The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Signs of life

Fig tree update after freeze out

Both our Chicago Hardy and Celeste fig trees have started the process of leafing out. We were a bit worried after cutting away all the frost damage from last Winter.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Our is doing the same thing, is this the way they'll always do? In other words every year die back and start over? We thought it would be a tree that would grow larger each year.
Comment by Teresa Lee Thu May 29 09:27:37 2014
In northeast Oklahoma, zone 6, some years the fig tree dies back, and sometimes it doesn't. Depends on the severity of the winter and snow cover when the temperatures drop to -20F. The tree actually seems to grow back and produce better when it does die back. Love your blog. You supply so much helpful info.
Comment by Denise Johnson Thu May 29 10:50:46 2014
Teresa --- Denise's experience matches mine, and I suspect will be the case for most folks in zone 6. If you live in zone 7 (with very hardy figs) or 8 (with most figs), you might just see the die-back for the first few years while the figs gather energy, then the plant will turn into more of a tree. So, the long answer is --- it depends on where you live and what you grow!
Comment by anna Thu May 29 13:28:29 2014
I'm on the Oregon Coast and am still trying to figure out my zone (maps say 9, but I'm nearly 2000 ft elevation, so it might be an 8.) There is a 30+ foot fig tree in a neighboring cattle pasture. I took cuttings earlier this year and they are finally leafing out. Hopefully I will have at least 3 or 4 with roots to start my own. (I have 4 other small fig trees that were planted by the previous owner, and they still haven't fruited - which is frustrating, but they were planted in partial shade, ugh.)
Comment by Charity Thu May 29 19:26:20 2014
This year has been weird for my fig tree. I'm in zone 7 (CLT) and have a large fig tree. Actually, its about 4 of them close together. It was here when I bought my home 9 years ago and quite large already then. This year, it took forever to break dormancy. I thought it had died and was dreading having to cut it all down. Finally within the last couple of weeks it has started leafing out. Younger suckers underneath it and one I have potted up that sat out all winter leafed out much sooner.
Comment by Ed Thu May 29 20:37:00 2014

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