Satisfying dormancy in a fridge or cold cellar

Well this may seem like a weird question but here goes:

I have a fig tree that I received from a friend and am growing out in our basement along with our other fig starts. I received it last fall and it’s grown nicely but I’d like to give it a period of dormancy before summer. Unfortunately it just started a new flush of growth so I’m inclined to let it finish before forcing it into dormancy. However, if I do wait, temperatures here will be more spring-like and not as good for a good dormancy period. So, my options as I see it are to either let it continue to grow out and skip a dormant period (doesn’t seem as good for the plant to me, but maybe it’s okay), or to give it some dormant hours either in a cold cellar or a fridge. Our cold cellar might not be as cold by the time the growth flush is complete while a fridge could be set to something slightly below 40 for a consistently cool dormancy.

Alright, so what would you do in this instace?

A fig doesn’t really need chilling. It’s more about stopping growth, hardening off, and losing it’s leaves. You don’t want to waste a couple months minimum doing that. If a fig drops it’s leaves and stops growing a while it’s happy chilled or not. Given where you are it’s safe to roll thru this summer and give it a normal dormancy next winter.

I agree. Let it grow and let it have dormancy natually next winter. If it’s actively growing now, forcing it into dormancy is just going to really, really mess it up.

I would also just let it grow this year and let it go dormant next year. I achieve dormancy and store most of my figs in an old canning/putting-up room in my basement. I do let the trees go fully dormant outside and only take them in once they are well into dormancy. (generally just after Thanksgiving)

Thanks all, I’ll leave it be for this year and let it go into dormancy naturally as suggested.

Out of curiosity, does anyone know what happens if you don’t allow a tree to naturally enter dormancy? Will it eventually force a sort of dormancy on itself, perhaps outright die, or something else?

I believe I read an article about adapting apple trees to grow in tropical areas such that they became evergreen but I believe they were still manually defoliated at times to force blooms.

Lack of dormancy likely increases disease and pest risk because the tree doesn’t defoliate.

Oh wow, not sure how I managed to reply to a 4 year old thread.