Susa
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can i save my fig tree?

I planted a brown turkey fig several weeks ago. I'm not sure of it's age, but it has just the stem and one branch and is maybe 3 ft tall. It was doing well, and had bright green leaves sprouting, but after two hard freezes the leaves turned brown and now, after weeks of warm weather, I see no growth. I bent the tip of the branch and it snapped off, totally dry, but I peeled away some bark and see another few inches of brown, dead branch and below that, about 8 inches from the ground level, green branch. Can I just cut away the brown part, or will it not heal from that?
Thanks

JONA878
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Re: can i save my fig tree?

Susa wrote:I planted a brown turkey fig several weeks ago. I'm not sure of it's age, but it has just the stem and one branch and is maybe 3 ft tall. It was doing well, and had bright green leaves sprouting, but after two hard freezes the leaves turned brown and now, after weeks of warm weather, I see no growth. I bent the tip of the branch and it snapped off, totally dry, but I peeled away some bark and see another few inches of brown, dead branch and below that, about 8 inches from the ground level, green branch. Can I just cut away the brown part, or will it not heal from that?
Thanks

Hi Susa.
Figs are pretty tough customers and your Turkey looks as if it will pull through.
You could cut the dead wood off until you meet un-frosted wood....but I would be inclined to wait for the plant to break into fresh growth and then cut back at that stage.
Figs will 'bleed ' when they are cut back and it might be better for the plant if it does not waste energy until there is new growth started.

Good luck.
An apple a day.....keeps me in work.

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hendi_alex
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With brown turkey, sometimes a hard freeze will kill tender top growth, especially that which didn't develop tougher dark colored bark during the previous growing season. My guess is that your tips will be dead, but the lower parts of the top growth will put back out. Even if the top is totally dead, the roots will put out fresh growth in the spring. Just don't let too many shoots develop. Pick the strongest three or so shoots and prune the others off close to the ground. It is almost impossible for a brown turkey to get totally killed.

I had a brown turkey growing in too exposed of a location and its top growth got totally killed every year. The last year there must have been a dozen shoots coming up from the center of the root system. I decided to give up and change locations. Every shoot was chopped off, saving a little root or a significant root with each piece. All of the shoots were planted in 3 gallon to 5 gallon containers. At least ten of those survived. Most were given to friends and about three were kept to start a fresh fig tree, but in a more protected location.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

Susa
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I gave it some fertilizer and left it alone and, surprise, I see new buds.
Thanks for the suggestions!

GardenGnome
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I was going to say I have 3 fig trees well 2ish there purpleish/brown and there hard to kill. I dug one up and its still alive.
Gilson (Giles) Zone 7b

GardenGnome
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Sometimes mine will lose all the leafs but still produce fruit.
Gilson (Giles) Zone 7b

Houdini
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Location: Roseville, Ca

I'm glad to read all of this. I just bought a house and there is very little in my yard. I got a fig tree shoot from my neighbor and planted it. It's been two weeks since i did so and i don't see much new growth. I've been watering it when it hasn't rained. It seams to be flexable still and seams alive, its just not doing much....

I'm new to gardening and lawn care. I'm notorious for killing plants BTW. I'm trying to get over that and move into the relm of my grandmother who could pick a leaf up of the lawn and grow a tree in 2 weeks.

Thanks in advance.

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RogueRose
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They don't like cold - but don't worry, Pretty sure it'll come back. I'm in NJ and I have a fig tree that's outside year round and it's been here for 60+ years. It looks like death all winter and for the beginning of the spring but then it picks up. Mine doesn't look normal and fully leafed until late May/June. We cut it last year pretty much down to the nubs and it came back with a vengeance. I've had it start to come in then freeze/snow. Everything dies but then it comes back! A lot of folks up here cover their figs or bring them inside. This has never been covered or brought inside and it bears more fruit than I can handle!

gumbo2176
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My fig tree sat under salt water for over 2 weeks before it finally drained away after Hurricane Katrina. The summer of 06 was not a great year and I really didn't have much time to tend to it what with trying to get my house back together.

In the fall of 06 I trimmed the heck out of it and left it alone. The summer of 07 was one of the best crops of figs I had in years and it has been producing huge quantities of figs with great size and flavor ever since.

It has responded very well to some pretty severe trimming almost every year since then. I checked the tree the other day and it is chock full of baby figs and by July I should be picking them daily for a few weeks worth of harvest. Last year I had a few days of between 100 and 200 figs when it was at its peak.

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