Brown turkey fig tree renewal pruning vs replanting.

Asked February 17, 2016, 11:42 AM EST

Some fruits respond well to renewal pruning. Others may regrow to their old size, but never regain a high degree of fruitfulness and you are better off removing them and replanting. Two years ago a polar vortex almost killed my Brown Turkey fig. The trunk and main branches each have a long vertical crack running their length. The tree is butt-ugly, producing poorly, and woodpecker heaven. Should I remove it, or cut it to the ground and husband the suckers that will sprout up? Thank you for any help you can give, Laura

Anne Arundel County Maryland

1 Response

Sounds as though the existing trunk has been damaged from the extreme cold during the past two seasons. This past week we experienced another vortex.Do the "fingernail" check in late March, determine at this time if you want to do a renovative pruning or replacement.Keep in mind that with a renewal pruning ,you may not have fruit in 2016 or they will ripen real late in the season. Leave about 3 suckers to develop during the growing season. Consider winter protection as long as we remain in this pattern of extreme cold winters.