fig and persimmon trees

Daphne35(zone 6)June 30, 2008

I live in Dickson, TN having moved from B'ham AL where I was able to successfully grow several varieties of figs and also fuyu persimmons. Will I have any success with them here (with winter protection, of course.) Also, I have been told two different stories concerning this zone, one is that I am still in 7 but your charts show me in 6B--is there that much difference when considering my fruit trees?

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amazindirt(7A mid-TN)

I grow figs in Knoxville, and at least a coupla people here grow them in west TN. I don't do anything to protect mine, and they're in pots. :-)

    Bookmark   June 30, 2008 at 9:06PM
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Daphne35(zone 6)

Thanks amazindirt--what varieties of fig do you have? Mine are Celeste, LSU and Alma. I know Brown Turkey is a survivor, so may have to get one of those. I do not have mine in pots, planted them in sheltered spots though.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 11:33AM
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soon as they go dormant, I'll be getting some cuttings from an English Brown Turkey that is doing amzingly well in Covington, TN. Will get you some at that time.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 1:19PM
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I also would like to have figs. I live in Williamson county. Are the English Brown Turkey figs the only real safe ones grown without protection? Also I have an American Persimmon,what others grow here safely. Does anyone grow paw paws or goji berries here?

    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 5:55PM
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amazindirt(7A mid-TN)

Daphne, I have several varieties. One that you should look for, that you do not yet have, is Hardy Chicago. It is a very tough plant, and appears (mine does, at least) to bear well at a very young age. Brown Turkey and Celeste are other common figs for this region. I'd like to try the purple and gold LSU varieties, but have not gotten them yet. There's a nursery in Cookeville that sold them last year, but I haven't gotten organized to check with them this year.

Bee, paw paws grow very well here. I dunno about goji berries. Persimmons also do well -- I think the Japanese varieties also do, but mine aren't old enough yet to really say.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 6:04PM
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Here in Knoxville I have 2 persimmon trees. Across town a friend has 2 fig trees.
For winter protection she has created a chicken wire wrap. The winter wrap is simply 4 metal post on which 5 foot tall chicken wire is attached. It is long enough to surround one tree. The wrap is unrolled, staked in the ground [enclosing the tree] about the end of fall. Tree leaves are pored in filling it up [about 1 foot above the tree]. Across the center top is put 2 = 1"X4" boards [just layed on top of the wire]. A tarp is then layed across the top of that and is succured by long bungy cords. They are put going around about 1' from the top, another one about mid way and a third cord about 3" from the bottom.
She does this because here you can not tell how bad winters will be and she has lost full grown fig trees to icy storms years ago.
Good Luck

    Bookmark   July 27, 2008 at 9:51AM
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decolady01(7a/6b AL/TN)

Here in Lincoln County I have some fig trees. The oldest one is an Italian Honey Fig. It did wonderfully for several years, but last season's Easter freeze killed it back to the roots. It's growing well again this year, but no figs. The other trees are only one to two years old and were started from cuttings. They are growing well.

I planted a couple of goji berries two years ago. Plants are growing well, but no berries yet.


    Bookmark   July 31, 2008 at 8:39AM
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I'm a little bit north of you, just across the KY state line.
I've had a number of figs in-ground, but rarely got fruit - though LSU Purple has re-grown from being frozen to the ground a couple of times and ripened fruit before winter arrived. I finally moved cuttings of all my figs to pots and maintain them that way. You'd probably be successful with them in-ground if you protect them the way lovebnretired described - I just don't have time to do that for mine - much easier to just move the pots under the house for the winter - but they sure require daily watering through the summer in pots.
I've got a number of Asian persimmons growing here, but only Great Wall(an astringent-til-ripe variety) has fruited. Ichi-Ki-Kei-Jiro, Hana Fuyu, and Matsumoto Wase Fuyu are non-astringent types that *may* work - I'm still hopeful that they'll be able to fruit. Saijo, Hokkaido, and Sheng should be plenty hardy in Dickson - I know folks in PA who are growing and fruiting Sheng, and Saijo & Hokkaido are proven producers in southern/eastern KY. There are a few AmericanXAsian hybrid persimmons that might be worth a try - Rosseyanka, Keener, and...heck, the last one escapes my memory - it's a seedling of Rosseyanka backcrossed to another kaki, so it's 3/4 Asian; Russian Beauty, perhaps?

    Bookmark   August 11, 2008 at 6:39PM
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myrtleoak(z7 TN)

People seem to be having a lot of success with at least one cultivar here in Knoxville (Brown Turkey?) without protection. I've seen a ton of ripening figs in the past few weeks!

    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 1:57AM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

There are lots of Brown Turkey, Chicago Hardy (or Hardy Chicago depending on who you ask), and Celeste Figs growing in Knoxville. Those are the three most commonly mentioned as being hardy around here. With winters warming up, I'd bet there are lots of others that would do fine now.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2008 at 10:42AM
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Brown Turkey is indeed a good "stand-by" fig that does well in our area, but I do think it is rather lack-luster for flavor and sweetness.

There is a good database of figs at

The only thing you want to avoid is a Capre fig, which requires a fig wasp to pollinate.

I'm currently doing field trails and 6 "new" (new to _me_) varieties that are showing real promise. If they prove to be winners, I will have cuttings availible at the Spring 2009 Memphis Swap. If they don't pass muster, they will get ripped out and ground up for mulch.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2008 at 3:09PM
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myrtleoak(z7 TN)

Why is it called "Chicago"? Did it actually overwinter in Chicago, IL?!

    Bookmark   August 25, 2008 at 12:51AM
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amazindirt(7A mid-TN)

You can read more than you ever wanted to know about Chicago Hardy/Hardy Chicago at the link below. Keep in mind that there is a LOT of confusion about fig varieties!

Here is a link that might be useful: GW discussion about Chicago Hardy

    Bookmark   August 25, 2008 at 10:06AM
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