British Columbia: Fungus attacking my fig trees.

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by Klaus Walnut Grove, Sep 19, 2019.

Tags:
  1. Klaus Walnut Grove

    Klaus Walnut Grove Member

    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Langley, BC
    I had great success growing fig trees in our previous home on a south exposed lot in Cloverdale. About 7 years ago we moved to Walnut Grove in Langley. I took cuttings of my fig trees (Desert King) and planted them in the front yard. It's a south exposure but our street is lined with pin oaks that cast a lot of shade and limit the amount of sunshine that they get.

    The figs initially grew very well and I had high hopes. But after a year I saw that the bark was splitting on the trees and I'm sure it's some type of fungus or blight. Eventually the fungus girdles the trunk and the little trees died. Fortunately, figs are very robust and both trees keep sending suckers from the roots. But after a year, the fungus struck again and killed them. Despite this, we even got some figs this year.

    The fungus usually becomes apparent in the fall and really takes off in the spring when the trees should be coming back from being dormant. The buds never break because the fungus has gone completely around the trunk and no sap can get to the upper part of the trees. Has anyone experienced this and is there a fungicide or something else I can do that will help my trees survive? I've attached photos of the two trees and the trunk from the tree that was killed last year.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Sulev

    Sulev Active Member

    Messages:
    539
    Likes Received:
    118
    Location:
    Estonia
    1. Maybe it would help if you keep the area around the tree without the turf? Turf holds moisture and promotes mold.
    2. How high the fungus spreads? Lawn mowers and trimmers often damage the bark on tree stems (by impacting directly or by throwing sand or stones against the bark). It is possible to use protective measures against such damage.
    3. Does the fungus appear on the first year's growth or on the second year? If on the second year, then how do you protect the plant for winter and does the damage appear only on the stem part that is under snow cover wintertime?
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2019
  3. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

    Messages:
    20,109
    Likes Received:
    291
    Location:
    WA USA (Z8)
    Turf looks comparatively good, which probably means the soil in that part of the property is turning out to be too moist and fertile for the fig trees.
     
  4. Klaus Walnut Grove

    Klaus Walnut Grove Member

    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Langley, BC
    Thank you both for your comments! Very much appreciated.

    The area around the base of the trees has landscape cloth (although now quite deteriorated) covered with some bark mulch. This needs some cleanup. I agree that physical damage may be an issue. I have nicked the bark on occasion with the lawnmower. I've been trying to be more careful. The fungus attacked the main trunk and seems to be systemic. It girdles the cambium and kills everything above that point.

    The lawn looks great as I use a mulching blade on an electric mower. But the actual soil is pretty crappy, not deep and lots of clay content below that so poorly drained. But it's not really a very wet site. I'm not seeing any signs of fungus yet and keeping my fingers crossed for next spring! We sure love the Desert King figs when we get some.
     

    Attached Files:

Share This Page