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  • Planting fig trees in ground

    We live in the rainy Pacific Northwest. We have clay soil, which floods above soil line up to three days a year. I know that figs need good drainage. Would a fig survive if it was planted on a raised mound above the soil line. If so, how high would it need to be?

  • #2
    That is a real good question! Plant it like a cherry tree.

    There are people in the PNW that have trees in ground, and I'm sure they will chime in as they see your post. I would only conceder it with varieties that are know to be resistant to splitting with excessive water and perhaps try just one or two cultivars for a couple years to get a feel for it.

    The Olympian is reported to have been found in olympia Washington, it may be a good choice.
    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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    • #3
      When you have these flooding events, do they sometimes occur during ripening time? From what I remember of my days in Oregon the rains don't really kick in until mid-September and the heavier rains don't start until quite a bit later in the Fall. The timing of the heavy rains would determine how important it is to have varieties that are really resistant to splitting.
      Steve
      D-i-c-k-e-r-s-o-n, MD; zone 7a
      WL: Nantes Maroc

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      • #4
        Thanks. No, the flooding events occur between December and February. Will the fig trees rot if their roots touch the flooded soil below the raised mound?

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        • #5
          Tis idea for you to see how deep roots go on fig tree.... Always remember if you feel uncomfortable to put in ground do not do it. A 1/2 wine barrel will grow a fig as tall as you can reach fruit with ladder.
          You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 1 photos.
          Zone 5 Chicago IL Wish list:
          1) Rest peacfully Amico Bello Buddy 👼🏼.
          2) This weeks ebay auctions.

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          • #6
            Thank you. I guess I am just puzzled that there are so many fig trees in our area. I don't know if the water table in the surrounding area is lower, or if the local figs are just tolerating our growing conditions. Would fig roots be contained only in the soil that was most hospitable to them?

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            • #7
              This guy is growing figs in ground in Seattle: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_u_W7zCR7U
              Zone 7A - Philadelphia
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              • #8
                With so many fig trees in the area, that is a good sign that they would do fine. Figs are pretty resilient.

                A raised mound is a good idea. I wonder if it would perform like a sip which figs seem to grow quite well in. The roots grow all throughout the sips including into the water reservoir without any issue.

                You can always make a backup tree in case there are issues.
                Don - OH Zone 6a Wish list: Zaffiro, Moro de Caneva, Nerucciolo d'Elba, Bordissot Blanca Negra, Rubado

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                • #9
                  I would say that most dormant trees will tolerate flooding pretty well. Unless your talking about a 300 dollar tree, go for it. The ease of care of an inground tree and the fact that other trees are in the area shows its worth a shot.
                  Pine Prairie, LA 8B

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                  • #10
                    Age has a lot to do with it. Plant a tree with mature roots in the early Spring and have a back up. If you can build up a mound and keep the soil in it then that's helpful. The bigger the better.
                    Bob C. KC, MO Zone 6a. Wanted: Martineca Rimada, Galicia Negra, Fioroni Ruvo, De La Reina - Pons, Tauro, BFF, Sefrawi, Sbayi, Mavra Sika , Fillaciano Bianco, Corynth, Souadi, Acciano Purple, LSU Tiger, LSU Red, Cajun Gold, BB-10 any great tasting fig

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                    • #11
                      The tree has to be high enough so that if the soil floods the water does not reach the base of the trunk and drown the tree. Remember that after planting the tree the soil level will eventually drop as underground pockets are filled due to rain and erosion. You must allow for this.


                      Sas North Austin, TX Zone 8B

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                      • #12
                        Fig grower You need 18'' above soil line and plant in a mound the roots will still grow down into the soil but roots above the soil line will supply the tree with OX Y when flooded for 3 days I have alot of clay here and plant in raised beds this works really well . If you need I can send you pics

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                        • #13
                          Thanks!

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                          • #14
                            The Japanese commercial fig industry prescribes planting their fig trees in ~ 12 inch high and 36 inch wide raised beds, http://www.ourfigs.com/filedata/fetch?id=11310 and an earlier discussion on "open bottomed pots", http://www.ourfigs.com/forum/figs-ho...tainer-outdoor may be helpful. Good Luck
                            Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b

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                            • #15
                              Mind if I jump in with my own fig planting question? I've got 25 fig trees ready to go in the ground. I had planned on rototilling the planting sites, but it's been raining every other day. Should I wait for the soil to dry and rototill it before planting, or just jump in with a shovel and start planting those trees? I'm in northern California - so the winters are pretty mild temp wise.

                              Also, should I bare-root the trees before I put them in the ground?
                              Fig & Blackberry Farmer in Sunol, CA.

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                              • #16
                                Don't mind at all! Rototilling is a faster way to plant, but it will break down organic matter in the soil faster. Working wet soil damages the soil structure. I have done both, and the plant has still lived, but I would think that figs in particular would need air pockets. I spent my childhood in Santa Rosa, California. What part are you from?

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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by figgrower View Post
                                  Thank you. I guess I am just puzzled that there are so many fig trees in our area. I don't know if the water table in the surrounding area is lower, or if the local figs are just tolerating our growing conditions. Would fig roots be contained only in the soil that was most hospitable to them?

                                  Some varieties seem to take the wet soil better than others. Learned that lesson this past summer after 21+ days of at least half an inch of rain a day, some days 3+ inches fell. It rotted and killed two established trees one of which was a VERY painful loss and it damaged a couple others that survived and took off again once the rains stopped. I am on sand, think hourglass and you will picture my soil. So my take away is while variety A may take all that water and love it variety B may croak. That may be why you see some fig trees in ground that do fine with it as they are just more tolerant.
                                  Cutting sales have ended for the season. Plant sales will start March 1 at 8 eastern time. If it is still too cold in your area I can hold your plants till a date of your choosing.

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                                  • #18
                                    Thanks. Do you happen to know which varieties are more rain tolerant?

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                                    • #19
                                      regarding the idea of rototilling - don't do it when the soil is very wet, at least if you have any clay at all in the soil. A lot of compaction, not what you want. Wait till it dries out some.
                                      Ed
                                      SW PA zone 6a

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                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by figgrower View Post
                                        Thanks. Do you happen to know which varieties are more rain tolerant?

                                        Nope but can tell you are couple that are not
                                        Cutting sales have ended for the season. Plant sales will start March 1 at 8 eastern time. If it is still too cold in your area I can hold your plants till a date of your choosing.

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                                        • #21
                                          Originally posted by eboone View Post
                                          regarding the idea of rototilling - don't do it when the soil is very wet, at least if you have any clay at all in the soil. A lot of compaction, not what you want. Wait till it dries out some.
                                          Yeah, definitely will not rototill if the soil is too wet.

                                          BTW - the site is on a hillside, so I imagine that the water will flow downhill and not leave the figs soaking in it.

                                          I'd say Brown Turkey can be rain tolerant. I've got one in my Aquaponics setup, and despite having free access to water, the figs never split.
                                          Fig & Blackberry Farmer in Sunol, CA.

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                                          • #22
                                            That brings up my next question: will a tree with non-splitting figs necessarily be resistant to root rot?

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