Black Mission (Beers Black, Franciscan, Mission)
Black Mission is one of the Brevas type which are the single best all-round variety for south, north, coast, interior. Figs are not a fruit tree for small places. The fine roots that invade garden beds, however, may be cut without loss to the tree. Trees should be trained according to use of fruit, such as a low crown for easy picking.
Trees become enormous, and will shade out anything growing beneath. Repeated pruning to control size causes loss of crop. The succulent trunk and branches are unusually sensitive to heat and sun damage, and should be whitewashed if particularly exposed. Roots are greedy, traveling far beyond the tree canopy. Black Mission is a Brebas type fig. Brebas is the term for the early season fruit on last year's growth. Only some fig trees do this. Cut the tree back to 2 ft high upon planting and whitewash the trunk. If you want your fig to grow as a bushy plant, prune the trunk to near ground level at the end of the second year. Allow several stems to replace the trunk. Fig trees are productive with or without heavy pruning. It is essential only during the initial years. Susequently, if you are pruning at all prune after the last late summer fruit is done. Do not prune after tree reaches maturity. Since the crop is borne on terminals of previous year's wood, 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. If radical pruning is done, whitewash the entire tree.Never transplant or disturb a young tree while it is starting new growth in spring, as this is likely to kill it.
Figs require full sun all day to ripen palatable fruits. In areas with short (less than 120 days between frosts), cool summers, espalier trees against a south-facing, light-colored wall to take advantage of the reflected heat. In coastal climates, grow in the warmest location, against a sunny wall or in a heat trap.
Feeding and Watering:
Keep roots moist until planted. Young fig trees should be watered regularly until fully established. In dry western climates, water mature trees deeply at least every one or two weeks. Mulch the soil around the trees to conserve moisture. If a tree is not getting enough water, the leaves will turn yellow and drop. Also, drought-stressed trees will not produce fruit and are more susceptible to nematode damage. Recently planted trees are particularly susceptible to water deficits and often die. Regular fertilizing of figs is usually necessary only for potted trees or when they are grown on sands. Excess nitrogen encourages rank growth at the expense of fruit production, and the fruit that is produced often ripens improperly, if at all. As a general rule, fertilize fig trees if the branches grew less than a foot the previous year. Apply a total of 1/2 - 1 pound of actual nitrogen, divided into three or four applications beginning in late winter or early spring and ending in July.
Season(s) Carried at Weidners:
Container or ground?
Ground or container. For container grown plants, replace most of the soil in the tub every three years and keep the sides of the tub shaded to prevent overheating in sunlight.
The links below are to the instructions we give out at the nursery. This page contains additional and expanded information.