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Giant Ficus at Rogers Electric

Posted by altozwei 
Giant Ficus at Rogers Electric
November 05, 2017 05:04PM
Anyone here remember the giant ficus tree in the old Rogers Electric building on Central Expressway? The building became Steinway Hall but the plant remained for a while. I'm just curious as to what finally happened to it.
Re: Giant Ficus at Rogers Electric
November 05, 2017 05:55PM
Hmmm..... . I don't remember the tree, but I wonder about it. Do you know the species of _Ficus_? Most figs are tropical, and will not survive even light frost. There is a species, grown for the fruit in the southern U.S. including by gardeners in Texas. It is tolerant of freezing, but not really cold. But it is a shrub, and dies back to the ground in cold winters in the Dallas area. It is grown commonly in California, and is the fig used in fig newton cookies. I have never seen the fresh fruit itself in commerce though my father grew them for family use. They are sold as dried fruit, though. I think the fruits do not keep well.

How big was a giant fig tree in Dallas?

Dave McNeely
Re: Giant Ficus at Rogers Electric
November 06, 2017 06:35AM
It was still there a few years ago. It must have been 45-50 years old.
Re: Giant Ficus at Rogers Electric
November 06, 2017 09:53AM
Ben, how big is (was) the tree, and do you know which fig species? common fig, _Ficus arica_? That is the fig commonly grown for fruit in Texas and elsewhere in the U.S. though it is possible, with attention and maintenance, for the plant to grow into a tree, typically it grows as a shrub, and the stems freeze back to the ground if temperatures fall below about 20 F, which it does in Dallas in most winters, though recent years have been warmer. Certainly any tree 40 50 years old would have experienced temperatures below 20 F.

If it is common fig, and is both that old and large (and is still present), persons who keep up with "Champion" trees might be interested. If it is another species, then they might still be interested, since other species of figs are exceedingly rare outdoors in the U.S. except in areas where frost does not occur, such as coastal California, Florida, and southernmost Texas. Florida does have native figs, and numerous tropical species have been introduced there, but Texas has no native figs, and few species have been successfully grown here.

Dave McNeely
Re: Giant Ficus at Rogers Electric
November 06, 2017 10:20AM
Dave, I am sure it was an ornamental, not a fruiting variety. The last time I saw it, it was two stories tall, filling the glass atrium in the building.Here is a link to a photo of the building, in which you can see the tree in the front left corner.

[s3.amazonaws.com]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/06/2017 10:25AM by altozwei.
Re: Giant Ficus at Rogers Electric
November 06, 2017 05:40PM
Ah, it was indoors. That explains things a lot. Yes, it was probably one of the species commonly grown indoors for ornament. BTW, those technically are fruiting, though most never flower as grown, and if they did, there would need to be not only another specimen nearby, but the right species of fig wasp to handle pollination.

Dave McNeely
Re: Giant Ficus at Rogers Electric
November 14, 2017 01:24PM
altozwei Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Anyone here remember the giant ficus tree in the
> old Rogers Electric building on Central
> Expressway? The building became Steinway Hall but
> the plant remained for a while. I'm just curious
> as to what finally happened to it.

I would say it's recently deceased, or they removed it. I just looked at Google Maps Street View, and it's visible in the January, 2016 photo, and looks like it had been pruned quite a bit. In the February, 2017 photo, it's gone. It's quite bushy in photos from September, 2015 and earlier.
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