Newbie Mistake: Bad Fig Cuttings

Something we usually don't talk about are bad fig cuttings. These cuttings are great examples of what not to send to someone.

Newbie Mistake: Bad Fig Cuttings

Something we usually don't talk about are bad fig cuttings. These cuttings are great examples of what not to send to someone. If someone bought these cuttings, the buyer would have wanted a full refund. Cuttings like these should be free. No one should be charged or have a trade value for fig cuttings of this quality. Even free cuttings I have received many that were clean, disinfected, and seal and wrap. I think it is the mindfulness of the sender. Let my lesson help others. In this situation the sender, I don't believe purposely sent this. He is not a scammer, lets not quickly assume. Rather, he is either unaware or new at taking fig cuttings. I plan to share my Fig Cutting Season article with him so he may avoid sending these undesirable cuttings to others.  

I remember when I first traded. With a member on ourfigs forum, I had taken cuttings of my persimmon tree. I never trade persimmons cutting before and I didn't know what is ideal for grafting. I just sent him everything I could take off my persimmon tree. Other fruit scions have different requirements than figs. Figs cuttings seem much easier to understand for me. I had sent him a large box but what was really useable is not as much as I thought. The best persimmons scions for grafting are young wood with buds and not older wood. Older woods that was sent along with the package was tossed into composed. He had sent me a message to explain to me what was useable and what he tossed and why. He was understanding as I had explained I was new at this. And, I remembered this lesson very well. Everything was good in the end. Honesty and understanding is the key to solving any issues.

Figs, there is nothing to waste even the trunks logs size cuttings can be rooted. People just don't expect these log cuttings to arrive at their door. Unless they request it, let's not assume. People don't like these types of surprises. Let's not go extreme either, coffee skinny straws size keep it on the tree so it can grow into bubble tea straws size then you can trim it. 

Here in Pacific Northwest, we are known as the rainy city, I mean pouring. Rainy forecast is every day. I have a slim chance of seeing dry sunny weather. I have to wait for these short dry period to trim my fig trees. And, it gets dark quick so no point in going out with flashlights in the evening! So I may be a delay in my fig trimming schedule. We PNW locals, don't use umbrellas, and if the fig trees are wet I can't see the branch that I'm trimming. I want to do my best to inspect the cuttings before I trim them. If the tree is wet I may miss something that could be disease or damaged. I don't want to accidentally send anyone something I wouldn't want to receive myself.  The Golden Fig Rule, "Only send to others what you would like sent to you!" Sometimes, there might be some green algae, lichens, and moss on the branch on older fig trees, all can be scrub with toothbrushes by either the shipper or the receiver. The receiver should be doing this disinfecting before they root the cutting.

Packaging: Moist paper towel wrapped method, I personally don't do this. If there is a delay in USPS these cuttings may rot by the time it reaches you. I prefer keeping it dry, sealed, and or parafilm wrapped, and or ziplock. These dry method of wrapping will reduce the chances of the cutting rotting.

Sometimes these bad cuttings are the faults of the shipping company. As I told you in my previous article, I shipped USPS and the cuttings arrived a little dry and not the best. It was in a bubble pack mailer. In this particular case, the receiver trimmed the ends and they were still fresh and green inside.

I have not had to file any claims with USPS File A Claim. Here is what you could do if it was USPS fault for dry cuttings or damaged fig trees. Note: Any plant material would be a perishable item, this is usually asked every single package you click on YES. I think I USPS Clerk told me it means to ship the package either by ground or airmail. I don't know what would happen if you said NO and ended filing a claim what would happen.

USPS said, " either the person who sent the mailpiece or the person who received it may file a claim for insured mail that is lost, arrived damaged, or was missing contents. The person filing must have the original mailing receipt. Each claim must be filed within a certain time period and include proof of insurance, value, and damage." Based on this I see no better way than for the sender to file the claim since it's only the sender who has the original receipt. The receiver should have photos to show the damage, which is the dead dry up wood that used to look like fig cuttings. In my case, USPS doesn't work with bad cuttings that were shipped in the first place that would be an issue with the sender, not the shipper!

That was a quick explanation of what USPS requires to file a claim, here the details:

Date USPS said, "Each mail service has a different filing period. The filing period is based on the mailing date on your receipt and whether your package arrived damaged. you may file a claim immediately but must file no later than 60 days after the mailing date. "

Proof of Value is tough for us who traded instead of the typical buy/ sale transaction. How do you prove the value of these fig cuttings? We avoid selling fig cuttings because we don't like pricing the cuttings in the first place. USPS said, "paid sales receipt showing the buyer and seller, the price paid, date of transaction, description of the item purchased, and assurance that the transaction status is completed"

Proof of Damage You need to keep everything exactly as you received it. Even after that photos, USPS may ask you to bring the package in for them to inspect.

At first, I plan to try Ben's Nguyen Lasagna Method. The smallest straw skinny cutting on the far right could be graftable. Except I don't graft. 

For Ben's Lasagna Method, I failed the first requirement:  three or more nodes per cutting. As Ben mention, some nodes will grow roots and some nodes will grow new leaves. With the two-node cutting, I received, even this method seems unsuccessful.  I think I will just stick this in the rooting media, see what happens. I'll add these varieties to my Harvey Figaholics wish list and checking it twice to see. Only a week or two before the sales starts. What’s on your wish list this year? I’m trying to trade for my wish list figs, and what I haven’t found I’ll buy.  I’m not good at rooting figs, if they don’t make it by Spring/ Early Summer it may be wise to just buy a rooted plant.