Chicago Hardy Fig Winter Protection Idea(s)

Discussion in 'Fruit and Nut Trees' started by Steve Wieden, Dec 14, 2012.

  1. Steve Wieden

    Steve Wieden Member

    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Crystal Lake, IL
    Hello All!
    Earlier this March I bought some cuttings on E-bay of a Chicago Hardy Fig from a seller in New Jersey. I was able to root most all of them and then planted two and brought two in for the winter and put them in my basement. I designed a fig shelter for them that could be used over and over through the years.

    The top comes on and off so that you can fill the inside with finely mulched leaves as shown. The insulation foam is r-5. I've put up precautions for mice. My only concern is mold. Will mold kill a fig tree? I was also wondering what your thoughts were on the shelter considering I live in zone 5b?

    For further help against the cold I have been thinking about burying PVC pipes in a U formation as sort of a geothermal passive radiator. You could use a post hole digger to form the hole. The ends of the tubes would have large capes on to keep debris from falling down, but allowing air to go in and out. Both ends of the tubes would be level, but a few inches above the ground, so that in the summer you could firmly seal off the tubes and they wouldn't get in the way. In the winter though, you would attach an extension to the appropriate end taking advantage of the effects of air's changes in density due to its temperature as shown in the ruffly drawn diagram. Another idea that i had was to make the slanted part of the tube metal so that thermal energy could be transferred more efficiently. Also a construction worker friend of mine said that the frost line was only a few inches within 3ft of a house, so it would probably be advantageous like everyone out there already says to plant it near your house..

    You would of coarse put in the PVC before you planted the fig. I was also wondering what your thoughts on this were? Do you think it would work for people of who lived in colder zones?

    Stephen
     

    Attached Files:

  2. vitog

    vitog Rising Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    1,577
    Likes Received:
    175
    Location:
    Burnaby, Canada
    Your shelter is ingenious, and it would be interesting to try it out to see if it works as designed. However, I don't think that it will result in a productive fig tree. Because there will be nothing to confine the roots of the tree, it will want to grow vigorously but will have to be pruned severely to keep it small enough to fit in the shelter. I think that this combination will seriously limit flowering and fruit production, although you might get one good year out of it before the root system expands a lot. I suspect that a tree of that size will be much more productive if it is kept in a container that limits its roots to a size compatible with the top.
     
  3. Steve Wieden

    Steve Wieden Member

    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Crystal Lake, IL
    Hey vitog,
    Thank you for your thoughts. I think i may understand what you are saying, though i was wondering if you knew a word for what you where describing. I didn't think that would be a problem because i was counting on the fact that the fig tree would produce fruit on its new growth. The only thing i can think of that would change with the increase in the roots size and maturity would be an increase in the amount of growth each year from where it was cut back the year before.

    Steve
     
  4. Tree Nut

    Tree Nut Active Member

    Messages:
    262
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    PNW
    Figs need their roots confined to bear fruit on small trees. Otherwise they will use all that root nutrient gathering ability for new growth at the expense of fruit. Unless you plan on growing a huge fig tree confine the roots in a container.
     

Share This Page