Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Fig Tree Progress Report. Pruning Freeze Kill. 1.21.14

Atreano Freeze-kill

Champagne Freeze-kill
Pruned off the freeze-kill from Atreano and Champagne.  It's obvious what's dead - the tops are soft, blackened, shriveled.

Further down, buds seem OK, round and firm.  The wood is firm, and the pith is white.  This wood looks alive.

It's not bad to prune the branches back, even without freeze-kill.  Makes the tree more bushy.  Might encourage brebas.  Not sure about that.

Still anxious to see if they grow.  I have more hope now than I did when we had that 8°F several days in one week.

There is also damage on other fig trees.  Smith looks especially concerning.  More, later

3 comments:

Sharon D said...

We live in Maryland, but our fig tree tips look the same- black and thin. Winter was very cold, with long periods of single digit temps and howling, dessicating winds. Wondering if your trees have started to bud, or show signs of life. Our tree has not. We are going to try cutting off the black tips. Any advice would be most welcomed.
Thank you!

Daniel said...

I would cut back the black tips, to whatever looks like live wood.

The Atreano is dead. Of the other new starts, all of the tops died, but they have come back from the roots. Of the established, more or less, trees at Battleground, the Brunswick had almost no damage and is growing nicely. The Sal's fig lost about 1/2 of the previous growth. It is growing pretty good now.

The lesson I learned here is two fold. One, the new ones are more frost susceptible. I also think I over-nurtured them in the summer, leaving less tough growth for the winter.

Using that lesson, I have fig trees in containers, which will either stay in containers, or will stay in containers until next winter is done. Second, I won't feed them as much or as late.

I might give the trees, growing back from roots, one boost now. But not later.

Good luck with your fig trees! If they don't make it, it's a chance to start again!

Sharon D said...

Thanks, Daniel. I really appreciate your input. Going out to check again for some new shoots. Not ready to cut down the tree yet!