Hey All… appreciate the tips… I got some ideas that I am for sure going to try next year from this.
On burying your fig tree - I did find some youtube vids of people (far north zone 4-5) actually digging up their fig tree (exposing the root ball an all) digging a trench (like a grave for a body), and laying the entire fig tree down and burry it…covering with straw, leaves, tarps, etc… WOW… that is a little extreme BUT perhaps in extremely cold regions that is your best bet…
I found lots of others down around Zone 7 (like me)… who simply pruned them some, tied them up, and wrapped them with various materials (lots of variations on that)… from plastic, to burlap, to roofing felt, etc…
Many of them seemed to leave their fig tree trunks, branches 5-6 ft tall… rather than pruning them down to just 2 ft tall (like I was trying). As I understand it, Figs only produce fruit on new wood ? so why not prune them down low enough to make it much easier to protect for the winter. I am thinking if you can get 4-5 - 2’ tall trunks… to survive the winter, they would bud and leaf out quickly and you would get a jump on growth and production that season.
Not sure why all of these folks on youtube, in more southern states, zone 7-8… were leaving their fig tree so tall before wrapping it for winter protection. Is there some advantage to that ?
Better to get 6ft of fig tree to survive the winter… than 2 or 3 ft ?
Below is one of the guys on youtube that I watched several video’s of… now he is a FIG NUT… he obviously loves them and is growing (hundreds)… and up in PA too… Much colder there than it is here in TN.
He seems to favor pruning them off at about 1 ft tall, for the winter… and protecting that 1 ft, by burying with various insulating materials topped over with layers of tarp.
He has a bed of figs… probably a hundred or so in the bed, planted at 2 ft spacing… and lops them all off about 1 ft high, and covers the entire bed.
In the video (link above) he mentions 3 methods of protecting figs that he has used…
If you are a northern fig grower… you might get some good tips from Ross.
I am not sure that the more extreme protection plans… that apply to Zones 4-5-6… would apply to my Zone 7a location. I am not going to dig up my fig root ball, and lay it over in a grave and burry it (for example)…
But next fall, I think I will try something different.
A large new Garbage Can… with the bottom removed… prune my fig back to 2 ft tall, and wrap the 4-5 trunks in soft rope to pull them to the center some, some hardware cloth around that to protect from rodents… then simply place that bottomless can on top, and fill it with pine bark mulch to burry it.
I will also cover the root ball area (the entire raised bed/mound) with extra deep mulch to protect it thru the winter. If the top does die, the roots will be protected.
In the spring… if I happened to un-protect my Fig… and then along comes a late frost…
Since it is pruned down to 2 ft tall… even if it has budded out some at that point… I should be able to simply put my can back on top, and cover with a few blankets, or tarps for the night.
Once I do unprotect my Fig this spring… I will report back here on how it did with the protection I had in place this year.
Thanks for all the help.