Is there a Fig Expert handy?

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by snoozy, Jan 3, 2004.

  1. snoozy

    snoozy Well-Known Member Supporter

    May 10, 2002
    Kitsap Co, WA
    I have a Brown Turkey in the biggest pot they make. It is 4-5 years old, and severely rootbound. It has never produced fruit, though it seems to be happy otherwise up next to our chocolate brown house protected from wind. I don't have any other warm, protected place to plant it in the ground. I don't want roots growing right next to the house foundation -- and anyway, the dirt there is pretty dead.

    So, if I severely root prune this tree and renew its soil in the container, will it be happy and kick out some fruit, or will it just die? (Maritime NW Zone 8 here.)
  2. Dolly

    Dolly Well-Known Member

    Dec 13, 2003
    If you root-prune your fig it may make some fruit but at the rate fig trees generally grow, it will become rootbound again in a couple of growing seasons. The variety Petit Negronne is better suited to pot culture.

    I have no experience with one particular technique, but have heard of people in the northeast doing it with success. They plant the tree in the ground, and after it goes dormant in the fall and before a hard freeze, they dig down into the soil on one side of the tree but leave the soil and roots untouched on the other side, bundle all the branches together with heavy twine or small rope, lay the tree over on it's side in a trench dug deeply enough to accept it, cover the tree with burlap or something similar, and then bury the entire tree with soil and mulch it very heavily. When spring comes, the tree is unearthed, stood upright and staked. Apparently this has been a successful techinque for some people.

    It might be worth trying in your area.

  3. Oxankle

    Oxankle Well-Known Member

    Jun 20, 2003

    You can prune a fig almost to the ground and it will come back like gangbusters. If you root prune you must of course prune the top to match, but I don't think you can kill a fig by root pruning unless you literally cut off all the roots.

    I have no idea whether this will make a fig bear.

    Having grown up in fig country I wanted figs here. I have tried several varieties, but could only keep them alive by putting a wire cage around them and filling that cage each fall with dry leaves, then wrapping a tarp over the whole thing and tying it with twine. The trees still did not make a lot of fruit and after two years I let them freeze. Now they come back from the root each spring and make a few little shoots each summer, no fruit.
  4. If you are sure that the variety is brown turkey--then plant it about 2 foot from the house south side .It will not damage house fundation --and dead dirt is what he likes,in order to fruit.If it is a different variety like calymirna or san pedro it will never fruit becouse it needs a male polinator.If it never frose to the ground-and never produced,and you are not shure it is a brown turkey,get rid of it ,and search the internet for a variety suitable for your climat that should bear the first or second year after planting.Regards,vasile,