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Relocating a Fig Tree  RSS feed

 
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Hello guys. First time post here. Earlier this week, my Grandmother gave me a sapling from her mature Celeste Fig Tree that she has been taking good care of for about a year now (from what she tells me). So this weekend my Dad and I carefully dug it up and put it in a 5-gallon bucket so I could bring it to my house. She lives in the New Orleans area and I live in Northwest Louisiana. It seems to have been doing really well in her garden area and everyone said now is the time to move it since it should be dormant. The soil that came with it was nice and moist, but it is totally different from the type of soil we have here where i live which is more like red clay type soil (Red River area). Since bringing it home, I have only put 1 cup of water on it because i don't want to over water it while it is in the bucket and I have been putting it on the back porch to get sun during the day and bringing it inside at night since it has been getting pretty cold. My question is what should i do with it from here? I would like to get it in the ground, but I am scared that it will get damaged during the winter at some point. How old does it look to you guys? Is it safe to leave in the bucket until the spring time? I read that Celeste's are good in Zones 8-10 and my area is classified as Zone 8a (Shreveport/Bossier City, LA). Is it normal for the leaves to look the way they do? I am very nervous and I know my grandma will be heart-broken if it doesn't work out, so I want to give it the best chance I can.
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Posts: 249
Location: Australia, New South Wales. Köppen: Cfa (Humid Subtropical), USDA: 10/11
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Although it’s already done, it was dug up too early, should’ve been transplanted when it was completely dormant in Winter.

Since you’re going into winter now and the tree is stressed, I’d plant it in a pot that has a larger diameter than that bucket with good potting mix and drainage – don’t add extra fertiliser – and keep it moist in a warm position only in morning sunlight – not intense. Water with a weak seaweed/fish solution.

It looks like there’s two separate plants there - the main tree and the little one. That little one could be carefully cut away at the root ball and potted separately.

I wouldn’t trim the roots or mess with them too much either.

When Spring arrives, small green buds should appear, then leaves and a crop of small figs. Fight temptation and remove those figs AND the next crop that appear so energy goes into the tree not the fruit. It’s ready to plant in the garden.

If all else fails, visit Granny for another sapling or a few cuttings – in winter. (If you take cuttings, place a small dab of honey on the cut end and place in potting mix - it aids root development.)

Photos below: a family heirloom of an unknown type that was grown from a cutting, and, one of the fruits from that same tree back in 2016. (I'm purposely controlling growth so it can be moved to its new home in a few years time.)



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pollinator
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I am in 8a. I lose everything above ground every year on my fig trees. The roots send up new shoots and because of the bigger root structure,  the branches come up bigger and faster each year. They are 3 years old and i had figs on them this year.

Location is important. Mine have no protection. I know of figs trees in my area that are 40ft diameter. They are planted where they take advantage of the protection.  Like close to house on the south side.

This doesn't answer your immediate question,  but something to consider when you plant it. Draping blankets, placing a trash can over it,  or covering with hay might be a good thing on freeze nights when its small.
 
gardener
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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I agree with F Agricola, I'd keep it indoors for this winter and plant it out after the last chance of frost. I would estimate the age of those trees at one year from planting.
 
F Agricola
Posts: 249
Location: Australia, New South Wales. Köppen: Cfa (Humid Subtropical), USDA: 10/11
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One other thing I failed to mention:

in a Mediterranean climate (or subtropical), fig trees are often planted on a buried slab of concrete, rock, etc to make the roots spread outwards rather than down - the tree is stunted and purposely stressed to increase fruit production and limit tree size. However, that may be an issue in a cold climate where a shallow root system may freeze.



 
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