Fig trees turning dark at tip of branches

Asked January 22, 2019, 9:23 PM EST

Our fig are trees turning dark at tip of branches. Almost looks like they are withering,dying at the tips. They are two years old. Grew well this summer. First year in this spot. Full sun exposure. Diseased or malnourished??

Jackson County Oregon

1 Response

The likely cause of the withering, darkened tips is frost-bite. Figs, while some are hardy in our climate, are basically warmer-climate plants. Hardiness varies with the cultivar (the named variety) of the fig, with some more susceptible to frost than others. In the absence of any visible pests, such as scale or borers, the tree has probably responded to our recent valley frosts, with temperatures falling into the upper twenties on several occasions. Fig trees can be lightly pruned when dormant, removing dead wood, crossing branches, and sucker wood. Also keep in mind that most figs need to be cross-pollinated, so two trees will give you a better chance of fruit. To be absolutely certain about the tips, you can take a sample into the OSU Extension Plant Clinic run by the Master Gardeners, 569 Hanley Rd. Central Point. Winter hours are Tuesday and Thursday, 10 to 2, or telephone 541-776-7371,Thanks for using Ask an Expert.