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Chicago Hardy Fig in ground - Buffalo, NY

Posted by kevin-m 6 ( on
Sun, Feb 10, 13 at 20:21


In the summer of 2012, I purchased a Chicago Hardy fig at Lowes. It was an impulse purchase and couldn't really find a good spot to plant it at my house here in Western NY. I ended up giving it to my girlfriends Dad. Her parents live on Grand Island, and the tree was planted on a slope along the Niagara River well above the water line. This fall, we wrapped it up in burlap to protect it from the wind and critters.

What can we expect in 2013? Will the above ground wood survive or will it just come up from the ground? Can we expect any fruit in 2013?


PS - I did a little research on the "Chicago Hardy" fig variety. It was actually cultivated in Sicily and has nothing to do with Chicago IL (other than possibly growing there.)

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Chicago Hardy Fig in ground - Buffalo, NY

What to expect is;
A. It will either make it thru unscathed, which is very possible, depending on your lowest temps and how well it was wrapped.
B. the top growth could freeze to the ground in which case it will regrow but it will also cut down on how many figs it will have.
C. It might not get froze but voles or mice can chew the branches to the ground and sometimes even chew up the roots killing the tree. I've had that happen to my own and a friend had a 6 foot tall tree completely disappear from rodents. You never know until it's time to do the unwrapping.
You can buy stuff to keep rodents from chewing the tree, I think it's called "Scoot". If you can't find it you can grind up garlic and rub it on the trunk and lower branches. I couldn't find anything in the stores around here so I went with the garlic, this is my test year for that too.
Be prepared for the worst case scenario.
Best of luck to you

RE: Chicago Hardy Fig in ground - Buffalo, NY


I put sturdy chicken mesh wire at the base around my fig tree so I can stuff in lots of fallen leaves, convered with old carpet, then
put bags of fall leaves around the tree to winterize my fig tree.
There are cats in the neighbour so rodent is not a problem in
my area.

I wonder if putting the sturdy chicken mesh wire at the base of the fig tree can deter mice in your case.
I've also read planting rue is good because rodents detest this
herb. I will plant some rue around my fig tree this summer.

RE: Chicago Hardy Fig in ground - Buffalo, NY

  • Posted by noss Zone 9a Lafayette, L (My Page) on
    Mon, Mar 4, 13 at 2:03

Maybe instead of chicken wire around the base of the tree, could you use hardware cloth with the tiny openings? Is that what you meant by sturdy chicken mesh rather than regular chicken wire?


RE: Chicago Hardy Fig in ground - Buffalo, NY


To be exact what I had used to surround my little fig tree for winter, please see the image enclosed!

RE: Chicago Hardy Fig in ground - Buffalo, NY

  • Posted by noss Zone 9a Lafayette, L (My Page) on
    Mon, Mar 4, 13 at 21:25

Sure looks very strong. The openings look larger than the hardware cloth I was thinking of, but mice, rats and voles have little mouths and still might be able to gnaw the tree through the openings. Was just a thought. :)

RE: Chicago Hardy Fig in ground - Buffalo, NY

One thing to think about is that a mouse can squeeze through an opening the size of a dime and a rat can get through a nickel size hole. They will also burrow under the screen if they can't get through it. If they're hungry they will do whatever they can to get that meal. That is where some other kind of protection can help such as, traps, mothballs, rat poison or one of the rodent deterrents that you put on the bark of the tree to make it un-appetizing to them. It seems like there is always some other critters that like figs as much as we do.

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