Thursday, March 8, 2018

March update - trees are ready!

Most of the well-rooted starter trees are ready to ship, and the weather is starting to warm up enough to safely ship them, so much of our time over the next 6-8 weeks is going to be spent packaging and shipping tree orders.  There are thousands of trees to ship, and it takes quite a bit of time to package and ship them, so it's not something that can be completed in a day or a week (and probably not even in a month--that's why I'm estimating 6-8 weeks).

This has been a long, complex, and difficult propagation project.  Last year I was able to create most of the 'non-rare' varieties needed for the orders, and this winter I've been able to produce most of the 'rare' varieties needed for the orders.  I was able to keep the trees from last year alive and in good condition: they're the 2ft tall trees that are just coming out of dormancy in the pics below.  The new trees from this winter are the shorter ones in the later pics below.  The two groups are located in different greenhouses.

The trees from last year are currently perfect for bare-rooting (which is required for shipping to several western states like CA, AZ, etc), as you can see in the 2 pics of trees that have been bare-rooted.  The trees from this winter are not yet established enough to wash off their roots, so the shipping plan is this: ship first to locations that don't require bare-rooting, and also to western states that only ordered trees that are ready to be bare-rooted; when we're finished shipping those orders, hopefully the newer trees will then be ready to be bare-rooted, and we can then ship those final orders to the western states.

I will email each of you individually before shipping your orders and won't ship your order until we have discussed shipping details (confirming your shipping address, agreeing on when to ship, choosing substitutes if necessary, etc).

Here are the trees that were started last year:

And here are some of the trees that were started this winter:

There have been some setbacks this winter.  For example, when the temperature dropped below -10F at one point early this winter, the cold overwhelmed my heaters and frosted the plants.  The worst part was that the tunnel at that time was primarily filled with Black Madeira, I-258, Galicia Negra, Ponte Tresa, Genovese Nero (Rafed's), and other ultra-elite varieties that I had wanted to give a head start.  The frost froze their green growth almost all the way to their trunks.  They are now starting to recover and push out new green growth, as you can see in the pics, but many were temporarily stunted and a few were killed.  Due to concern over the possibility of such an occurrence, I had saved back around 2/3 of my ultra-elite cuttings to start at a later time, and I am glad I did.  Those backup cuttings are now busy rooting, giving me a 2nd wave of those varieties on the way (they're just barely starting to push out their first roots now).  Here are some pics of what the frosted trees look like now:

Another setback happened about a week ago, when a rat decided to make a meal out of 2 trays of Ponte Tresa trees.  Almost all of the trees had most of their green growth eaten off.  Some were killed in the process, but a few were spared and many of the mauled trees are already starting to push out fresh green growth, as you can see in the pics.  The rat has since been eliminated.  Here's what the survivors look like right now:

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Update on Overdue Orders

We've worked through roughly half of the overdue orders over the past few months, and we'll be working through several hundred more over the next few months.  We are currently rooting around 3,000 young trees and hope to have all orders shipped by early spring 2018.

Almost all cuttings orders have been shipped.  There are still some cuttings customers I haven't heard back from, so if you have an outstanding cuttings order that you have not yet received, please contact us at so that we can get you taken care of.  If you know anyone who has not yet received their cuttings order, please refer them here.  This fig project has been a huge and very complex undertaking, and we don't want anyone falling through the cracks. 

(Speaking of cracks: there was one customer who didn't receive the Olympian they ordered, and I wrote a note on their packing list saying I'd refund it, but by the time I remembered to do so I couldn't figure out who they were.  So if that's you, or if you know who that is, please ask them to email me so that we can square things up.)

It's hard to have all varieties ready at the same time, especially when propagating around 250 varieties, so the best method for shipping has proven to be this: when the main part of your order is ready, I'll email you to double-check your current shipping address, to let you know which parts (if any) of your order are not ready, and to provide you with an extensive list of available varieties that are ready and could be substituted into your order.  You can choose substitutions for anything you ordered, not just the parts of your order that I don't have ready (for example, if you've already acquired a variety during your wait, you can sub something else in for it).  If we haven't contacted you about your tree order, please wait for us to contact you; don't email asking for an individualized progress report, as that will just gum up the system and slow things down for everyone. 

