Avoiding Fig Freezes


Do you cover them for the winter?

I know you mentioned it before, what is the material again? For me I have to bury it as it will be right in front of the house, and if I did that the wife would make me sleep under it. Although I might use it in the back for other in ground figs.

Its aluminum foil bubble wrap insulation, for example:


I used regular staples to turn it into bigger pieces, and ground staples to attach to ground. One big advantage over other protections is the figs don’t overheat on hot sunny winter days and come out of dormancy too early; this is due to the exterior reflecting sun.

I only cover the Kakis with tarps and the light bulbs in the center of the trees. For figs, I covered the base with a foot of wood mulch to protect the root systems. I figured they would grow back in the Spring and still get fruits in the fall.


there are two types of men–those who’d post pictures online of their fancy italian sportscars being fashionably draped and protected with customized louis vuitton covers

and those who’d post pix of their fancy italian figs being fashionably draped and protected with customized covers from homedepot. No less!

and the latter is reason why i love this website :deciduous_tree:



There’s a THIRD type of man who would post photographs of hundreds of luscious figs grown on his own land-- complete with close-up cross-section shots of the delicious colorful flesh!

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Humph! What a show-off.

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that could be seen by some as bragging, no doubt, but it is one of the few types of bragging which is not something one would scoff at(even if Mother Teresa was alive today and witnessing it). In fact, that is the type of bragging everyone would love to see here!

posing for pics with one’s trees, greens, and fruits is way different from posing with ones bugattis, gulfstreams, and AR-15’s.

what i really find amusing whenever i browse through the websites of sportscar/gun fanciers, the arguments over there ooze with incredible amounts of vitriol and grandstanding.

there are some arguments and maybe even a sprinkle of vitriol in our dot org too, which, am sure the sportscar and gun fanciers visiting our website will find ‘cute’ and rather tame :laughing:

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I don’t see a big benefit to growing them in containers longer before planting. They usually grow so much when planted as rooted cuttings in June that they sucker and that pretty much ensures their regrowth after the first winter. Sometimes older plants that are maybe a little stunted from being in a container don’t do that and if the tops freeze the stump will take longer to regrow or sometimes not at all because it doesn’t have as many buds ready to grow at the base. It makes them weedy but that is how they adapt to cold climates.

If the first year plants get a chance to drop their leaves before a freeze they can sometimes keep a couple feet or more of growth if it is protected. This past fall there was a hard freeze in October so I had severe damage early on to the ones that were still growing, anxiously waiting to see how bad it ends up this spring.

Unless you are going to grow a huge container tree first I don’t think it is worth the trouble. A 3 year old/15 gallon tree is going to have better chances of survival its first winter planted out than a first year tree but that first year tree will probably be hardier by its 3rd year than that same container tree. Comparing apples to apples, if one was planted directly and covered each winter while another was grown in a container for 3 years first, make sense?

The bigger planting hole of loose soil around the roots is also an invitation to mice and voles, especially if planted without removing the potting mix.

One other thing to try is shovel pruning the roots a foot away from the trunk in September, I wouldn’t do this to young trees but have on 4+ year olds that were stuck in the freeze/overgrow cycle and it seemed to help them a little bit.

Just being silly :slight_smile: .

feel free to post more of your pix, this webby has terabytes of allotted free data :eyeglasses:

Most of my figs will be in pots, but I want to experiment with in ground. I could not handle more than a few in ground. I’m happy growing in containers. I will also experiment with some planted young and some planted older. I mostly want to wait so they grow enough for me to take cuttings as backup. I like experimenting and to see what is possible. I’m grafting, breeding plants, have bonsai, overwinter indoors, in the shed, in pots outside, and in the garage. I like to see what is possible, it’s my hobby, and it keeps me from killing the neighbors!

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My winter storage areas get pretty cold so last year I lost most of my 3 gallon trees while their siblings in the ground almost all regrew. Just wanted to let people know it is possible and sometimes preferable depending on the situation.

I agree Brent, it works the other way too. This year it was too warm in my attached garage, the figs are doing great! Staying dormant and such, but my blueberries starting growing! Yikes! So now I lost all fruit this year on them. Maybe even a plant (I have four in pots). So next year the blueberries in pots are going in the shed. But it looks like my garage is perfect for figs! Luckily I have 2 blueberry plants in the ground, and they are 4th leaf so I will get a decent harvest on them.

I don’t have any cross section photos. How about just the tree? It’s on the right bracketed by the cedar behind and the roses you can walk under just ahead of the main fig tree. It’s tall.

That was taken on May 8th last year. The tree looks sort of naked right now, but we did get over 1,000 figs from it last year. The roses aren’t blooming right now, either. Just the daffodils and hyacinths throughout that area.

The greenery in the left foreground is forsythia, which is blooming. It’s also in the process of being dug out to be replaced by apples. :slight_smile: But his post is really about the fig, which I don’t even try to cover.

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Here are my Zone 5 weedy fig bushes: Celeste, LSU gold, few more varieties that I loss their labels.


More fig bushes behind the Hybrid Nikita’s Gift persimmon.

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nice vista!

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good to know your figs grow back and even bear fruits, considering nebraska is not an ideal a place for figs- outdoors in winter…

btw, has your nikita bloomed/borne fruits yet?