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  • Fig tree in container outdoor

    Hi Members,
    I put my 10 ft Desert King in large container outdoor (second year) as per below photo. In order to avoid moving in & out during winter time and spring time etc. Can I cut out the bottom part of the plastic container and let the container continue to sit on ground, so that the roots can go in to the ground like I plant it in ground. The reason why I did not put it in ground because my back yard area that I wanted to plant is not good for drainage especially during raining reason. I am afraid my fig tree will be killed when so many water sitting there for too long time. My flower bed is abt 4" above ground level already.

    The above is recommended by one of the local nursery. Any idea or suggestion will be much appreciated.

    Pacifica Click image for larger version

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  • #2
    Ciao Pacifica,

    Wonderful idea! What zone you in or state? If you afraid the ground below is not suitable for year round and wish to remove from ground tis is good idea.how you sever the root from ground ?

    I may try tis idea and maybe use piano wire or hand rope chain saw to make nice clean cut to sever roots?
    Zone 5 Chicago IL Wish list:
    1) Rest peacfully Amico Bello Buddy 👼🏼.
    2) This weeks ebay auctions.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi Taverna 78,
      I am from Vancouver, Canada (west coast of Canada). I am not very sure if fig tree is able to sit in the area where they have more water due to poor drainage. Also I am not sure if the fig roots will usually grow deep in the ground or simply spread out on the ground surface. That's why I am putting in a large container for the time being, and in between thinking to cut the container bottom, so that the roots can extend to grow into the ground where they have more room to grow.

      Comment


      • #4
        I would recommend against doing that. The biggest problem I can see is that the crown of the plant will be sitting well above ground level in the pot where it could easily freeze. Being the source of life for the plant if the crown freezes the whole plant dies. Only way I see that being successful would be with extreme winter protection to keep the crown from freezing.
        Last edited by COGardener; 08-25-2015, 07:24 PM.
        Scott - Colorado Springs, CO - Zone 4/5 (Depending on the year) - Elevation 6266ft

        “Though the problems of the world are increasingly complex, the solutions remain embarrassingly simple.” – Bill Mollison

        Comment


        • #5
          Hi Scott,
          Tks for your comments. Do you think Desert King can really sit in the ground where the drainage is poor or not ? Should I give it a try or not ?
          I have seen from F4F that an unknown fig tree can really survive in ground next to the river.

          Comment


          • #6
            Many people in Ontario have Desert King in ground, yet they go to extraordinary lengths to protect those trees over the winter. I could not answer if it would be safe to put it in ground or not, the "cold hardiness" of a fig tree various between cultivars, to individual trees with in a cultivar and the micro climates of where they are planted.

            I do believe it could be over wintered in ground yes (WITH PROPER PROTECTION). However, protecting a ten foot tall tree may prove to be more difficult then it's worth.

            Additionally, doing the pot shuffle, even though it is tedious, extends the season on both ends. It allows the tree to break bud earlier as well as allowing you to ripen fruit that would be lost otherwise come fall.

            My $0.02
            Scott - Colorado Springs, CO - Zone 4/5 (Depending on the year) - Elevation 6266ft

            “Though the problems of the world are increasingly complex, the solutions remain embarrassingly simple.” – Bill Mollison

            Comment


            • #7
              Since Vancouver is in the west coast like Seattle, it is not as cold as Ontario, we might have snow in Dec / Jan but seldom below zero degree C. Most people usually do nothing to protect their fig tree in ground in winter time, I might wrap the container using sack to protect the trunk and roots etc if temp drop below zero C. What do you think Scott ?

              Comment


              • #8
                Pacifica,

                Welcome to our figs forum community.

                IMO, planting in a large open bottomed container shouldn't be much different that planting in a raised bed. There's lots of documentation of Commercial Japanese fig orchards where trees are grown in 12" high raised beds sometimes due to problem native soil conditions. The major difference is that the crown and shallow feeder roots will become constricted by the container in a short time. As far as the hardiness of the trees, with proper pruning in-ground Desert King are know to be productive and hardy in your location since they are a San Pedro type fig and will only ripen breba crops without caprification. Good Luck
                Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b

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                • #9
                  There you go. ... what Pete said!
                  Scott - Colorado Springs, CO - Zone 4/5 (Depending on the year) - Elevation 6266ft

                  “Though the problems of the world are increasingly complex, the solutions remain embarrassingly simple.” – Bill Mollison

