Protecting a Fig Tree over the Winter
Many homeowners plant fig trees outdoors so they can enjoy the sweet fruit produced by the tree throughout the warm summer months. Fig trees grow and produce fruit when the temperature are warm and mild. When outdoor temperatures begin to dip, your fig tree will require some preparation for the cold, snow and ice. An unprotected fig tree in an area that is prone to cold weather will die. Fig trees cannot stand up to harsh climates. If you live in an area that has warm weather year ‘round, you do not have to take protective measures to protect the fig tree.
Protect the Fig Tree Indoors
Some fig growers plant their fig trees in a patio container rather than directly into the ground. If the fig tree is in a patio container or planting pot, bring the fig tree inside during the cold fall and winter months. The indoor temperatures offer the best protection from the cold.
Protect Outdoor, Inground Fig Trees with Newspaper and Burlap
Collect a large stack of newspapers.
Wrap the newspapers around the fig tree in a 2 to 3 inch layer from the base of the tree where the tree meets the soil. Secure the newspaper in place with duct tape.
Place a 2 to 3 inch layer of newspaper around the base of the tree on the ground extending 12 to 18 inches from the tree outward. Place large rocks or stones on top of the newspaper to hold it in place.
Wrap the newspaper covered fig tree several times with burlap and secure the burlap in place with duct tape. Make sure you wrap the burlap over the top of the tree several times from several angles to cover any openings. Secure the burlap in place with duct tape.
Protect Outdoor Potted Fig Trees
If you are unable to bring an outdoor potted fig tree indoors for the winter, you can protect it outside.
Lay an old piece of carpeting or an old rug on the ground next to the tree. Make sure the rug or carpet os free of mold and mildew.
Wrap several layers of newspaper around the fig tree from the bottom of the tree to the top.
Secure the newspaper in place with duct tape.
With the assistance of a help tip the tree and gently lay it down onto the old piece of carpeting or rug. Make sure the tree rests on the carpeting where it will protect the tree from the cold ground.
Rake leaves up to the fig tree and cover the fig tree container and tree with a 10 to 12 inch thick layer of leaves. Leaves act as an insulator to keep the cold away from the fig tree.
Lay an old rug, drop cloth or section of carpeting over the top of the leaves covering the tree and container.
Always lay an outdoor potted fig tree down to help prevent the wind from blowing the tree over where it can snap the tree, container or branches.