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Best time and method to transplant a fig tree in Maryland

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Stinky The Clown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-10-08 04:32 PM
Original message
Best time and method to transplant a fig tree in Maryland
The tree has been in its current location since it left its one gallon nursery pot .... maybe four years.

It is now about five feet tall and five feet wide. It sets fruit but always has the fruit drop when the figs are the size of BBs. I am almost certain the issue is insufficient sun. I have a nice sunny location to move it to, but now need to know when and how to move the tree since it is far bigger than when I planted it.

Any help is very much appreciated.
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plantwomyn Donating Member (779 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-10-08 06:56 PM
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1. As soon as you can get a shovel in the ground.
Make sure you have the hole dug where you're putting it first. Good idea to water it a day or two before you dig it to help the soil hold together. Think about wind too. Figs will fall because they get blown off. Don't forget to prune in while you have it out of the ground. You can lean it over and that make it easier to reach. Most of the time I will prune the tree back hard. It promotes root growth and foliage. You may have to wait another year for fruit but it is better not to loose the tree from transplant shock.
If you need more info ask.

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Stinky The Clown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-10-08 07:28 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. This winter, the ground never froze, really
We can get a shovel in the ground any time this year.

How far out do I dig to get the roots? Out to the drip line? Does a fig have a tap root to worry about?
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plantwomyn Donating Member (779 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-11-08 10:38 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. Dig the root ball as round as you can.
The rule of thumb is to have a 1 foot in diameter root ball for every 1 inch in diameter of tree trunk (located at ground level). So if it is 2" you dig it 24" round. Have a tarp ready to drag it where you're going to plant it. Make sure your whole is the same depth as your root ball -4" and back fill up to 2" of the trunk. If your soil is decent do not worry about amending it, it's always best to make the tree acclimate to it's habitat. Mulch.
WATER! WATER! WATER! This is the MOST important part. Even if its cold outside, if it is not frozen, water every other day. Do not fertilize until you start seeing other plants start to leaf out. If you do and it does frost, you'll loose the new growth. From that point on water deeply, you want the roots to go down into the soil. I put a hose about 6" from the trunk and turn the water on to a bare trickle. Let it run a hour. You could put this on a cheap timer and soaker hose to make this a no brainer. Water like this ALL SUMMER.
Also don't forget to stake your tree. This keeps it from rocking in the wind and breaking all those new roots. Protect the trunk from chafing with pieces of old hose or use a stake kit from your garden center.
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Stinky The Clown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-15-08 06:01 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. Thanks very much!
All good tips.

By the way, this past Wednesday, with a very light dusting of snow and ice on the ground, there were a bazillion robins in the yard! It seems early for them, but there they were.
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LiberalEsto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-17-08 02:11 PM
Response to Original message
5. What kind is it?
I live in Rockville, MD, and have a Brown Turkey fig planted in my front yard. We never got fruit because it used to die down to the ground every winter despite it being advertised as cold hardy.

Then a wonderful person on this forum gave me a solution.

Now I surround the fig tree with chicken wire every December, and pile in raked leaves as insulation. It's gotten so tall that I usually place one circle of chicken wire on top of another, and fill it. The circles are about 3 feet across. Once the weather warms up, I carefully detach the chicken wire and remove most of the leaves, leaving a nice layer as mulch.

Last year we had a bumper crop of figs - the best year ever.

Good luck!
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