I'd also like to make a very special offer to those of you who are still waiting on overdue tree orders.  If you are willing to take cuttings instead of trees, I'll give you double-value (including shipping).  So if you had a $100 order for trees (perhaps it was $70 for trees and $30 for shipping), you could convert that into a $200 order of cuttings (which would probably be $180 to $190 worth of cuttings and $10 or $20 for shipping).  Here's the current list of available varieties of cuttings to choose from: (please don't email and ask about the availability of varieties that are not on the list)

I pruned all the trees in all of my tunnels in recent days prior to the arrival of extremely low temperatures around -10F (-23C).  I wasn't sure if the wood would stay warm enough during the deep freeze, so I rescued it all beforehand.  That means I now have around 6,000 cuttings in safe storage.  They'll hold up pretty well for a while (I preserved viable cuttings for 3-5 months last year with the same technique), but it would be best to ship them out asap. 

I'm hoping that a lot of tree customers take advantage of the double-value offer.  Some people only want trees and don't want cuttings, and they can wait and receive their tree orders as planned, but there are probably many people who would prefer to switch and immediately receive a double-value shipment of cuttings, so I wanted to make that option available.  Since it's much faster and easier to fill and ship cuttings orders than tree orders, the more people who make the switch, the more it will help us quickly work through the remaining overdue orders.

I remain sorry that it has taken so long and resulted in so much frustration, but we're making tremendous progress right now, and we are nearing the light at the end of the tunnel.  Thank you so much to everyone who has been patient and steadfast, and especially to the many of you who have taken the time to send me words of encouragement: you have been angels in the storm, and I am sincerely thankful for your help and kindness. 

Clear Rooting Cups

If you need to root some cuttings, clear rooting cups make the process easy and fun. Whether it's figs, flowers, citrus, or any other rootable cutting, these rooting cups can help.

Clear rooting cups are also great to use for starting seeds. Not only do they allow you to monitor root development at a glance, they help promote strong rootballs that will pay dividends when it's time to up-pot or plant them in the ground.

The cups are available at

How to Root Fig Cuttings

I root several thousand fig cuttings a year.  There are many ways to root cuttings, and I've tried a lot of them, but here's what works best for me:

1) Dip the bottom 25% of the cutting into purple Clonex rooting gel (

2) Place the cutting into a clear 16oz Rooting Cup that is filled with slightly damp HP Pro-Mix potting mix.  If you can squeeze any water out of a fistful of the potting mix, then it is too wet. You can add perlite or vermiculite to the potting mix in advance to help make it more fluffy/airy, but do not use any fertilizer at all.

3) Put the cups of cuttings into large clear totes like these from Wal-Mart (it's important to drill a couple of 1/4 inch holes into each end of the totes to increase airflow and minimize mold):

4) Put the totes near some well-lit windows (but not in direct sunlight) or in a room with some nice bright lights above it, and keep them warm.  If I can't find a warm enough spot, I close them in a room and use a space heater to make sure the temp is in the low/mid 70's.

There may be better methods out there, but I settled on this one because it's easy, low maintenance, and gives me really good results.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Update on shipping progress

Over the past few weeks I've shipped out a lot of new orders and about half of the overdue advance orders for cuttings (around 100 orders).  The new orders supply the funding to ship out the old orders, so when a new order comes in, not only do I ship it out immediately, I also package and ship out several older orders at the same time.  This win-win-win system has worked out wonderfully, and I'm very grateful to the new customers for helping out the old customers in this way.

A false claim is being promoted online at a competitor's site that the cuttings being bought by new customers are the same cuttings that were bought by previous customers, and that I'm re-selling the same cuttings over and over again.  That is complete nonsense.  The cuttings needed to fulfill all of the overdue orders for cuttings and trees have already been identified and set aside for that purpose, and the cuttings being sold to new customers are simply the EXTRA cuttings that aren't needed for those old orders.  The new customers aren't taking cuttings away from old customers; to the contrary, they are buying extra cuttings...and by doing so, are giving me the ability to send out old orders.  So the new customers are only helping the old customers, and are in no way hurting the old customers. 

It has also been falsely claimed at the competitor's site that these new orders are advance orders that aren't going to be delivered until the distant future.  That is also a nonsensical claim (one of many such false and defamatory claims made there).  The new orders are for immediate shipment, not for delayed shipment, which makes perfect sense if you think about it: the cuttings are ready right now, so there's not even any reason to do advance orders right now.  The average turnaround time for new orders is 24-48 hours; in other words, they ship out within 1-2 days on average from when I receive payment, and the customers receive their cuttings a few days later.

