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  • How to Winterize Your Fig Tree

    by Jerry Tommarello

    Fig Tree From Jerry Tommarello's Garden
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    The fig tree cannot survive when the temperature is +20 degrees Fahrenheit or colder. As the weather starts to get colder you need to make plans to protect your fig tree from the harsh winter weather that can damage and kill your fig tree. Many of the old timers prefer to bury their fig trees in the ground, but if you do not like to do this or do not have the room to bury your tree there is another alternative. Here is what I do to protect my fig trees:

    • Tie up all the branches.
    • Wrap many sections of newspaper around the tree and tape it. Use a lot of newspaper.
    • Lay many sections of newspaper at the base of the tree and on the ground to help protect the roots.
    • Take apart wooden pallets and nail the wood slats to some light gauge wire fence. Chicken fence may work but I use a little heavier fence. Form the fence/wood into a cylinder and tie or wire it together at the ends. Wood will be on the outside and the fence on the inside of the cylinder.
    • Slide the fence/wood cylinder over the tree.
    • Fill the empty space between the tree and fence/wood cylinder with straw.
    • Slide the next fence/wood cylinder over the tree and tie/wire it to the other cylinder.
    • Fill the empty space between the tree and fence/wood cylinder with straw.
    • Keep stacking the fence/wood cylinder until it is beyond the top of the tree. I have found it is easier to handle and stack smaller fence/wood cylinders. The first cylinder on the bottom is usually the tallest/heaviest.
    • You could put a bucket on top or make a lid out of wood. Don't let plastic touch the tree it will not let it breathe.
    • Wrap sections of newspaper around the cylinder and staple it in place. You can use any ordinary office stapler if you do not have an industrial one.
    • Buy a roll or two of insulation like the kind you would put in your attic. Wrap the insulation around the cylinder and secure it with string.
    • Buy some big sheets of plastic, wrap it around the cylinder and secure it with string. I start at the bottom and work up.
    • Top off with a large trash bag and secure with string.
    • Pound 3 or 4 long rebar poles (you could use wood) into the ground and against the cylinder. Use some rope to wrap the poles and cylinder. This will give it stability so it will not get knocked over.

    Uncover the fig tree in late March or early April when low temperatures are in mid 20ís. You may find that some of the top branches have some mold on it. The tree should do fine. You can prune off the branches if you want.

    All of this material could be reused if you have a place to store it.

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