Re: Starts for dwarf fig to espalier
At the Propagation Fair youâ€™d have left with only a fig cutting, which youâ€™d have had to lay in the ground to promote root growth. Figs are not grafted onto rootstock; theyâ€™re simply propagated from â€˜their ownâ€™ cuttings, which is usually pretty easy. So thereâ€™s no â€˜dwarfingâ€™ effectâ€¦ but if youâ€™d like a great variety for our region Iâ€™d suggest Brown Turkey
, mine are about half the size of our other NW mainstay, Desert King
â€¦espaliered figs are a bit tricky, if not impossibleâ€¦ They fruit on their last seasonâ€™s growth so must constantly generate â€˜new growthâ€™ to produce figs. Espaliered trees are generally trees with â€˜fruit spursâ€™ that will remain active for many years while located on a stationary branch, such as an apple or pear tree.
My method for keeping figs in check is to let them grow as a â€˜clumpâ€™ â€“ allowing their â€˜root suckersâ€™ to develop, instead of hacking them off to encourage a â€˜trunked tree.â€™ With a constant â€˜rotatingâ€™ crop of new suckers / productive â€˜limbs,â€™ I simply cut out the tallest when they become too high or leggy. Fig trees are also quite pliable and those â€˜straight up limbsâ€™ can be bent over and â€˜walked downâ€™ to be harvested.
So â€“ find a potted fig tree at a reputable nursery â€¦Portland Nursery
should have someâ€¦ nothingâ€™s cheap anymore, but youâ€™d know what you were getting and have at least a two year jump on the project. But personally, Iâ€™d forget the espalier plan for the figs, they donâ€™t take well to confinement. Have fun.