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I am so excited to have finally ripened fruit on my Texas BA-1 fig. The variety requires a lot of light to set the fruit buds like another difficult but worth it tree, Colonel Littman's Black Cross. These trees in my 7-8 hours of standard direct light is just not enough, but this year I finally got some to try.


The history of this fig is a bit unclear. It's said on Figs4Fun that Texas BA-1 is "a variety said to have been found on an unknown Texas A&M graduate student's abandoned test plot during the trials of Alma. Large and of good quality in the Gulf Coast states. May be less hardy than other varieties"


On Ediblelandscaping's website, this is their description: "sweetest of our collection. Hardy in 7 if protected from the wind. Space 10' circle. Ripens 2 weeks later than Hardy Chicago. Zone 7-8."


If you read other reports on this variety, Smith always comes up. Why? Because they're very similar figs. Some say that they're exactly the same, but those who I trust and who have grown these two varieties side by side for years say that they are not. I wanted to find out for myself and more importantly I wanted to find out if Michael McConkey from is right. Will it survive in my zone 7A location? Because if a fig very similar to Smith can be considered hardy, we've got something. Smith is notorious as being one of the least hardy trees. And as many of you know, I've raved about Smith for years. It's truly one of the best fig varieties period.


It turns out, my in ground tree has survived unprotected, but in a sheltered location and for 3 consecutive winters. To be safe, I think a 7B zone is more appropriate if you're not going to protect your tree.


As for the fruit itself, I saw this fig swelling on the branch and I couldn't help but think that it was Smith. If I had never heard of Texas BA-1 before, I never would have thought that it was different. I've picked hundreds of Smith figs and I can tell you that after observing it a bit more, I do see some slight differences. Those differences I'm sure with become a bit more clear in time. Regardless, the eating experience is every bit as good as Smith and this tree comes in a hardy, but higher sunlight requirement package. That's a real win in my book.

Texas BA-1 (A More Hardy Smith) Fig Cuttings (3 Cuttings Per Order)

  • 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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