Mission Fig - Knowledgebase Question

Trenton, NJ
Question by awi1
September 26, 2004
I live in central NJ Temp avg winter -10 to -25, Do I have to cover and tie up the branches also the main stalk ?
Thank You

Answer from NGA
September 26, 2004


Yes, you'll need to protect your fig tree from winter weather. Here's how: Once the fig tree has lost its leaves, wrap the tree in burlap, carefully pulling its branches in as tightly as possible without breaking them, then either surround with a wire cage (in its first few years), fill with fallen leaves, and cover with a large plastic trash bag, or wrap the branches in the same manner, lay the fig down on its side (in later years), heap on the dry leaves, and cover with a weighted tarp for the winter. To do this, use a spade to sever the fig's roots in a semicircle 18-36" away from the trunk (depending on the age or size of the tree) on the side opposite the one you want to lay it down on. Then, gently, with the help of an assistant if necessary, lever the soil on that far side while slowly, carefully, gently, laying the wired tree down. Some gardeners even go so far as to dig a ditch within which to lay the tree, in climates where the winter is particularly uncooperative. However you overwinter your fig, start checking for bud swelling when fruit trees begin to flower, but don't remove the tree's protection, set the tree back upright, or bring the pot back outside until the weather has settled, usually around the local frost-free date or slightly thereafter.

Best wishes with your fig tree!

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