HELP! Dead/dying Fig Tree

archangelica(6)June 8, 2011


HELP - My fig tree is on its last legs and I'm hoping to save it. Figured the pros in the fig forum was my best shot!

Here's the background:

I have a lovely potted Celeste fig tree, it's a few years old and still quite small, 3 feet or so with a nice vase shape. It's grown well over the last couple of years, but last year I was away, and had a friend care for it over the summer so it barely got watered and didn't grow hardly at all. We had an extremely cold winter here in Philly and I debated whether to bring in inside or not. I had the year previous and I wondered if that was part of the reason for the stunted growth. I left it out this year, but wrapped it, and kept it right next to the house. We have a big front porch so it was definitely out of the wind, etc.

So once it started warming up here, late March or so, I pruned back some of the newest branches/tips because they had broken and/or looked dead. Otherwise I left it alone and waited. So fast forward to a month or so ago, and it still hadn't broken dormancy. I scratched the bark and it still was green at the top of the tree. I checked it a few times and the barks was still green up until a few weeks ago. Since then it appears to have died back all the way to the main trunk. Is there anything I can do at this point to save it?


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It's most likely dead. But to make sure if it's still alive scratch the main trunk 2 inches above the soil line and if it's green then it could be alive, if not green then it's dead.

If the bark was green you can take pruning shears and cut the rest of the dead branch/trunk. Then your tree will send new shoots and becomes a bush rather than a tree.

Remember to protect it every winter.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2011 at 12:36PM
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