After I finish shipping out all of the overdue cuttings orders in a week or two, I'll turn to shipping out the overdue tree orders.  Why am I shipping cuttings now and not trees?  Because the big harvest of cuttings is just now occurring, and it is this harvest of cuttings that will supply all of the wood needed to fill all of the cuttings orders and tree orders.  The cuttings can ship out immediately, but the trees need to be created by rooting the cuttings, which has already begun concurrently with the cuttings sale:

I recently potted up about 1,000 cuttings, which included around 100 each of Black Madeira, I-258, Ponte Tresa, and Galicia Negra, and there's a whole lot more where that came from.  I'm also aiming to root enough of all the other rare varieties to cover the numbers needed by the old orders, so there will soon be several thousand trees in these humidity bins.  It usually takes 2-3 months for the trees to be rooted well-enough to ship, so these will ship out later this winter (or as soon as it gets warm enough in the early spring to safely ship them).

Finally, in celebration of the fact that I've shipped out around 25% of the overdue orders (half of the cuttings orders, which were half of the total) and am quickly working through the remainder, I am offering a 25% off sale on all remaining cuttings.  You can see the current availability on the Fig Cuttings page at (I delete varieties from the list as they sell out, so the list is always up-to-date).  Just place your order as you normally would, and I'll apply the 25% discount to your cuttings when I send your invoice.

Don't believe the false rumors started at my competitor's site about my cuttings being bad and rotten: those are just more of the same sorts of false defamatory claims that perpetuate there.  The truth is that I know what a good cutting is, and I send out great cuttings.  If you have any doubt about that, just place a small order so that you can verify for yourself that I send out great cuttings.  Then you'll know for yourself and won't be tricked by the false claims being pushed on a dishonest competitor's website.

Thank you to everyone who has continued to support this project!  Your support and kind words have been invaluable in helping me to persevere.  And special thanks to all the new customers:  the long-waiting customers are getting their orders now, and it's all thanks to you supplying the money to ship their orders!  So not only are you getting your cuttings right away, you're also helping other folks get their overdue orders at the same time.  That's a win-win-win, and you deserve a huge pat on the back for helping it happen! 

Monday, October 2, 2017

3gal and 7gal Fig Trees Now Available

A wide selection of 3-gallon and 7-gallon fig trees is now available.  These trees are ready to ship now.  You can click the links below to see the listings:

3 gallon Fig Trees

7 gallon Fig Trees

Friday, September 29, 2017

Fig Cuttings are Now Available

Fig Cutting Season is here!!

The wood from our 2017 growing season is now ready to be clipped and shipped!  The cuttings will be around 6-8" long and 1/4"-3/4" thick, and will pruned when you order to ensure freshness. We will try to ship all orders within 24-48 hours, but there may be a backlog in the beginning that could add a few extra days to the process.

All cuttings will be shipped via USPS Priority Mail. We ship everywhere in the USA except Hawaii, and we also ship internationally.  We cannot guarantee that international shipments will arrive in good condition (or even at all) due to the inherent risks of shipping them halfway around the world.  Odds are good that everything will go fine, but there is still risk, and international buyers must assume all of that risk. International buyers are also responsible for getting an import permit from their local government and sending it to us so that we can get a Phytosanitary Certificate through our local Department of Agriculture office. We charge $75 for this option, and offer it below, at the top of the list of fig varieties.

We will not edit orders after they've been placed: if you want to add something to your order, you'll need to place an additional order.  Those sorts of edit requests take more time than we have available, so we need to avoid them to keep things as streamlined as possible.

Do not mix orders of cuttings and trees! Each order should either be entirely cuttings (ordered from the "Fall 2017 Fig Cuttings" page) or entirely trees (ordered from the "3 gallon Fig Trees" page). The software cannot calculate the shipping rates correctly if you mix orders, so if you want both cuttings and trees, then place two separate orders. If you're getting trees, then select the 'Ground Shipping' option when you checkout; if you're getting cuttings, then select the 'Priority Shipping' option during checkout.

If you have already placed an advance order for cuttings, you should receive your order during this Fall 2017 cuttings season.  We will be shipping out the new orders immediately as they come in, and we will also be packaging and shipping the older advance orders at the same time.  Some of the cuttings will be held back and rooted, so if you're waiting on an advance order of well-rooted starter trees, your order should be ready later this fall, too.