HELP! Have I killed my fig trees??

andy_levineMay 23, 2009

We moved into our home last summer in August, where the prior owners were avid gardeners. They left us with an abundance of lovely things, including 3 very mature fig trees. They are over 8-9 feet tall with large trunks (6-7 inches at base). They apparently had them there for many, many years and took clippings with them when they moved. The trees gave us a HUGE number of figs last season, more than we could harvest...HUNDREDS! (it was embarrassing actually).

We did NOTHING to winterize this last winter; no wrapping, garbage cans etc. We didn't know we might have to :(

Well, its already mid May and we see no growth on these trees at all. A large number of the smaller branches are brittle and just snap off. I scratched the bark in numerous locations (as suggested in another email) and see very little if any green underneath.

There are quite a number of sucker plants coming out of the bottom of the trunks and they DO have leaves on them.

Do I need to be concerned? Are these just late bloomers or did I do a bad thing by not winterizing? I would be heartily disappointed if I killed these

Thanks

Andy

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bonsaist(Z6/ Bethlehem, Pa)

I'm guessing that the previous owners used to wrap the tree to protect the main trunk. The answer to your question is no you didn't kill it, since you said there were suckers. The trees will just grow as bushes, it may bloom later than it usually did.

Bass

    Bookmark   May 23, 2009 at 3:22PM
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scottmd

I'm in Maryland, and for some reason I lost half of one of my trees this year. I cut off all the dead wood. I had it happen about 7 years ago too, when I lost everything above ground.

My friend lost her (above ground) tree this year too. I don't know why, it was not a harsh winter.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2009 at 3:32PM
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wild_forager

I live in MD too, and I'd say it was a much harsher winter than usual. I've noticed many dead fig trees around my area.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2009 at 3:53PM
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marymd7

My figs had more winter die back this year than I've seen in the last 10. Cut the dead wood back and let the sprouts take over. You'll have more figs than you need again in no time.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2009 at 9:32AM
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arigato

Where I used to live just outside of DC in Kensington the temp got down to about 0 degrees this past winter. Well below the temp that a fig tree could survive above ground without protection. Its definitely die back from the cold winter.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2009 at 5:41AM
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gene_washdc(zone 5a)

I had only very minor damage here in DC with my trees. Out in the orchard in Southern Maryland (St. Mary's Co.) however I'd say there was about 80% dieback to the ground, only a very few had no damage at all -- a very bad winter for figs.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2009 at 8:50AM
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scottmd

OK, well I guess I was lucky I only lost half. My other tree which doesn't get as much Sun, did well with only some black tips. But it does have some protection from the fence on one side and a bamboo stand on the other.

I'm located just SW of the Baltimore city line near I-95.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2009 at 4:16PM
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happy2b…gw

in southern MD- My fig tree looked awful last year summer '09 and produced fewer figs than usual. There was less fruit and very few ripened. They stayed green and hard, and were small. This tree had been a very prolific tree. I was wondering how your trees produced last summer.

So far this year I have very little growth on old wood and some long new growth from the bottom. Top looks bad. Any advice is welcome. Not sure weather is only factor. There is a groundhog hole nearby. Could it be eating the roots? It did not get the fruit because I was keeping a close eye.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2010 at 6:18PM
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