New Black Mission Planting

az_pamperedchef(9)December 24, 2010

Hello ~ I planted a potted (15 gallon) Black Mission in the beginning of November. I'm in the Phoenix area. It was doing wonderfully until Thanksgiving week.

We had some freezing temps here and I was out of town. Now all the leaves have dropped and it's just a stick. I've scratched the trunk a little and it still appears green. However I'm concerned that it's dead from the freeze. How can I tell if that's the case? Thanks for your help!

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fredfig(7)

You are ok! Just put a layer of pine needles , mulch about 6 inches deep around the base.
Most figs can live down to about 20 degrees F. A light freeze will not kill a settled tree.
I don't know much about Az. freezes in your area, but a 3 or 4 hour freeze is usually not fatal.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2010 at 8:53AM
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wabikeguy(7 AB)

This is winter. Fig trees are deciduous, and they normally lose all their leaves this time of year. In northern states fig trees have no leaves at all right now, and many are sitting out in snow banks.

Follow fredfigs advice and mulch around it. What WILL kill your tree is our summer heat if the roots heat up. You will want a four to six inch high, two to three foot wide doughnut of mulch around it. If you can't find pine needles...straw or even bark will do just fine.

If I remember correctly...you planted this little guy in October. If you protect the roots from the heat...you will be suprised at the amount of growth you see this spring.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2010 at 10:33AM
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az_pamperedchef(9)

Thank you FredFig & WaBikeGuy! Honestly I couldn't remember if figs were deciduous or not, so now I feel better. WaBikeGuy, you're right I did plant him in late October and I still think he's a beauty even if he looks like a Charlie Brown Christmas tree.

I will make sure to mulch around the roots. Thanks again & Merry Christmas.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2010 at 1:52PM
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thisisme(az9b)

az_pamperedchef I think your tree will do fine. They all lose leaves at different times during the winter. Sometimes they lose them all and sometimes they only lose a few.

I planted a Black Mission last week. It had been languishing in a pot for a couple years. After seeing yours I decided to run out and take a picture today. As you can see from the picture mine has lost a few leaves too.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2010 at 2:21PM
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az_pamperedchef(9)

That's a beautiful tree thisisme! I was most concerned about my tree because the leaves were dry and crisp before they fell off the tree, but I'm resting on the assurances of everyone here that my tree will be fine.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2010 at 9:21AM
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wabikeguy(7 AB)

pamperedchef, I currently have eleven black mission fig trees, a Kadota, and three vdb's planted all over my yard. All of my fig trees still have some leaves. Some have nearly all of their leaves, some have dropped about half of them...and others have just a few leaves remeaining. Several still have figs on them. That's the neat thing about growing them in the desert. Up north, fig trees outdoors ALL look like yours right now.

We are due to get our first frost here in Havasu later this week. If it does indeed remain below 32 here for several hours, all of my trees will look just like yours does now...their remaining leaves will shrivel...some will turn yellow, then brown, then they will all fall off.

But they will have new growth on them by mid March...or mid April at the latest. (Probably much sooner, depending on our weather).

Our trees will come back gangbusters. You can count on it.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2010 at 3:28PM
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az_pamperedchef(9)

Thanks for the assurances WaBikeGuy! I put a layer of mulch down today, but I need to add more as the weather starts to warm up.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2010 at 5:22PM
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