tempted to cut back a few of my young fig trees
i lost quiet a few young fig trees this winter and most of them came back. i noticed the ones that returned actually came back with an excellerated growth. the root system sent up many shoots and i had to prune out the bushyness in them. it leads me to think that the next time i plant a young tree that maybe i will cut it back down to the ground when it goes dormant. my thought is that letting the root system sleep all winter long without having to support a young tree would force the energy into the root system and hopefully come spring the root system will send up shoots that also have excellerated growth. the second advantage i see is that with all the shoots coming up i can leave a few extra until they go dormant and then use them as cuttings to propagate.
the one drawback that i see is that the root system may continue sending up suckers and will need pruning for quiet a while. i feel that every time a sucker is removed from the root system it exposes that root to injury or disease. maybe or maybe not but i do like what i'm seeing in the return growth of my winter killed trees. some of them have exceeded last years growth plus produced figs. i did by the way fertilize them in feb. with 888.
one more observation on my fig trees was that some of them were slower to die than others when i thought they had made it through the winter. some of my two year old trees actually started to bud out only to stop and slowly die off. most later came back from the root system. my two year old tena lived through the freeze but never really took off. the leaves seemed anemic and yellow all the way until june and as the suckers took off from the root system and exceeded the height of last years tree, i lobbed off the unhealthy growth. by that time the leaves were dieing or dead. the strange thing was that that tree never recovered from the freeze but hung on until june. i lost 22 young trees and all but 5 came back.