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Do I need to harvest all unripe figs of my fig tree before winter?

Question submitted by FAQ

I have a fig tree outside for about five years. During the last winter it got some frost damage and the fruit arrived very late. Most of the fruit is still on the tree – should I harvest them or let them rot on the tree?

Garden Expert:

Mr. Engelbert Kötter

Mr. Engelbert Kötter

GARDENA Garden Expert Germany

The answer

I have the same problem with mine. The fig tree carries it's fruits in January but already developes them in autumn. So they overwinter at the branch. Due to the local climate it is possible that some branches just freeze off. When the whole branch is busted the tree develops new shoots in spring. The fruits at these new branches only show in summer. But then it is usually too late to ripen.

Because of this, it is worthwhile to take care of the tree and branches during winter. The toughest time is late winter around July when the sun starts to shine and the night frost hits hard. So I am going to wrap my fig tree in card web this year to obviate the problem and I am going to hope that the fruits will last and not be damaged by late frosts.

The luxury solution would be a florino in combination with a frost protection ;)