When to unwrap a winterized tree???

rrggFebruary 27, 2006

When did you un-winterize your tree in 2005 and where are are you located?

I noticed most of the instructions on winterizing don't explain when exactly to unwrap it (or dig it up). Do I wait for a certain level of daytime temperatures? Or just wait for solid nighttime temperatures above freezing?


P.S. I have a Brown Turkey wrapped for the winter in Providence, RI, zone 6, adjacent to a pond and next to a south-facing stone wall. The winter was extraordinarily mild and warm this year.

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Check it on first of march,if not Fungus Mold found on it,lleave it till 15 of march and at that time check the wether for very cold events if not predicted,uncover it on 15 of march.When protected very well,the only problem you can have is ,fungus mold.Checking the tree is the only thing you must do,in spring.they will start leafing at end of april,but if you got an early leafing,cultivar,you must uncover ,befor starting leafing.Also in this case if freezing cold predicted you have to cover the tree again in that night using an old blanket.-------As far as covering i winterize my trees on Thanksgiving day or before.But this year we had 17 F on thanksgiving day so some young fig tree i had got killed to the grownd level,so is never a sure thing.Regards

    Bookmark   February 27, 2006 at 1:24PM
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Herman, I live in NJ too. What do you think is the optimal temperature range to unwrap the fig tree? Also if you unwrap around March 15, do you find that you still need to wrap it at night quite a bit?

Any help is greatly appreciated.


    Bookmark   March 1, 2006 at 6:20PM
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I only have to protect it again when 25F or less is anounced.I do not wrap it again i just trow a loose old blanket in top of it in those particular nights.Keep in mind that warm wether +Rain can do as much damage as freezing nightes by fungus grow on tree,so you have to unwrap the latest by 1st of April,but still cover the tree at least with a 55 gallon plastic trush bag if freezing temp fall under 25F in a few nigts in April.Fig Buds are more sensitive to cold in Spring,and if they die the tree has to start from grownd level,wich makes it to be late in maturing fruits .All this work is trying to avoid that.Also young fig tree in the first 3 years of life need more protection than after they become fully mature.Hope this will help.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2006 at 8:15PM
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Thanks herman, that is great advice. I really appreciate it.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2006 at 8:47PM
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bonsaist(Z6/ Bethlehem, Pa)

To avoid molding wrapped figs, I tried adding a pvc pipe for ventillation that keeps the high humidity out. It does help. I usually unwrap them in april, just in case of a cold spell.


    Bookmark   March 7, 2006 at 4:17PM
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the_virginian(Zone 7 NoVA)

I uncovered mine yesterday. We are not going to have severe freezes, if at all and it will be dry and warm over the next couple of weeks. My fig even had buds on it that looked like they were ready to make leaves.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2006 at 1:22PM
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Thanks for the help!!!

This was my first winter wrapping a tree. Here's what happened...

The tree is a little over 6 feet. After unwrapping it a bit, I found mold in some corners. I don't know how serious it is to have mold. Unfortunately I also had to cut back about 6-7" of black tips on each of 4 branches. I didn't prune the tree last year, and these were all very thin parts that died back. I was told I should have put a bucket over the top. Maybe that can help thin branches survive.

For a point of reference, my winterizing approach went like this:

1) First Wilt-Pruf to entire tree
2) Then wrap entire tree in black rubber pipe insulation and seal tightly with outdoor duct tape to keep water out.
3) Wrap over that in duct insulation and seal with outdoor duct tape (this insulation is 12" wide fiberglass with a foil backing -- foil facing away from the tree).
4) Wrap the trunk in two layers of tar paper, using duct tape again
5) Wrap the top in burlap
6) Add a mulch bern to help snow roll away from the tree

Criticism welcome.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2006 at 3:29PM
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No criticism:Looks like you put a lot of efort and Care for your tree.I think that the little mold spots will go away now that you exposed it to Light and air.Congratulations.By next year do not forget to prune about a third to half of height to be easier to wrap.Brown Turkey also need pruning when mature in order to have a large harvest on new growth,the following year.Cut the dead ends right away and shorten it about a third right now if you want fruits.Also you can use the live tips to start new trees.Happy gardening

    Bookmark   March 31, 2006 at 6:30PM
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jimla(Z6 PA)

How do I deal with mold? I had a potted Golden and Brown Turkey in a black trash bag in the garage all winter. It was not vented and now I have mold on these 2 foot high plants. Some looks surficial but the tips of one have turned to mush. Just cut back and cross fingers or something else? I was planning on repotting this year. Same set up for a 4 foot Black Jack but it looks much better, just a slight dusty mold discoloration.
I unwrapped my 6 foot in ground Brown Turkey and it looks fine (leaf bags around the roots and a blue tarp and bungees). But what about the moldy ones?

    Bookmark   March 31, 2006 at 9:09PM
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Get a clean brush and water and brush it off.Next year do not put in plastic trash bag no more.Fig deserve better than that.!!!!!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2006 at 9:35PM
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I just brought my little fig out yesterday morning. I didn't wrap it, but I kept it in an interior hallway that stays between freezing and 40 for most of the winter. I noticed this weekend that it was forming leaves at the top.

It's just a little guy; less than 12" when I bought it last spring. Had I checked in wih this forum before I bought I wouldn't have gotten a Petite Negra. But I'm very proud of it!

    Bookmark   April 11, 2006 at 3:13PM
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GOOD job Alison,Petite Negra can be a very good fig for container.Also the taste of fruit is very good.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2006 at 4:45PM
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chills71(Zone 6b Mi)

My old Italian neighbor unwrapped his fig on Monday. We're expecting rain and temps in the high 6o's to low 70's this week.

He gets figs late summer each year.


    Bookmark   April 11, 2006 at 11:34PM
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It may surprise people that I have NOT wrapped fig trees for at least the last ten years! Six of those ten years were in Staten island, New York 6b/7a. The next 4 have been in the Cape May area of southern New Jersey in zone 7b. My trees normally suffer NO dieback! I grow White Marseilles, Eastern Brown Turkey, Desert King, and Celeste. The Celeste seems to drop most of its fruit before ripening here in southern New Jersey, so I may replace it with my now potted Petite Negra fig. I am also now experimenting with a fig smuggled into this country from Italy, and passed along. It is extremely fruitful with two crops on it now. One crop should ripen in late August, and the next crop in October.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 8:50PM
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