Fig Tree Bark Eaten

Asked April 30, 2018, 1:59 PM EDT

I have a 3-4 year old 8 foot tall fig tree (Mission Fig, I think) that I have successfully overwintered several seasons. Last summer I had a great crop of delicious figs. This spring, as I unwrapped the freeze cloth (which was covered by a tarp, secured by bungee cords), I saw mouse poop and evidence that they chewed a hole in the cloth in several places. The tree bark has been mostly eaten off from 2/3 of the way up the tree to the top of the branches - and some of the bark at the base of the tree trunk has been chewed off - bark remains here and there, but it looks like a ghost tree. The roots go through the bottom of the tree's pot into the soil below (we tried moving the pot last year and it wouldn't budge), so it has/had a sturdy root system. I see no budding on any of the branches that still have bark. Is there anything I can do to help this tree recover? Wrap the exposed bark in something, etc.? Or just wait and see what happens? Thanks.

Howard County Maryland

1 Response

Our own fruit specialist has had this happen to one of his fig trees as well -- so we sympathize with you. In his case, the tree bark did eventually callus over and he was able to get figs again. So, the best course of action simply would be to wait and see how it does. You don't need to cover the exposed bark. We hope it recovers for you.