Pruning and propagating fig tree in the fall.

SkulptorNovember 5, 2011

Hey Folks,

I'm new to this and am trying to do some research on making new fig trees from the one I have. It's about 5 years old and I "think" is a Brown Turkey. I live in So. East Indiana (by Cincinnati) and we have had a few frosts already this year. The last leaves just fell this morning.

The tree dies back every year and then comes back well, producing more figs every year. But this year, if it's not too late, I was wanting to cut it back to about 4' tall and try to propagate the cuttings as I REALLY like these things and want more! :) Plus, my 4 year old Blue Heeler (dog) likes them as well and has learned to pick and eat his own! :)

So my questions are: what do you folks think is the best way to winterize it(if it's not too late)?

I also read where late winter is the best time to take cuttings to propagate but is now ok as well?

What do you feel is the BEST way to propagate them this time of the year?

Thanx for all the help and a great place to learn!!


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I propageted my Brown Tukey and White Genoa Fig tree by making a diagonal cut from one year old cuttings and placing them in well drained soil that is loamy with some fine mulch. As long as you keep it moist and not saggy, the roots will grow during the winter. I live in the central coast of California so I don't need to worry about freezing temperatures. If you live in a cold area and may experience a freezing forecast, then place the fig cuttings in a pot so you can bring them inside your house or garage.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2011 at 1:38AM
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chaz, before i would attempt to propergate a fig tree in your area i would check to see if it is the best fig tree suited for your hard winters. getting a young tree through winter planted in the ground or a pot can be challenging. propergating fig trees is relatively easy and is rewarding. you will find many articles in this forum about different techniques used to do it. i'm in the south and just take a dormant cutting and stick it in a one gallon pot of potting soil and put it in a shady area outside. i water it every two or three days and it usually roots. it works for me but others go into a lot more detail. good luck!

    Bookmark   November 8, 2011 at 6:48PM
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Thanx Kato and Fernando!
I was planning on doing this in my house which is very plant friendly. (see it on my site )
The tree I am taking cutting from lives outside and dies back to the ground in the winter. I am going to try pruning it this year and winterizing it.
I will plant the new starts in the spring or summer. I just wanted to get a "leg up" on the process since I want to prune it now. But am I correct that you can keep cuttings for awhile without planting them??
Thanx for the help!!!

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 10:28AM
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yep, get your cuttings now and place them in the fridge in a plastic bag. some folks give them a quick bath in a mild solution of clorox and water to keep mold and other things from getting to them. i don't, i just place them in the fridge and take them out in early spring. don't let them freeze cause that will kill them. they will stay in a dormant state for quite a wile in the fridge. good luck!

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 5:46PM
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Why would you go to the effort to take cuttings now just to put them in the fridge?

Why not just wait until spring to take cuttings?

    Bookmark   November 16, 2011 at 5:36PM
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Joeworm, that's what I do with my cuttings. I like them getting fully dormant on the tree (well rested) for next years growth. I think it is unfair to the cutting to make it do work w/o a proper rest. Now if there is someone in a colder zone than mine that takes cuttings this time of year, and I aquire some then I have no choice but the refrigerator.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2011 at 10:20PM
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What is the reason for the rest period?

Could a cutting be rooted now indoors with success?

    Bookmark   November 17, 2011 at 5:53AM
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Well, I went ahead and made 20 cuttings. I am going ahead trying to propagate them now. I would have "gave them a rest" if I would have known. I have them in a plastic Tupperware type container with paper towels around the cut end. I put hormone on 10 and left 10 without. I want to see what works best. I'm trying to keep the humidity up in the container. I will transfer to clear plastic cups and vermeculite when I see root growth. I hope to be able to have plants to put outside this summer. Any other suggestions?? I'm always open.
Thanx a bunch,

    Bookmark   November 19, 2011 at 1:42PM
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samuelforest(5b Montreal)

It should work Sculptor, I took one cutting this fall of my fig tree because I'm tring for the first to put it in ground for this winter, you should see my protection .For now, I see a bud pushing out and I think a very small fig is forming.I don't know if my fig tree will survive ,but I put some burlap around all the branches since it's very small, then I maked a tent and I put burlap around the tent and dry leaves in the tent and I put some bags of leaves all around it, lets see if it works.


    Bookmark   November 20, 2011 at 5:42PM
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Just to put my two cents worth in. I have an LSU fig that I accidently broke a small limb off of. I cut it up into smaller pieces, this was back in October. One of them has all kinds of roots on it.
I am using a large Rubbermaid container in our spare room. It seems to work great, I am rooting all kinds of other plants also.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 8:57PM
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