Fig tree under attack

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Beloved Porcupine

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Fig tree under attack
« on: June 03, 2018, 18:34 »
Hi all,

I have a potted fig tree, just a few years old, on the patio outside of my greenhouse surrounded by tomato plants.  I noticed a branch starting to droop and when I looked down to the bottom, it had the bark stripped off in a tiny band about 1/4" wide.  I have never seen this before and no other plants are affected.

Now, I do not have bunnies in my area and my garden is fenced; could sneaky mice be doing this??  I am surrounded by wheat and beans in the fields this year and mice always abound (evidenced by lots of owl and cat action this week).

Any ideas how to protect my itty bitty fig? :(
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Yorkie

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Re: Fig tree under attack
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2018, 22:36 »
Has the plant perked up again now?

Is the ring of bark all the way round the plant?

A photo would help  :)
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Beloved Porcupine

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Re: Fig tree under attack
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2018, 17:41 »
Apologies for the delay, I was home late yesterday.  It has got worse - about 3x bigger area than originally  :(
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Yorkie

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Re: Fig tree under attack
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2018, 22:07 »
I haven't got any bright ideas about what's caused it, I'm afraid - perhaps others will do.

Is the ring all the way round the stem?  If so, and depending on how deep it goes, there's a risk that the tree has been 'ring barked', which wouldn't be very good news.

Is the plant perking up now, about the same, or worse?

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spadework

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Re: Fig tree under attack
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2018, 22:23 »
Cut the wilting shoot off to just below the damage. This will achieve two things. Firstly it will solve the wilting shoot problem so you no longer have to worry about it. Secondly the stub remaining will likely sprout new shoots to replace the damaged one.

We are always told to prune out damaged growth and this is a good case in point. :)

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Beloved Porcupine

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Re: Fig tree under attack
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2018, 11:30 »
Thank you all!  The bark was removed in a very even band all the way around the branch. 

We did remove the branch, as it was going anyway.  The rest of the tree seems unaffected- so far!  In case it was a pest (?), we brought it back into the greenhouse.  Very odd,we've never seen this before.


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Goosegirl

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Re: Fig tree under attack
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2018, 12:04 »
If the bark is like paper it could be papery bark which usually affects apples and pears when drainage is impaired. 
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sunshineband

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Re: Fig tree under attack
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2018, 19:41 »
It did look like mechanical damage rather than disease, and we have never had anything like this on our two fig trees.


The tree will soon send out a fresh shoot: you can cut them back  very hard and they always regrow. That doesn't give you an answer as to the culprit.... any chance it could be a visiting deer?
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Beloved Porcupine

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Re: Fig tree under attack
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2018, 20:30 »
There is no chance of deer in the garden.  We only have a tiny herd of 5 fen Roe deer in the area that are very shy of any people/buildings.  The fig was also buried behind a couple of potted tomatoes (yup, I could not throw them away), which were not disturbed.

My husband thought it might have been a mouse, as these are very common around the wheat fields, but the removed bark was so symetrical, like it was done with. a penknife!  Yes, we've never seen anything like it before and we'll hope this is a one-off.  But I"ll be keeping a close eye on it.



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