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  • Wrapping and Christmas Lights for Winter Protection?

    Hello all. I read about people using christmas lights along with wrapping their in-ground figs in cooler zones but without instructions. Are the christmas lights put on before (underneath) the tarp or taped around (on top of) the tarp? My guess is underneath would provide more warmth but wouldn't that scald the branches and possibly a fire hazard? Taping the lights in a dense spring-shape fashion over the tarp would seem safer but would it provide a sufficient amount of warmth to prevent possible die back during deep freezes?

    Thanks!

  • #2
    I am zone 5 Chicago. I only use burlap around tree. Then paper bag. Then wall insulation. Then tarp. Cut couple hole in bag to breathe under tarp. Is good every year. Lights may keep too warm and won't go sleep completely.
    Zone 5 Chicago IL Wish list:
    1) Rest peacfully Amico Bello Buddy 👼🏼.
    2) This weeks ebay auctions.

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    • Iowafig
      Iowafig commented
      Editing a comment
      Taverna78 I am also in zone 5 just starting out here. May I ask what trees you have in ground and does your winterizing method work well for you? Thank you

  • #3
    Adding a location is helpful, where are you?
    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

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    • #4
      Christmas lights don't run that hot. People string them through trees all the time for decorative purposes. They run hot enough to provide some localized heat to prevent a tree from freezing, but they probably don't run hot enough to scald a tree, especially if you're only powering them up on those really frigid nights. Last winter, I wrapped xmas lights around my potted trees in my garage, hooked them up to a thermocube, and then covered the lot of them with a tarp.
      Johnny
      Stuff I grow: Google Doc

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      • #5
        Originally posted by Taverna78 View Post
        I am zone 5 Chicago. I only use burlap around tree. Then paper bag. Then wall insulation. Then tarp. Cut couple hole in bag to breathe under tarp. Is good every year. Lights may keep too warm and won't go sleep completely.
        Hi there. Good point. I am in Zone 6 (NJ) and had luck last year when I used weed blocking fabric and a tarp + bucket on my 2-foot Kadota tree. I used the rolled the fabric around a few times first, and then the tarp. Despite having the coldest February on record, the tree suffered NO dieback, except when the temperature dipped below freezing a couple of nights in April and I failed to re-cover the tree. The green tips and buds turned brown and it took until late May for a bunch of shoots to sprout from the bottom of the trunk.

        This year I'm going to do the same but use a layer of fiberglass insulation in between the fabric and tarp just for added insurance. The PROBLEM is during the Spring when the temperature fluctuates ... when it gets too warm to keep covered, but then cold enough to require protection again some nights ... Is it okay to just keep them covered until the danger of frost has completely gone (early May)? I'm worried that the warm days in April will cause the trees to roast / rot if I keep them covered. What do you do when this happens in early Spring? Thanks!

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        • fitzski
          fitzski commented
          Editing a comment
          If you're going the insulation route then it should not only protect it from the cold but also the heat in the spring.

          But you could also drape a tarp/sheet over the tree in the Spring when there is a chance of frost. It should only be a couple nights but that may help.

          I vertically 'bury' my in-ground fig, wrap it in insulation and then cover with plastic. I'm a zone or two north of you though (Eastern MA) and usually wait until mid-late April to unwrap.

          Good Luck.

          Kevin

        • Taverna78
          Taverna78 commented
          Editing a comment
          Tis why I cut breathe hole in paper leaf bag I use between burlap and fiberglass faced side in insulation. When it starts to get warmer I start slicing holes in tarp to allow more air. When is more warn I remove tarp and insulation and leave burlap. If temps drop into freeze I just wrap old sheet around it for the night. It's more work then warmer zones but tis why people from our zone can't believe I or we can keep Fig alive.

      • #6
        Just got done wrapping my biggest tree. One down, four more to go!