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Anyone have experience growing Chicago Hardy Fig in the ground (not in a greenhouse) in Zone 5?

 
Judith Moran
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Location: Denver, Colorado, USA
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I'm in Denver, CO (zone 5) and I have located the warmest spot in my yard to plant a Chicago Hardy Fig. I'd like advice on wrapping it for the winter.

I grew the fig fine in a pot the last 2 years - wintering it in an unheated garage. But it has grown too big for my pots. The tree is about 3 ft tall right now. I'd like to get it in the ground this Fall.

Figs are known to have super hardy and long roots. Should I be concerned planting it too close to my house? It will be at least 10 feet from my foundation. Probably more like 12 or 14 ft.  That should be far enough not to have the roots do any damage to the foundation right?

 
Ken W Wilson
Posts: 294
Location: Nevada, Mo 64772
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My yard was Zone 5 until the last update. I'm now zone 6. My Hardy Chicago Fig has spent 3 winters outside. The first two were bad winters and it frozen to the ground.  It grew back 4 feet each year and produced a few figs. This last winter was milder and I had given it protection with pipe insullation and burlap. It died back about halfway.  I moved it this spring because I decided it was too close to the house, 4'. The move set it back more than the freezes had, but I'm going to get a few figs. Now that I finally have some wood that's more than a year old, I think it will stand a lot more cold. The new growth has so much moisture in it that it seems to freeze easily.
 
Judith Moran
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Location: Denver, Colorado, USA
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Thank you Ken. I appreciate the input.
 
Ken W Wilson
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Location: Nevada, Mo 64772
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No problem. Good luck!
 
Gilbert Fritz
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I'm also in Denver, getting ready to try this out!
 
Akiva Silver
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I'm in zone 5, but almost 4. I have overwintered chicago hardy in the ground a few winters now. It freezes all the way back to the roots and then comes back late in the spring. It takes so long to recover that it sets fruit but never ripens it. I think if it could get some extra summer heat that you might be able to ripen the fruits. From now on, I'm keeping my figs in a small hoop house for the summers.
 
Gilbert Fritz
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Akiva, what area are you in?
 
Akiva Silver
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upstate NY. we don't get nearly as much sun as you do, but we have warmer nights. It will be interesting to see if you can get them to ripen. I hope it works. I'm trying several varieties in an unheated hoop house. I bring most of the plants in the basement for the winter.
 
Ken W Wilson
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Location: Nevada, Mo 64772
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When mine freezes back, I usually just get a couple figs.

When it grows back, the new wood grows too fast to have any strength.  One year mine froze to the ground, grew back fast to about 4', then a windstorm broke it off again.  Stakes are probably worthwhile. I think something like a fence post close to the tree is better than three stakes near ground level since the new wood is so flimsy.
 
Andrew Mateskon
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I've seen many trees in Denver area painted white to reflect sunlight on the south side of the bark. It isn't such a big deal in summer, but that hot sun and cold air in winter can be a deadly combination. Try to moderate your temperature swings, maybe with thermal mass and paint?
 
I agree. Here's the link: https://richsoil.com/wood-heat.jsp
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