I'm in Z6 and I've had a Hardy Chicago in ground for over 20 years. It's above ground branches are killed at around 17 F (-8.3 C). Mine dies back to the ground level every year and grows 12+ feet (4m) tall with multiple stems and produces a lot of fruit.
Hi gregkdc, I'm in Zone 6b also, in S. Indiana and have my Chicago Hardy planted in ground on the South side of my house, about 2 feet out from the foundation. Mine has lived for 4 years now. When it drops leaves and goes dormant in the fall, I cut it back to within 2 or 3 feet tall, mulch it heavily with dry straw, and cover it with a 1/2 of a 55 gallon plastic barrel, but use a white one to avoid holding too much heat. I put a cut 10 inches long in the top of the barrel and cover that with a brick, or uncover it depending on rainfall, wind and temp fluctuation. This lets out the excess moisture and I haven't had any issue with molds. Our Springs can change very quickly back into winter here, but when temps are decent I remove the straw and then only use the barrel cover when temps hit the 30's and lower. I've seen people bury HUGE fig trees, but have found my method to be much less labor and after 2 back surgeries I avoid digging when I can. I have a somewhat smaller plant in the spring, but I have an intact, undisturbed plant that bounces back quickly with often even no tip die back. I had a 7 foot potted Brown Turkey for several years that I drug in and out, up and down, just to get a few dozen figs off of. I finally lost that one to an unexpected freeze when I was out of town and I miss that beautiful single trunk tree, but I sure don't miss the work. Good luck with your fig! Greg
I am not and have not visited the place, but it is literally like 2 miles from our new house.....I should go check it out, but it sounds as though many of the things they trialed there that I was most interested in didn't perform well so they disco9ntinued them....I'm not sure, for example, if they have any remaining American persimmons or pawpaws at the site at this time
If you do visit, let us know please!
Thanks for your testimony. I measured the distance of my fig tree and the foundation, 2.1" ft.
I am in a colder zone, 6a. Could you please take a picture of your barrel? It sounded like you cut the top for air vent but you also cover it when it rains/snows/wet. Is that right?
I wish mine looked as good as yours, Mamuang! Yes, I cut a slit in the top, and usually leave the brick on most of the winter, and moisture doesn't seem to get in thru it. Will try to get a picture tomorrow, but it's just a plastic barrel with about 1/3 cut off.. I washed out my rain barrels today, and when I turned the first one over to start I found my first large snake of the year. A 4ft black snake. I'm not phobic about them, but hate that surprise so early.
I think whiffletree nursery offers this plant now.