When Stephen H. Taft was 90 years old, he spotted a superb fig tree that exceeded its neighbors in vigor, size and early crop production. The new variation -- now known as the Kadota fig -- revolutionized American fig production by offering huge and consistent crops of excellent fruit. Despite the superiority of the Kadota fig, it is no prima donna, but an easy-care tree, grown in many backyards in California and Texas.
Things You'll Need
- Pruning shears
Plant your Kadota fig as quickly as possible after purchase. Use care not to expose the young fig tree to hot breezes before tucking its roots into soil. All fig trees fruit best in a Mediterranean-style climate and Kadotas particularly require sunshine all day long. Give the tree lots of elbow room; Kadotas are fast-growing trees with wide branches and spreading roots.
Water young trees regularly the first summer season and every few weeks when mature. Look for yellow, drooping leaves, a sign that the Kadota is not getting enough water. Spread mulch around the tree to preserve moisture and provide protection from weather extremes.
Trim your Kadota fig tree annually to limit growth. Use your pruning shears to reduce the size of upper branches to facilitate the harvest. Trim the tree to 10 to 12 inches from the ground just after planting. Reduce all growth to 16 to 18 inches the second season and thereafter.
Forbid vehicle passage under a Kadota fig tree. Car or even bicycle tires damage its spreading surface roots and may kill the tree.
Harvest your Kadota figs starting in June. Although this fig cultivar does not produce an early breba crop, some mature Kadotas produce figs through September. Allow the figs to ripen on the tree since they will not ripen further when picked.
Tips & Warnings
- Propagate figs from 12-inch cuttings of dormant wood. Select cuttings from 2-year-old wood and dip them in a rooting hormone.
- Use care handling figs. They are fragile and have a short shelf life. Store uneaten figs in the refrigerator for a maximum of three days.
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