Difference in Fig Cuttings: Willis and Harvey

I’ve ordered cuttings from both of these sellers for a few years now and have noticed that Willis’ cuttings tend to go moldy pretty quickly while Harvey’s don’t and tend to be easier to root. I’m wondering if other people have noticed this as well or if maybe I’ve just been unlucky. Both of them send nice cuttings that look good and are of appropriate thickness/length, but for whatever reason, this has just been my experience.

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I’ve been buying from Herman/Hermansur on Ebay.

I must’ve found good posts about him on the net. so he’s my go to.

Dax

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I think Will lived in Florida with more rain and fungus haven on his figs. Harvey lived in dryer California less fungus issue on the fig. Just a thought.

Tony

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You can disinfect your cuttings with a diluted bleach solution, hydrogen peroxide, and or store them in sphagnum moss to supress fungal growth. I haven’t ordered from either person so I cannot comment.

+1 to Herman/Vasile on ebay. He used to post a lot on gardenweb and the fig forums.

Tony is right and Dax Herman is great also.

I’ve received good cuttings from Herman and some other people on ebay and fig bid. Willis and Harvey are probably the two biggest sellers though, so I was curious if other people had a similar experience to me. I’ll probably just stick with Harvey going forward.

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Harvey commented on the thread below that he uses StorOx to treat cuttings which may the reason his cuttings do not mold as quickly.

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It’s all about location. Harvey’s cuttings are more likely to have FMV then Willis but Willis also has FMV. Herman made it a point to keep it out of his garden if FMV is a concern. Growers like Herman and Bass are the OG’s of the fig community and a wealth of information. Willis and Harvey both learned a lot from these 2 people and kept running with it because their climate allowed them to do so. I’m sure Willis also suffers from rust on his trees as it seems to be a huge problem for other friends of mine in FL. There is just so much humidity down there fungus spore are just floating around everywhere. If willis stopped cleaning his cuttings I have no doubts they would be hard to store but he has always been good about keeping material clean to my knowledge. I’ve never purchased cuttings from either one but traded with them both back in the F4F days and everything was always good.

I bought from Harvey once off of ebay, nothing wrong with his cuttings. A lot of people bleach their cuttings, some even wash their cuttings with dawn soap. It lowers the chance of rotting. I do not remember ever getting any cuttings from Willis. Yet even here in North Carolina our trees can have mold and rotting problems on the thicker parts of the fig trees, Florida is worst for that.

I’ve bought cutting from both, a few from Harvey last year and two from Willis this year. I didn’t have any problems with the cuttings from Harvey and my two cuttings from Willis are still in the refrigerator (and do not show any signs of mold) as I prepare to do some fig pops. Both came nicely preserved and Willis’s cuttings are individually vacuum sealed. This year I’ve started to do a bleach dip before I put them in the rooting media.

Is this for certain a good thing or can it do damage to the cuttings? I mean, it definitely looks nice, but I wonder if a little air circulation might be better for living wood.

I bought cuttings from both, TBH I like the cuttings from Harvey more, because I think that they will last longer and have higher success in my setup due to typically being more lignified and grown in a drier climate with less disease pressure. I don’t have anything to back this but a hunch, however

I think when cuttings go from cool to warm or the opposite, I think they give off a lot of gaseous water and it likes to condense on the inside of the plastic (this would be bad news for vac sealed cuttings and similar, I think). I think that this condensation being into contact with the propagation material is what I often find to be the cause of mold taking over and destroying the cutting.

In any system, for mold etc to take over, you have to:

A. have spores present
and
B. have the spores be in an environment that’s favorable for germination and growth

Obviously, scrubbing or disinfecting your cuttings will help reduce spores that are present on the material, but for the other part it’s a bit more difficult to control while ensuring your cuttings are still viable for later

I like to saran wrap my cuttings individually and then put some kind of moisture buffer in the container these wrapped cuttings are stored in, so that moisture is not allowed to build up, but isn’t being wicked away very fast, either. Also, wrapping them individually may seem like a pain but for more expensive cuttings may prevent mold from spreading to surrounding cuttings. I like to use a dry paper towel wrapped around the group of saran wrapped cuttings, as it kind of acts as an excess moisture absorber.

I’ve lost many more cuttings to mold than ever to drying out while storing etc.but this is my experience in a very humid region. I find if cuttings are starting to appear a little dry you can give them a soak for a few hours to restore a good bit of moisture to the wood

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I was wrong on some of the details on Will’s packaging as I only opened it this weekend. Before I only visually inspected it before placing it in the refrigerator.

So the cuttings came in a gallon-ish sized plastic bag which had been sealed. The individual cuttings were nicely wrapped in plastic sleeves which were folded over, but not sealed. There was a very little bit of condensation within each sleeve, but not really enough to cause a lot of concern (at least for relatively short term storage). I’m happy enough.

I made fig pops out of both and have my fingers crossed.

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Fair warning condensation can be a bad thing, I would wipe the bags out with a dry paper towel if you start seeing more than just a little in the bags. I don’t like seeing any condensation on my wax sealed cuttings.

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