Fig tree

Asked June 5, 2019, 12:17 PM EDT

I have yellow leaves on my mission fig tree. Some immature figs. The tree is 3 years old and last year I did not get any figs that matured.

Sussex County Delaware

1 Response

Thank you for your question. Based on the information you provided, there may be a few things happening to cause yellowing on the leaves and small immature fruits. This could be environmental stress due to either too much water, or too little water, improper drainage and lack of oxygen. Fig trees have a shallow root system and are sensitive to stress. This could also be due to a lack of nutrients. Figs originated in the Mediterranean and prefer hot and dry conditions. It may be the recent weather that is effecting your tree.
If the yellowing is not due to environmental stress but a virus, a sample will need to be taken and looked at under a microscope in order to diagnose.
The small, immature fruit size maybe be due to the Mission Fig's growth and development. It bears a first crop, called the breba crop, in the spring on last season's growth. The second crop is borne in the fall on the new growth and is known as the main crop. When pruning, prune once the tree form is established, avoid heavy winter pruning, which causes loss of the following year's crop. It is better to prune immediately after the main crop is harvested, or with late-ripening cultivars, like the Mission Fig, summer prune half the branches and prune the remainder the following summer. For further reading, below are some publications that might be of interest to you.

  • Condit. I. J. The Fig. Waltham, Mass., Chronica Botanica Co., 1947.
  • Condit, I. J. Fig Culture in California. Extension Service Circular 77, 1933.
  • Condit, I. J. Fig Varieties: A Monograph. Hilgardia 23:11 (Feb 1955).
  • Eisen, G. The Fig - Its History, Culture and Curing. U.S. Department of Agriculture Bulletin 9 . 1901.
  • Eisen, G. and F. S. Earle. Fig Culture. U.S. Department of Agriculture Bulletin 5, 1897.
  • Morton, Julia F. Fruits of Warm Climates. Creative Resources Systems, Inc. 1987. pp. 47-50.
  • Ortho Books. All About Citrus and Subtropical Fruits. Chevron Chemical Co. 1985. pp. 46-48.
  • Schurrie, H. The Fig. Timber Press Horticultural Reviews 12:409 (1990)
  • Starnes, H. N. The Fig in Georgia. Georgia Experiment Station Bulletin 61, 1903.
  • Starnes, H. N. and J. F, Monroe. The Fig in Georgia. (2nd Report). Georgia Experiment Station Bulletin 77.