Burying a fig "trunk"

I recently rooted a Chicago hardy fig. The fig only had one node that leafed out and because of this, it grows out on an angle. Ultimately I would like to grow it out in a tree rather than bush form and hopefully have a completely straight trunk. When I up pot this plant, is there any harm in burying most of the woody part of the trunk on an angle so the growth point is straight upwards?

Hi! Welcome to the forum. Planting it at an angle shouldn’t be a problem as it would eventually root all along the initial cutting surface. However, I have a few pointers.

I see you are in zone 5. No figs I’m aware of will survive above ground in zone 5 without some form of protection. You might want to check out the following post for information about stepover figs and a low cordon system, which is my plan for all in ground figs (Hint: you are already working towards that with how your tree is growing) Cold hardy figs - #955 by disc4tw

If you do decide you want to protect your tree above ground you will need to build some sort of structure around it. Others have built wood frames for winter protection.

If you do nothing, Hardy Chicago typically does ok dying down to the roots and sprouting back up and fruiting the same year from my understanding. In that case your concern is not an issue, but you’ll have to prune the dead wood each year to make room for the new stuff.

Also, if you truly want to train it as a tree you can just place a stake next to the tree and begin gently bending it up as you tie it.

There are a lot of posts about cold hardy figs and cordon systems, I recommend searching for them and you’ll find a lot of good information.


There will be no problem at all with doing that, some people plant fig trees a foot deep in to the ground, they deal with being buried very well. I’d be more worried about the cold in your climate, that tree would die to the ground every year in zone 5, maybe even if protected. You could always get a 15 gallon or bigger grow bag or pot in the future, that could work.


I do this all the time. If the cutting is well established, you can prune away everything above the branch. If it doesn’t push a new bud, it’ll die back to the current bud.


Thank you all for the replies. I should have mentioned, this chicago hardy will be living in a pot!


I plant figs deeper when they are up potted or planted in ground 100% of the time. It’s good practice to have buried nodes as an insurance policy.

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In z6 mine all lived in a pot last year and will be trialed in ground this year with protection. @steveb4 had his survive colder than z5 with protection this year!

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Did it have enough time to ripen fruit?

Does anyone know if this is true for mulberries too? Is it safe to bury a mulberry trunk?

Black Mulberry can because it’s recommended that cuttings of it be about 6 feet deep when rooted Morus nigra Black Mulberry PFAF Plant Database

I am not sure about the other types of mulberry

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Thank you!

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You are welcome

I think this is year one… I’m sure he’ll report when the time comes.

You can certainly bury the tree deeper.

The other option is to cut the entire top growth at the ground level by next spring. Then the plant will send out new shoot from slightly below the ground. Then the new branch will be straight up. It does not slow down the tree much since it grows roots the current year.