Can you plant a fig tree to deep?

jstall(8 N.E.TX)May 28, 2011

When I dug my hole to plant a fig tree I dug it to deep. When I planted the tree and watered it, it sunk into the hole about four inches. Will it kill the tree if I cover that much trunk? I did not want to dig it up because the root ball was very loose and I am afraid it will come loose of the roots and shock the tree.

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noss(Zone 9a Lafayette, LA)

Hello Jstall,

Was the tree at the same level as in the pot when you planted it and after watering, it sank, or had you already planted it too deeply before the watering and it sank even more?

How old is the tree?

Instructions I've gotten for planting fig trees is: If you want a tree, plant it 2" deeper than it was in the pot. If you want a bush form, plant it at least 4" deeper. This is according to the booklet I got from the LSU Cooperative Extension Service.

I've planted fig trees deeper than 4" and they did just fine--they got roots where the soil covered them. Maybe you could scoop some of the soil out around the tree to form a dish around it and that would lower some of the soil, if you're worried.


    Bookmark   May 28, 2011 at 10:03PM
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jstall(8 N.E.TX)

Hi Noss, I did not pack the soil in the bottom of the hole which I dug to deep. After watering the tree sinks about three or four inches below the soil surface. Leaving the tree three or four inches deeper than it was in the pot. I was thinking it would just root kind of like a tomato plant does but was not sure. Don't want to take a chance on killing the tree. Thanks for the info.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2011 at 11:17PM
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wabikeguy(7 AB)

I did the same with several of the young trees I planted 18 months ago. So far they're oing just fine, if that's any help.


    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 1:09AM
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the tree will be fine. good luck!

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 3:08PM
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The tree WILL be fine.
Cover with mulch or soil.

The fig tree is one of many tree's or plants that would be better to cover above the rootball rather than below when transplanting.

I guess yours happened for a reason.


    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 6:35PM
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noss(Zone 9a Lafayette, LA)

Then your tree will be all right according to LSU Extension and my experience because I've always planted my fig trees at least 4" deeper than they were in their original container and they've all thrived. I have planted several six inches deeper and they did well, even.



    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 8:14PM
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Very interesting. I have planted all of my fig, lemon, pom. trees (all in pots) 2 inches above soil line and they all growing vigorously. I do plant my fruit trees in ground the same way.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 12:25PM
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nkesh09:I do not know where you are located,but if you live in hot climate it is ok to plant 2 inches above ,for fig trees,and if one live in cold climates,it is recomended to plant 2 inches deeper than for temperate trees.
Why:So the tree developes,underground branches,and become a strong bush rather than a single trunk fig tree.
So in case it is killed to soil surface, it has underground branches with live buds that will grow fast and even produce fruits the same year.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 10:02PM
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Thanks. That was very informative.

My trees are kept in zone 6 thats where my house is but I also live in AL and MA for work, don't have any trees there. I have two figs in ground (1st season) that were planted 2-3 inches above soil line, plan to mulch them heavy and wrap them for winter.


    Bookmark   June 3, 2011 at 2:04PM
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