Figs and freeze - Knowledgebase Question

Nevada, MO
Avatar for jjtant
Question by jjtant
April 13, 2007
I have two fig trees that I grew in a contained up
until last spring. I planted them on the south side of the house. We had a much more severe winter than usual and my fig trees have yet to bud out except for a couple of leaves that have appeared at ground level on one of the plants.

Have I lost my fig trees or do they just bud late?
What about the new growth at the ground level on
the one plant?

Answer from NGA
April 13, 2007
It's likely that your fig trees froze down to root level. Fig trees (Ficus carica) can be grown in Missouri, but they are subject to winter injury when temperatures get down into the single digits. If you can devise some method of protecting the plant by covering the entire plant with two layers of white plastic (sealed down to the ground) or bending it down and burying it, you may be able to get it through most winters. You might also plant in a large tub with wheels and roll it into an unheated garage every winter.

At this point I'd wait to see exactly where the new growth is coming from and then prune off everything that is dead. Next fall you can provide better winter protection and the following spring your trees won't have to start all over again with new growth - they will develop leaves on existing branches.

Best wishes with your fig trees!

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