A Rotting Fig Tree
I have a fig tree and all the figs have started to crack open and are rotting as a result. Is an animal doing this or some other issue, and what do I do about it other than cutting it down? It seems that all of the figs are doing this and is producing a horrible rotten smell. There are also a lot of bees, flies and such all over the tree.
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
This cracking is caused by uneven watering. You can think of the fig fruit like little balloons. If the tree has not had quite enough water, when it does get watered, especially if it is watered with a large amount, the tree sucks up the water quickly. This large amount of water is sent into the fruit, which cannot grow their skins rapidly enough to adjust for the rush of water, and the fruit skins crack open.
Once the skins crack, the fruit will start going bad and the sweet juice inside will attract wasps and bees. You are best to harvest what you can now.
In the future, try to make sure that the tree is watered during dry times when it is in fruit, especially when the fruit is near ripe as this is when the skins are thinnest and most prone to cracking. Watering during dry times will protect the fruit if you happen to get a downpour.