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When should I unwrap my fig tree?

 
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I planted a Chicago Hardy fig tree near our patio last spring, and I wrapped it up in a couple of layers of frost cloth and insulation for the winter.

Here in Salt Lake City we're having what appears to be an early spring rather than just a warm snap, and the buds on my other trees are swelling and I've got some currant and rose bushes already opening their leaves.

Should I unwrap my fig tree at this point, or hold on a little longer in case of a cold snap?
 
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How difficult is it to unwrap an re-wrap it?

I just planted some figs last year, and I've uncovered and recovered them once, and I'm uncovering them again tomorrow.

I use banana boxes with plastic bags over the boxes and bricks to hold them down, so it's not too difficult. I won't know if it worked until spring, though.

I think keeping them covered too long can cause them to come out of dormancy too early, which makes them more sensitive to milder cold snaps.
 
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I try not to uncover mine until I know it won't get colder than the 20s.
 
Jae Gruenke
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Jason Barnes wrote:How difficult is it to unwrap an re-wrap it?

I just planted some figs last year, and I've uncovered and recovered them once, and I'm uncovering them again tomorrow.

I use banana boxes with plastic bags over the boxes and bricks to hold them down, so it's not too difficult. I won't know if it worked until spring, though.

I think keeping them covered too long can cause them to come out of dormancy too early, which makes them more sensitive to milder cold snaps.



Good point about the re-wrapping. It's kind of a pain, because it's blankets on a framework of sticks, but it is totally doable. I can just keep an eye on the weather.
 
Jae Gruenke
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Greg Martin wrote:I try not to uncover mine until I know it won't get colder than the 20s.



Wow, Greg. To be honest, I don't think we've gotten below 20 at all this winter. So maybe it's not that big of a deal whether it's wrapped or not. My thinking was to preserve as much of the aboveground tree as possible so it could direct its energy into fruit rather than growth this summer.
 
Greg Martin
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I should probably add that mine are in a somewhat sheltered spot, so no strong winds.  And if they end up leafing out then the leaves will die if the temps go back below freezing.  But when they are dormant they can take dips into the 20s.  Some varieties have been known to go lower during dormancy and wake up fine.

Right now I'm waking up one of my potted figs in my sunroom and it's starting to push out this year's figs already!  That one will have to stay inside until we're done going below freezing.
 
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I don't protect my figs at all. My low was 14.7°F this year and I think the only variety out of a dozen with any damage is VdB, which is unusually frost tender for a fig. RdB, Olympian, Takoma Violet, Desert King, Conadria, Niagara Black, and others all show living terminal buds (not swelling much yet though), and I think will be fine above ground.
 
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I would unwrap it last frost (in boston,ma that's april 15, but in Florida USDA Zone 10B there is no frost and I got some coconut trees growing).
I don't wrap my chicago hardy fig here in Boston, and they die back to 3ft and then regrow to 7ft and give me some fruits.
 
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