The Q&A Archives: Plant ingA Fig Tree

Question: I received a fig tree for Father's Day and I want to know the best way to plant and care for it.

Answer: Fig trees grown in cold winter regions generally turn out to be multi-trunked shrubs rather than tall, single-trunked trees. The idea is to keep the roots protected from deep, prolonged frosts, and the branches from freezing completely through. You can plant your fig tree in the ground, providing you protect it from winter weather. Here's how: In late fall, prune trees back to about 6', and head back horizontally spreading branches. Tie branches with rope or twine to make a tight cylinder. Dig a 2' deep trench as long as the tree is tall, starting at the root ball of the tree. Place boards on the bottom and sides of the trench. Dig out soil from the roots opposite the trench until the tree is free enough to be tipped into the trench. Wrap the tree in heavy plastic , bend it into the trench, and fill around it with straw or dried leaves. Put a board over the tree, and shovel the soil over it. Resurrect trees in spring after danger of hard frost is past.

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