"Obsessed" - arenâ€™t we all!
I think most plants produce more "fruit" if stressed
, or - in fear for their lives! That's why pruning's so effective, the tree thinks
it's been wounded so bad that it had better re-produce with all its got! I remember some Arborvitaes of my Brother's that were out of reach of his water sprinkler; water stressed and stunted, they set thousands of little cones ... unlike the lush green majority that had received water.
Guess I've been 'blessed' with poor clay soil! Of my seven healthy fig trees, none have ever sent runners
, or roots elsewhere. Actually, in the rich orchard soil of a friend - hers never sent â€˜runnersâ€™ either. Figs will root if their lower branches stay in contact with the soil (that's actually how she started them for friends!). Two un-attended figs of a Brother-in-law never sent runners; theyâ€™d simply took over the back yard by re-rooting their ground-touching limbs...
I learned quickly not to train, or prune my figs to one-trunk "trees." The first hard winter I lost them. My same fig-friend had let hers 'clump.' By sending up multiple stems, or trunks (directly up and around their base), the outer ones seem to protect the inner ones during the coldest weather we get. I now let mine send up 'replacement' shoots; itâ€™s also a way of pruning them. I've considered an article for our Pome News
describing my pruning methods for figs ... but if you prune their tips, youâ€™ll loose your crop - but if you rotationally remove the oldest / largest of these multiple trunks, allowing the next tier to take their place - you maintain their size and crop nicely! ...It's taken me a decade or so to figure this outâ€¦
A Desert King
- Yikes -- that's my most vigorous variety! 3' X 3' sounds like a recipe for disaster... Actually, they're so prolific - I bet they'd 'find' a way through that fabricâ€¦ especially those bricks! I don't see you limiting their size by constricting their root zone, only leading to their demise. My Mother's growing a Desert King
in a tight spot; but pruning is what keeps it in balance (my job).
Figs basically replace their underground energy with what they acquire from above; limit their top, and youâ€™ll limit their bottom. I suspect most people never figure out their ways, thus end up with those scary massive clumps! In fact, that thought takes me back to my meter-reading days in Milwaukie, Oregonâ€¦ Two figs had taken over an entire city lot! Starving
, I hid under one on that hot summer day, carefully analyzing its fruit before taking my first bite ever â€¦ as I listened to the chatter on my public works radioâ€¦ I hid under those figs until I got my fill --- and itâ€™s been fig-city around here ever since! No, youâ€™re no more obsessed than the rest of us â€¦ but youâ€™ve come to the right place