The Q&A Archives: Fig Tree

Question: Gifted mother with a fig tree and planted it in September.
Gets kinda cold here in I covered it. Wondering if I'm smothering it. Here's what I did:
Made teepee form with garden stakes. Wrapped with one layer of burlap, add large paper leaf bag, and then a plastic garbage bag.
Was still about 6 inches not protected at base, so stuffed with mulch..(leaves and such). Have I killed it? Please help.

Answer: Your shelter started out right, but went astray when you covered it with a plastic garbage bag. Take the plastic off or the tree will suffer all kinds of problems. Fig trees are resilient and even if the tops are killed back, the roots will generate new stems and foliage. The important thing is to wait until all the leaves fall off, then wrap the trunk and branches with any material that will help protect it from extreme cold. Burlap, old sheets, even newspaper can help insulate it. Stuff the spaces between the cloth or burlap with straw or dried leaves if you can. It may look peculiar over the winter, but your protected tree will rebound in the spring, producing lots of foliage (and fruit, we hope!)

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