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The most credible information I've heard is that Smith originates from Croatia. It somehow made its way to France where the Becnel family picked it up and then brought it to the United States. Over many years they made it a very popular fig in the South through their many nursery sales and to many growers down there it's as popular as Celeste or Brown Turkey.

 

I can assure you though that it's far superior to Celeste and Brown Turkey in terms of its eating quality. The berry flavor is strong, acidic and exquisite. One bite is all you need to know that the fruit quality is superb.

 

It really It's also one of my current best overall figs for a humid/short season climate. I believe that I have it tied for my 3rd best variety with 3 other fig varieties (Hative d'Argentile, Moro de Caneva & Rossellino). Because I have given it so much praise in recent years, I believe Smith will immortalize itself among one of the very best fig varieties. Similar in the way we think about Black Madeira. I don't see it going away or losing favor anytime soon among hobbyists.

 

Believe it or not it is also said that Smith was used for a short time in LSU's breeding program. There's a fig called LSU Strawberry or some just call it strawberry that is said to have Smith parentage. Clearly a fig with a lot of history.

 

As stated above, Smith is well adapted to all climates. It stands up to rain, is better with splitting than most (which is odd because it's often more flat in shape than teardrop), is VERY tasty and is early enough to finish the entire crop before my rainy fall weather sets in. It's got all the boxes checked. I haven't been able to confirm it myself, but Smith is said to be one the least hardy varieties struggling with temperatures at 10-15F.

 

However the most frequent complaint about Smith is that it can be low on production. Some even have even thought about getting rid of their tree until other growers chime in and have shown that their tree is fruiting on every node! Being in the same camp, I had wondered what the problem was my with trees for years. Some hobbyists believe that there are different strains of Smith. That was my first thought, but I've realized that it's largely unlikely as we know that Smith originated from once source... the Becnel family. One argument that could be made is that Smith has adapted to different locations in the South because Smith has been in the US for such a long time that minor differences due to adaptation is certainly possible.

 

I want to note that all 6 of my potted Smith trees are showing fantastic production this 2021 season. Smith is an erect grower and if you're not willing to intervene and change the angle of the scaffolds, this is not the tree for you. Production will be limited and I believe that's exactly what's occurring for many of us. The tree is shading itself out. As the tree matures, open the canopy to allow better light penetration and you will see a fig on every node and at the very least much higher production.

Smith Fig Tree

$125.00Price
  • Why choosing the right fig variety matters

     

    Choosing the right fig variety can make all the difference in so many positive or even negative ways. A variety that is well suited to your climate and taste preferences will ensure that your getting the fig experience that you deserve.

     

    It's heartbreaking when you put years of work into a tree to finally realize that it's just not suited to your location because it will rarely produce high quality figs and in some cases, may never produce fruit that's even edible!

     

    Fig varieties are very location specific because they're so highly subjected to their environment while they're ripening. Unlike many other fruits, the fig can be destroyed in its final ripening stage. It's a soft fruit that can absorb water into its skin causing cracking, splitting, mold & fermentation all because the inside of the fruit gets exposed to the outside elements of nature.

     

    An apple has a hard covering. A persimmon has a hard covering. Berries and other soft fleshed fruits are also susceptible to bad weather conditions, but they have a short window of time in which they're soft and ready to be picked. Figs can be soft hanging on the tree for 5, 10 or even 15 days!

     

    How to choose the right fig variety for your climate

     

    When choosing a fig variety, it's important to consider the climate in your area during the winter, summer and fall.

     

    • Some fig varieties are more tolerant of cold weather and others can be grown in climates that have mild summers because of their reliable breba production or their early main crop harvest period.

    • Others are better suited for humid climates because they don't need to hang as long on the tree and they have a skin that acts like a waterproof jacket. The water just slides right off.

    • Others are better suited to warmer climates and have the ability to taste incredible even in 100-110F temperatures.

     

    If you want fig variety recommendations, read through the description of each fig variety carefully, or better yet, don't be afraid to contact me. In your message, include your growing zone, location, annual rainfall, and how you want to grow them.

     

    To read more about choosing the right fig variety, click here:

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