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I am in Chicago and has gotten to -50 F with windchill and I have about 12 trees in the ground that have been growing for years. It all depends on how much work you want to do to protect them. Here for me the growth rate in ground vs pot is much better in ground for growth and harvest. Regardless if I have in pot or ground I only get one harvest... So I rather see tree grow very large and produce more fruit in one harvest then have smaller tree with less fig. In Italia there are tree that grow in valley where half root in ground and half root grown in water and are best trees and fruit to find when they ripen. The fruit is much juice, leaf more healthy and size much large than mountain side fico tree. You tree is staked at 10 ft. If it was me in you situitation I would air layer it 1/2 way down. Pot the air layer and put the main root ball in ground. Worst case if ground is bad for tree you at least have extra tree both no needing a stake. I not professional but these trees are very hard to kill when are 5gal pot or biger. And they seem to adapt very quickly to new surroundings and soils.... My Papa tree come from very dry sand rock soil mix mountain side. I can over water it now to the point of puddle in mud and it just gets bigger so I think you be okay
                    Zone 5 Chicago IL Wish list:
                    1) Rest peacfully Amico Bello Buddy 👼🏼.
                    2) This weeks ebay auctions.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hi Pete & Scott : It looks like I will go ahead to cut the container base (to creat a big hole underneath) and let the roots continue to grow into the ground as this is the way to avoid roots to be killed due to poor drainage. Is that what you suggested me to try during dormancy ? Please correct me if I am wrong. Tks...................

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                      • #12
                        Hi Mike : Your idea is great with appreciation. Should I air layer Desert King in dormamcy or better do it in early Spring next year ?

                        Comment


                        • COGardener
                          COGardener commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Needs to be done during active growing.

                      • #13
                        Pacifica,
                        The bottom of the container can be cut at anytime since the tree will be left in ground. If done early enough before the end of the growing season the roots may get established into the existing soil. Good Luck.

                        Attached is a photo of a fig tree that was placed in a collar made from a 55 gallon barrel (~ 22" diameter), its a few decades old, in The Bronx, NYC.
                        You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 1 photos.
                        Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b

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                        • #14
                          Hi Pete : Thanks for your directions and image. Very helpful to me and I really appreciate it very much.

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                          • AscPete
                            AscPete commented
                            Editing a comment
                            You're welcome.

                        • #15
                          Hi Pete : When is a good time to put half of the container (without base) in ground to enable more healthy roots which is better for fruit harvest and long run etc.? I schedule to proceed in mid Oct when Desert King is about to begin dormant or I better do it in early Spring. Here in Vancouver, B. C. Canada will have more rain in winter time starting from end Oct till mid April. Your recommendation on this will be much appreciated.

                          Pacifica

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                          • #16
                            I'm not sure if you have seen this video about pruning desert king figs.

                            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RB0D_tuKgtQ

                            good luck with your fig.
                            Kevin (Eastern MA - Zone 5b/6a)

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                            • #17
                              Pacifica,

                              I've tried in-ground pot burial but only for one growing season, placing them in ground in the spring due to my colder zone and need for winter protection, it was discussed here, http://www.ourfigs.com/forum/figs-ho...to-bury-or-not Burying in the spring allows the roots to get established for summer growth and fig production.

                              IMO, your container can be "buried" at any time since your plan is to leave it outside based on your mild zone conditions. Burying while the weather is warm will allow the roots to get established before fall dormancy and for an early start in spring, if the winter is mild enough. BTW, roots will continue to grow if the soil temperatures remain above 45*F. Good Luck.
                              Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b

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                              • #18
                                Hi Kevin : Thanks for the link. I am going to watch it soon.

                                Hi Pete : Thank you again for your respond. It looks like I might do it in early Spring to play safe.

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                                • #19
                                  Hi Pete : Can I do air layer of my Desert King right now before it goes dormant ? Dormant usually will begin around mid to end Oct in Vancouver) This is because I want to keep my DK from 10 ft to 6 ft height in Spring then I can easily plant in ground in due course. Can this air layer be done during dormancy ?

                                  Comment


                                  • AscPete
                                    AscPete commented
                                    Editing a comment
                                    Usually air layering requires ~ 8 weeks of warm weather with good active growth for best results, the leaves help to produce the required root growth.

                                • #20
                                  Got you ! Thanks

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