Winter Protection for Fig Trees

Overview

The fig tree has been around since at least 5,000 B.C., and is grown throughout the world for its delicious fruit. Figs grow well in a mild climate without weather extremes. The fig tree is now propagated in some areas with harsh winters. Protective precautions are required to save the tree from winter damage.

Potted Fig Trees

Ornamental fig trees in pots can stand some freezing and do not require light once they enter the winter dormancy phase. Avoid extreme swings in temperature by placing the fig tree in a controlled environment such as a garage, where temperatures range between slightly under freezing and slight above. The plant should be watered as the soil dries.

Shielding

Shielding to protect the tree from the most extreme winter weather is required. Fig trees require placement in soil areas where the soil does not freeze to protect it from disease and increase its chances of winter survival. Large screens placed around the tree protects it from winter winds that can damage and freeze the wood.

Wrapping

Tree wrapping protects the tree from cold weather and prevents hard winds from destroying the branches. Fig tree wrapping should be applied once the leaves from the tree have fallen to prevent leaves from rotting inside the wrapping material. Fig trees are sensitive to slight temperature changes. It can not warm up inside the protective film or else the tree may begin to grow, making it susceptible to severe damage during the cold snap.

Planting

Cultivar practices help to protect the fig tree during harsh winters. Varieties that are resistant to cold weather are best for locations where the weathers are harsh. Brown Turkey, Brunswick and Blue Celeste are good cultivars for cold weather. Planting should be done against a wall or structure that will radiate heat towards the tree during the winter months.

Snow

Roots of the fig tree require dry soil during the winter dormancy period. Watering should be done only when the soil is dry and the roots should be protected from melting snow and rain. Protection placed on the ground under the tree, near the trunk--to keep water from draining into the soil--protects the tree from damage.

Keywords: fig tree protection, fig tree winter, fig tree care

About this Author

Cleveland Van Cecil is a freelancer writer specializing in technology. He has been a freelance writer for three years and has published extensively on eHow.com, writing articles on subjects as diverse as boat motors and hydroponic gardening. Van Cecil has a Bachelor of Arts in liberal arts from Baldwin-Wallace College.