit through the small hole of the fruit and pollinate the large
number of very small flowers inside it.This the wonder of nature.

17 Jul, 2010


That's really interesting Easyman. Hopefully this means we can look forward to some delicious figs from our other two trees.

Thank-you every one for your interest and helpful responses.

18 Jul, 2010


I'm not sure Easyman is quite right as most fig trees sold do not require pollinators and are self-fertile. The Turkish type of figs need a small wasp as a pollinator and this is why when you grow a fig tree from a box of Xmas figs, it will make a nice tree but never fruit. (Which I once did, and it didn't!)
As for varieties, I don't find Brown Turkey performs at all well compared to one called White Marseilles, which is more vigorous and produces fruit earlier in the season than BT.

19 Jul, 2010


Agree with Bertiefox - pollinator fig not required, so I think easyman's explanation isn't correct.

20 Jul, 2010


Because we had a row of very large conifers next to it (also about 25yrs old)
we've always thought it was being starved of water while the fruit is being formed.
Now we've removed them we were hopeful things would improve, even so this is a very dry area of the garden. The foliage doesn't seem starved of water though, it is very healthy.

20 Jul, 2010


I think unfortunately that whatever variety of fig your yellow one is, it just isn't great for eating, and whatever you do to it or around it won't change that.

21 Jul, 2010


Yes, you are probably right Bamboo, we shall just have to continue enjoying our tree for it's beauty.
Thank-you and everyone else for your helpful thoughts.

21 Jul, 2010

How do I say thanks?

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