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How to Winterize Fig Trees

By Melody Dawn ; Updated September 21, 2017
Fig tree.

The fig tree is a deciduous, exotic tree that is said to be native to Asia. This tree grows best in dry, warm areas but can survive in cooler climates. Typical height of the fig tree is between 10 and 50 feet tall with twisting limbs that are wider than they are tall. The leaves grow up to 1 foot in size and contain a white milky sap. Winterization of the plant is necessary for successful fruit production. Figs that have been exposed to frost often resemble large bushes instead of trees.

Tie up all of the branches of your fig tree up. This will assist you when you begin wrapping the tree. Use heavy twine to wrap around the top branches of the tree to hold them together. This will also prevent breaking of any branches.

Wrap newspaper around as much of the base of the tree as you can. Tape the paper to the tree using electrical or duct tape. Rake any leaves and debris from the base of the tree and lay newspaper to protect the roots.

Build a frame to place around the tree. The most common materials for the frame are chicken wire or fencing and wood. Nail the chicken wire to the wood and bend the wire to create a circle that will surround the base of the tree. Use wire to join the ends together. Wrap this frame around the tree from the base all the way to the top, completely covering the tree.

Fill the inside of the frame with hay or pine straw. This will provide insulation and keep moisture from forming on the inside of the frame.

Wrap the outside of the frame with burlap or carpet to keep the tree warm from any frost. This can be secured with wire or rope. The tree should not be exposed to any ice or snow during the winter months or it will damage the tree so the tree should be completely wrapped.

Remove the frame after the last threat of frost in the spring. Trim away any branches that have molded and store the materials for the next year.


Things You Will Need

  • Twine
  • Newspaper
  • Duct tape
  • Chicken wire
  • Hay


  • If you wish to grow your fig tree as a bush you can cut the tree down nearly to the ground in late fall. This is an easier method of saving the tree but should only be done in the second year of growth to prevent death of the tree..

About the Author


Based in Atlanta, Melody Dawn has been writing business articles and blogs since 2004. Her work has appeared in the "Gainesville Times," "Player's Press" and "USA Today." She is also skilled in writing product descriptions and marketing materials. Dawn holds a Master of Business from Brenau University.