In ground Fig - protecting, unprotecting questions

This is probably a silly idea, but what if you trained the step-over in a spiral within that 4’ circle? Would that even work?

If you are just bending over for the winter, they will pretty much right themselves the next spring as long as they are not tied down.


You might be able to do that, but for me not sure it would be worth the effort, comparted to just letting it grow naturally.

Last year, it was dead to the ground, sprouted up from the roots, grew to be 12 ft tall, 6 ft wide, and gave us 90 figs from the end of July to Dec 3.

I just can’t complain about that :slight_smile:

And not sure I want to go thru a lot of fuss and trouble to force it to do a little more.


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It might be that you had a very good growing season last year, or planted in a very warm microclimate. Main crop in July is very, very early, especially for a tree that died back so much. I hope it stays that way for you, but I would not take it as a given that your tree will perform so well every year.

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hoosier… after our very late frost April 15 last year… we did have a very good growing year, plenty of rain, even late in the year, July, August, Sept, Oct… more rain than usual. In Sept and Oct the grass in my field and the bushes, trees, in the woods were still looking like early June… That may be why it did so well last year. I do think it likes where it is growing, full sun, all day, and slope to the south.

When I do move to my new location, establish new plantings of all my favorite things… I may add another Fig Tree for a total of 2… and there I will be able to try the (step over fig) thing and see how well that works.

Chicago Hardy - I will for sure have another one of those there…

I have heard that Celeste may be a good choice for TN Zone 7a, also… (cold hardy to 0 degrees)…
Brown Turkey, (10 degrees)…

Are those as likely to come back from the roots, if the entire top does not survive the winter.

In my 59 years… I have seen -17 degrees here (one time) early 80’s.
Not sure we will see that again…


Pretty much any variety will come back from the roots here, but for me, celeste did not set figs after dying back. LSU Tiger might work out for you, and I like the flavor more. The only downside to hardy Chicago is the figs split more in the rain and don’t ripen as well in the fall.

A tree of that size really should yield more fruit than that. If you do a good job protecting it, I’d imagine you could easily exceed 500 figs. I prune my Mt Etna figs down to 4-5 feet before winter protecting and they each yield that much. Vigorous new growth from extensive dieback does not ripen as many figs as growth that is retained from previous years. The tree is putting more energy into vegetative growth rather than fruiting.


PharmerDrewee… had not checked this post in a while.

My CH Fig was on it’s second year last year… First year we got around 25 figs, Year 2 (after being dead to the ground) and sprouting up from roots, we got around 75 figs.

I can’t imaging getting 500 figs in a season from one tree… but bring it on. I will take that.

This year is year 3 for my CH Fig… Today I just took the Protection off it and found this…

No critter, mole, vole, mouse, rat - damage — some had mentioned that they often chew the bark off the trunks… but no damage at all.




And I scraped a couple of those smaller stumps, and found GREEN.


Looks like my make shift protection worked OK this winter. We hit 8 and 10 degrees a few nights, a month or so ago.



spring weather up here in Michigan always teases me to start unwrapping things early…

Last frost date is early May.

It was over 70 degrees here today. Temps this weekend are due to fall back into the mid-20’s next week overnights…

I am happily willing to wait a couple more weeks…


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Fig wood is quite bendy, so you can pull the branches together with a tow strap or wide cable ties before wrapping it up with something. I use 2 layers of burlap and a clear tarp with a bucket over top. It has been pretty effective for me in 7a, but the last two winters have been reasonably mild too.

I’ve got a Celeste that’s about 7-8 feet tall in-ground, with the central leader about 3-4 inches across near the base.

TheGrog… I had them pulled together with a soft rope.

Expect i will have to protect them a few more times before this winter kicks its last kick. Perhaps a large bucket with a couple tarps or a blanket on top will do from here on out.

My 8 day yesterday was showing lows in 40s and 50s only…


I uncovered mine on 3-14 and they’re doing great, leafing out.

Out of extra caution i covered them with a tarp the other night when projected low was 35.
They don’t seem to have missed a beat.

I Don’t plan on doing it again unless we get below 38 or so.

I definitely need to modify the way I protect mine over winter. I had some limb damage and moving the leaves was too much work.

Looks like you were lucky with no rodent damage! I would consider taking some precautions next year, just in case. This poor guy had some significant damage over the winter from rodents:

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JCT… I will do that… some hardware cloth wrapped around each individual trunk should do the trick.

TT - hope mine buds and leaf’s out soon… it has been getting some good rain and lots of sunshine today… Hopefully it will spring to life soon. I was impressed by 75 figs last year… who knows what will happen this year… 100, 200 ? I will be happy with what ever I do get.



Green is good, now just hope for no late freeze. I’m in 6B, and also planted my CH on the South side of my house, but planted it only 2 feet from the foundation hoping for warm roots and it’s been pretty successful. In 8 or 9 years now, despite yearly single digit temps, it’s only been killed to the ground once, but 2 times it’s been hit with a late freeze just when it broke dormancy that did serious damage. I haven’t otherwise protected it, except during one episode of 2 days with below zero temps I put 2 intact straw bales at the base to form a triangle with the foundation for a bit of protection at the base. I keep it below the eave height, trim it to a multi-stem 8 ft shrub form. I did my scratch test today, and happily found green at 5 foot so I’m hoping for no freeze and a good crop this year. Good luck!

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Poorwolf… if we do get any temps below 40 going forward this spring… I will protect it again for sure. Not all that same stuff I used for winter protection… but probably a large tomato cage on top draped with tarps and a old blanket.


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@TNHunter - throw an @ in front of someone’s username and the site will let them know that someone is addressing a remark their way.

Here we go this week with likely freeze…Gotta love the forecasting…this was not in the extended forecast only a few days ago.
I have my figs and a small pawpaw covered as I write this.

@TrilobaTracker… yes… I know… same every spring it seems… so many things budding and blooming and such crazy swings in Temps.

I just checked NC5 forecast and they are showing Lows for Wed, Thurs, Fri as 34 28 34.

I am not so worried about my CH Fig… I just recently un-protected it and below is a pic I took of it today.

As you can see not much happening yet… there are a couple of buds swelling (that stem on the far right)… but since I still have a HUGE pile of hay around it… and my stumps there are only about 2’ high… hopefully I can just cover all of that with a tarp and a blanket and be OK if we do hit that 28 degrees.

Much more worried about my peaches, apples.

My Eu Plums are just starting to leaf a bit, no blooms in sight yet, so they should be good.

Good Luck to you on keeping your stuff safe and warm.


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