The Q&A Archives: Leaves Dropping From Fig Tree

Question: I planted my Brown Turkey fig about 6 weeks ago. I watered it heavily for three to four weeks and it began growing nicely, with 8-10 small figs. Now, the older leaves are turning yellow and dropping, although new leaves are developing. I have stopped watering (even though we are in drought conditions), except for about one time per week. About three weeks ago, I fertilized with a slow release fertilizer. Why are the leaves dropping and what can I do about it?

Answer: Your tree is acting normal for a fig tree experiencing stress. It would not be unusual for a stressed, new tree to cast off its fruit either. It will need to be in the ground a bit longer to get established and "on its feet" so to speak. The new growth is a good sign. However, you tree may be a bit thirsty since its limited root system has yet to venture out very far.

Give the tree a good soaking once a week or so to keep it moist. Of course you don't want to create a waterlogged soil condition, but some regular watering in the area within a couple of feet from the base of the tree will help its limited root system to supply the top with moisture and continue to establish itself in its new location.

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