Fig Tree

Asked May 26, 2019, 8:58 AM EDT

I was wondering if this is normal for a fig tree to do. I bought a fig tree five years ago. It grew pretty big (5 feet) and the following year had a ton of fruit. Then winter came and it died completely. Now it seems that every winter the tree dies and sprouts again the following spring never quite grows to his former hight. Help!!

Howard County Maryland fruit fig abiotic issues

1 Response

Hi- unfortunately for fig lovers this is a common situation in Central MD. Unprotected fig plants will only produce fruit following relatively mild winters. We had a great fig harvest in 2017. Most gardeners had few figs in 2018 because of severe winter cold. The same thing will happen in 2019.

Figs grow on new shoots emerging from healthy above-ground wood. Most fig plants were killed to the ground over this past winter (sustained temperatures below 20 degrees F.) It's unlikely that the new shoots emerging from the base or roots will have enough time to produce figs before frosts.

You can winter protect your plant next winter by cutting all growth back to three feet after the first hard frost and surrounding the plant with leaves, hay bales, bubble wrap, etc. to insulate against severe cold weather.

Web page on figs, including a mini-video "No Figs This Year- How Come?"
https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/figs
Jon