Yes Figs Grow Around Fort Smith!


Work closely with the River Valley Master Gardeners on a five-to-ten year Fig growing trial to determine what varieties are suitable for our climate gardening zone. We are seeking information on local Fig trees which have survived multiple years either with or without winter protection.

Document and show as many growing Fig trees in our area as possible so people will know what varieties to choose from when they search about Figs and possibly want to grow them, in and around Fort Smith.

Most people think about California or perhaps farther South and into Florida when growing Figs comes to mind but in truth, we can grow just about any variety of Fig as can be grown anywhere, depending on how much effort we want to put into it, to ensure survival of the tree(s).

There are many varieties of Fig, some considered more "cold hardy" than others and so, more suitable to growing here if we simply want to plant them out in the yard as we might any other fruit tree suitable for our climate, while others will require protection of some sort during our cold winters that will kill most fig varieties.

Ok Charlie, what Fig varieties can I grow in and around Fort Smith? If it is listed in the right column blog archive below, then it is a good variety choice. More will be continually added as they are found locally or resulting from the Learning Fields at Chaffee Crossing Fig Trial.

We can grow even the pickiest of Fig if we want to have them in containers we can move into a garage or other suitable enclosure during the winter to protect them from killing temperatures and others may suffice in a greenhouse but these are not really the ones we want to focus on in this blog. Most people simply want to plant a tree and not go to a whole lot of effort.

It is advised that any Fig variety grown here be given some protection during Winter while young and until they are well established with woody bark. Even then there are no guarantees they will survive. Our purpose here is to help you decide which are the best choices according to known survivors in our area.

Variety topics are always in the Blog Archive.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Celeste Fig is a Southern Tradition!

If there is one fig tree that commonly dominates the South, it is probably the Celeste variety and/or variations of it.  Celeste figs are smaller than most but sweet and good if picked when ripe.  It is fairly cold hardy and survives even our hardest winters of late with minimal die-back, as far as I have seen and know of so far.  Celeste is said to be very easy to grow and a good start for beginners.

Here's a Celeste Fig tree I was introduced to last year, growing on the South side of a home in Fort Smith.  It stands approx 10ft tall and as wide (alive) and shows the old top extending several more feet that was winter killed.  Figs from this tree are small and taste like a melon/berry.    

Another Celeste,  growing on the Southeast corner/side of a rock dwelling in Fort Smith.  Fruits from this tree are also small but plentiful and tasty.  

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