Is my fig tree okay?

Asked June 1, 2018, 2:20 AM EDT

Hello, My fig tree has been doing good, but lately has been very droopy. It's limbs and the whole tree began drooping last week. I had it loosely supported since last fall so that it could still say and strengthen its self (as per Master Gardener advice). Also, the leaves seem a little clinched and have a white "water stain" looking film on them. Any advice?

Multnomah County Oregon

3 Responses

Your fig tree looks wilted. You can verify is that is true by sticking your finger, or a trowel, into the soil. Is it wet, moist, or dry?

It appears that you have a drip line installed. Please tell me how you use it by answering the following questions: (1) How many drippers are available for the tree; (2) what is the output of each dripper; (3) how often do you run the system; and (4) how long do you run the system?

You might consider making a low dike around the tree, about 20 inches away from the trunk. Then, to water, you can fill the basin once every several weeks to help the roots develop.

The tree’s trunk will become sturdier only if the tree is allowed to sway. The tree should be “loosely” secured to the stake. (It should not be tightly tied.)

Hello, Right now, I only have two drippers (my plan was to install up to 5). I believe they are 1 gal/hr. They come on automatically for 35 min at 5am. For the last 2-3 days, I've been hand watering in addition to the drip. I'm guessing it needs much more water, so I can put the trees (I have another young pear tree) on a separate system. So, w/out a drip, you recommend filling the basin once every few weeks. If I use drip, is there a different schedule or regime you'd recommend? In any case, I'll build up the dike and follow your forthcoming advice with regards to watering.

I suggested the basin with a low dike as a means to help the tree catch up on its water needs as rapidly as possible. But it can also serve the tree well throughout its lifetime. At the same time, don't water so often that the soil remains soggy.

You will need to determine how often to add water. As the summer gears up, it may be once a week, more or less.

Watering depends upon various factors, among them the weather; your soil; the amount of water added; and how much water the tree needs. Stick a finger in the soil to know when to water again.

If you want to continue with drippers, you will need to add more and will also need to run the system much longer than 35 minutes. One way to do that is to add a rat-tail ( with built-in drippers) which encircles the trunk at the dripline. Or simply plug in an extra length of supply line into which you insert drippers about every 12-16 inches.