sr73087
Newly Registered
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu May 03, 2018 2:18 pm

Given Fig Trees, not sure if they were damaged by cold

I was given 4 potted fig trees a few days ago. They were a relative's that passed away last fall. The plants were sort of forgotten and brought in a few weeks later than normal last winter. Normally people bring them in around Thanksgiving or so and these were left out until almost Christmas. I am in Connecticut, zone 6B. Anyway one of the trees is beginning to leaf out finally but the others I am not sure if they are alive. Some of the branch tips look fairly dark but the wood a few inches down looks good and the branches are all still very pliable. I'm not sure what the right thing to do with the 3 trees that may or may not be dead. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Below is a picture of the trees, the one to the far left, the smallest, is leafing out now.


Image

thanrose
Greener Thumb
Posts: 720
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2009 2:01 pm
Location: Jacksonville, FLZone 9A

Re: Given Fig Trees, not sure if they were damaged by cold

Can't see the pic, but the flexibility of the lower stems make me think they all survived. You could prune off wood that you know is crisp and dry, but you'll be better able to see by mid summer.

My long dead ancient uncle living in Princeton area had several figs when I was a child. In ground. Heavily mulched for winter, with longest canes pegged to the ground under the mulch. It is generally too far north to be growing them in ground, but at least you see it is possible. In pots, there is a possibility of more serious damage because the entire soil and root content can freeze.

So keep doing what you are doing, wait for new growth before deciding what is dead, and make sure to bring them into shelter by Thanksgiving this year. Good luck.

JONA
Mod
Posts: 804
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2014 11:11 am
Location: Sussex. England

Re: Given Fig Trees, not sure if they were damaged by cold

It’s a game of wait and see sr.
Another week or so should reveal if they have come through ok.
It amazes me how tough figs can be.
John

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: Given Fig Trees, not sure if they were damaged by cold

Fig trees are surprisingly hardy. I have two in pots that stay out all winter here in zone seven. We are milder than you , but we had a number of nights well down in the 20's. The tops die back, but they put out lots of new shoots from the bottom.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

sr73087
Newly Registered
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu May 03, 2018 2:18 pm

Re: Given Fig Trees, not sure if they were damaged by cold

So I have been waiting and the 1 tree with leaves has growth on 3 or 4 limbs. Not sure if others may have died. I transplanted this tree and the other I thought was going to leaf out but has not. In fact, none of the others have done anything at all.

At this point should I cut back? I have not found much info on this.

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27736
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Given Fig Trees, not sure if they were damaged by cold

I check to see if fig branch has winterkilled by flicking it with my finger — if dead and dried up, it has a different sound and feel to the flick than living branch.

Another way is to start cutting at top, and if dried and dead, cut a little lower and on down.

If you suspect that entire plant has died, you could check the roots. If the roots are all dead with no sign of new white/fresh/flexible roots, then it’s possible it IS dead.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

gumbo2176
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3065
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2010 6:01 am
Location: New Orleans

Re: Given Fig Trees, not sure if they were damaged by cold

rainbowgardener wrote:Fig trees are surprisingly hardy. I have two in pots that stay out all winter here in zone seven. We are milder than you , but we had a number of nights well down in the 20's. The tops die back, but they put out lots of new shoots from the bottom.
So true on the hardiness of fig trees. When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, my part of the city took 4 1/2 feet of salt water that stayed around for almost 3 weeks before it was totally drained away and my fig tree survived. The ground in my yard was so saturated that I could not walk without sinking into the mud for at least another week or so after the water drained. How that fig tree survived is beyond me.

I also had a citrus tree, Japanese plum and Sweet Olive and all of them died and had to be removed.

sr73087
Newly Registered
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu May 03, 2018 2:18 pm

Re: Given Fig Trees, not sure if they were damaged by cold

So 3 of the 4 have yet to leaf out. The buds looks dried out, blackish and hard. However, the limbs are flexible, I cut back a few of the tip and inside the tree looks healthy and the layer beneath the bark has a greenish tint. By all accounts these things are alive but putting out no growth at all.

Return to “FRUIT FORUM”