Raising fig trees in high tunnels in the Northeast

2011 Annual Report for FNE11-727

Project Type: Farmer
Funds awarded in 2011: $9,799.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2012
Region: Northeast
State: New Jersey
Project Leader:
Maurice sheets
woodland Produce

Raising fig trees in high tunnels in the Northeast


Objectives/Performance Targets


The three main plots (tunnel, protected and unprotected were set up as described in the project. All sub-plots were planted with both first year and second year plants. One plant from one plot was lost. The plant died early in the season and it will not be replaced. All the other plants are healthy and put on very good growth for the first year. The protected plot was covered between 11/27/2011 and 12/05/2011. Tarpaper was used on the first few trees as recommended by Cornell University. After wrapping half of these trees, it was found to be very difficult to work with tarpaper and landscape fabric was used for the other half of the plots. The results of the two methods of wrapping will be included in the final results.
Early observations:
1) There was no observable difference in growth between the second year trees (planted in the fall) and the first year trees planted in the spring. The individual vigor of each plant accounted for a larger variation in growth than when the trees were planted.
2) Several of the trees in all plots reached about six feet in height in their first year.
3) Very little insect damage was noted. Ants were found to be going to the ripe fruit. Some form of protection from the ants will have to be applied next year.
4) There was a small quantity (less than a pound) of fruit produced the first year in all three of the main plots.
5) The variety of fig made the difference in production the first year. Peter’s Honey and LSU both produce harvestable fruit in all three main plots. Goliath and Green Ischia did not produce any harvestable fruit before the season ended.
6) Every tree had fruit on them that did not ripen when the season ended. Observations will be made to see if the high tunnel helps to start the season earlier and end it later for a larger harvest.

Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes


Dr. Wesley Kline

[email protected]
county agent
291 Morton Ave.
Millville, NJ 08332
Office Phone: 8564512800