Cold hardy figs


I’d like to give people some advice on giving fig trees what they need to deal with cold better. Fig trees unlike a lot of other plants don’t mind being buried deep in to the ground, the deeper the roots go and the deeper the tree goes, the harder they are to kill and the more healthy they are after cold weather, and after drought. The deeper in the ground the more heat there is and the more moisture there is. Also using gravel as a mulch helps a lot too, like cement 4 inches or more of gravel absorbs a lot of cold during freezing temperatures, cold that would normally just absorb in to the ground. Like mulch the gravel prevents water and nutrient runoff, it keeps the ground more moist, and warmer. The colder the weather the deeper the tree should go, the thicker the gravel layer should be. Figs roots are cold sensitive, especially the ones closest to the tree, and they don’t grow deep by habit. The gravel helps keep them buried well. We have a wall around our fig tree to hold the gravel in, made with restraining wall blocks.


To avoid starting another topic can someone confirm something. Is Texas everbearing the exact same thing as Brown Turkey? I have BT and saw Texas everbearing for sale but don’t need more of the same


Yes and no, a lot of different varieties are called "Brown Turkey. “Texas Everbearing” is a strain of “Southern Brown Turkey”, there are different strains of “Southern Brown Turkey”, “yet Southern Brown Turkey” is not really “Brown Turkey”, yet sometimes “Southern Brown Turkey” is sold as “Brown Turkey”.


hiya, alan. in well drained soil, deep planting is the only way to go. i dg 3’ deep holes for my trees.
it;s not possible for me to lose a tree to cold.


Great, Susie I wonder how well it would work in places like North Dakota or Vermont. Very cold places.


alan, my roots are below the frost line so cold can’t kill them.
i believe you just have to plant below the frost line n figs won’t die.
it look kinda funny tho.
i take this great big tree, 3’ tall n when i’m done it looks like a baby, 4’’ tall.
here, i get an added benefit.
this is a drought ridden place.
often the top soil is bone dry, but there is usually moisture down deep.


It’s a nice 60+ degree day here. I decided to unwrap my fig tree. The lowest we have in the forecast is 27 wiithin next 3 weeks. So hopefully no more real frost. It looks good as you can see below. I think it made it. I was worried it’d start growing inside the wrapping but it is fully dormant (or dead :)) next year I’ll wait another week or so before unwrapping.
I had a layer of burlap then insulation then a skinny box then again insulation between the box and this metal cage. Pretty much all the insulation was still dry. About two inches of burlap from bottom up was moist. I guess moisture from the soil though I had piece of tarp to cover the bottom. I think I will continue to use insulation. As long as I can keep it dry, it seems to work.


I hope you will have better luck than I did. Last year I unwrapped my CH in early April. Everything was nice and green.

Then temp dropped around freezing or even below. Most green turned brown. I thought they did not like sudden and prolong exposure to colder temp (than what it had in the cocoon). Whatever it was, those branches died the ground after that.


kinda early to unwrap.
i suggest you get movers blankets in case
of sudden chill.
they are so heavy n thick, you just toss one over the tree.
i did that in our 10 degree cold snap in october, when i wasn’t ready.
i’m confident my trees are fine.
i’ll report in a couple months.

i usually unwrap around easter.
sometimes, my dominick has white leaves at that point, but they turned green in a couple days.

that said, i suspect that early unwrapping gives you an early start .


Oh oh…I knew I was getting too excited too early. Teeny bit of green was poking out of my peach seedlings so I thought things are really waking up. Where do figs leaf out in the time line of regular fruit trees? After peach but before pear? Or after both peach and pear?


Per my note in the spring of2018 :
One of the coldest first 10 of April.
4/11 unwrapped CH temp was 45F
4/15 low 27 F

The 16 of the first 19 days of April, temp was below average.
In short, bad timing.

I am half a zone colder than you.

Suzie is half a zone warmer than you.
If Suz unwrap her fig around Easter, I think you may want to wait a bit longer.


Yes definitely next year. Also for this year maybe I should cover it up during 27 degree nights.


I would, but don’t use anything that acts like a greenhouse in the day. Those moving blankets are good (and very cheap if you have a Harbor Freight) or maybe burlap and a few dried leaves, etc.

If anything is obviously dead on it, remember our horrible ambrosia beetles! That’s how I got them in my yard. Cut it out asap, and maybe seal the end since temps are still getting low.


upper 20s isn’t too bad for figs, but your tree is young.
once a fig is inground for 4 years, it can laugh at those temps.
but, newer trees are tender.
i’d baby it for a couple years.
great big root systems take care of top growth.
please let us know about the peach.
you’ ll need some luck there.
blossoming early can cost you a crop.


I doubt the peach will flower this year. It’s a young tree. This will be the third year from seed.


Yesterday it was 76 degrees. Overnight went down to 38 and today 46! What a roller coaster weather. I took the advice and wrapped up the fig in a thick moving blanket. Next few days highs will be mid 40’s. So I will leave the blankie on during day and night. Hoping for the best…


nobody knows why wrapping works, since the tree gives off no heat for insulation to hold in.
my current theory is that insulation just serves to protect the tree from rapid temp swings.
trees are not as dormant as some people think.
roots are slowed down but are active all year long.
they move some things up into dormant top growth slowly.

none of this is well understood by biologists.


Insulation keeps cold from going through fast, like it keeps heat from going through fast.


that’s what i’m thinking, but some people disagree.


@alanmercieca Probably a combination of smoothing out air temp fluctuations and minimizing desiccation.