Messages posted to thread:

From:Date:Zone:
Diana 24-Sep-01 04:00 PM EST 6a   
Susan24-Sep-01 04:25 PM EST 6a   
Diana25-Sep-01 10:04 AM EST 6a   
Susan25-Sep-01 12:34 PM EST   
Will Creed25-Sep-01 02:58 PM EST   
Dave25-Sep-01 07:27 PM EST   
JoanneS26-Sep-01 04:32 PM EST 3a   
betty26-Sep-01 06:22 PM EST 5a   
Will Creed26-Sep-01 08:44 PM EST   
27-Sep-01 01:18 PM EST   
gaetane27-Sep-01 10:03 PM EST 4a   
JoanneS28-Sep-01 11:53 AM EST 3a   
Beth18-Dec-12 11:02 PM EST   


Subject: Fig trees in Toronto?
From: Diana
Zone: 6a
Date: 24-Sep-01 04:00 PM EST

I just obtained some cuttings from an old family fig tree that is growing in Philadelphia. How do I care for them here in Toronto, Ontario? Can a fig tree survive our climate without being taken in over the winter?


Subject: RE: Fig trees in Toronto?
From: Susan
Zone: 6a
Date: 24-Sep-01 04:25 PM EST

Is this a fig tree that produces edible fruit or the more common ornamental fig - ficus benjamina (sp?)? As far as I know, neither would be winter hardy here. I just brought my ornamental fig trees in from their summer holiday on the back porch this weekend. There is some information on a 'hardy' edible fig at: http://raintreenursery.com/how_to/FIGS.html and that indicates that it would not be hardy here because we are basically USDA zone 5 (maybe 6 in sheltered spots)


Subject: RE: Fig trees in Toronto?
From: Diana
Zone: 6a
Date: 25-Sep-01 10:04 AM EST

It's a fig tree that grows figs - I picked them and ate them for breakfast when I was in Philadelphia at the beginning of September! This tree grows without any winter protection and thrives - wondering how/if I could have it in my garden year round .... thanks for the info - will look up the site you recommended.


Subject: RE: Fig trees in Toronto?
From: Susan
Zone:
Date: 25-Sep-01 12:34 PM EST

Philadelphia is USDA zone 7A which is still within the fig's hardiness limits. Since we're probably 2 zones colder, you might not have much luck with it, but if you don't mind risking losing it, it might be fun to plant it in a sheltered spot and see what happens!


Subject: RE: Fig trees in Toronto?
From: Will Creed
Zone:
Date: 25-Sep-01 02:58 PM EST

Even in NYC, fig trees must be wrapped to survive our winter temps. I can't imagine they would have a chance in Canada unless some extraordinary protective measures were taken.


Subject: RE: Fig trees in Toronto?
From: Dave
Zone:
Date: 25-Sep-01 07:27 PM EST

Dear Will: I hate to question your concepts of Canadian climate zones but if you go to http://www.streetside.com/plants/floridata/ref/f/ficus_c.htm you'll see that fig trees grow in USDA zone 5. Now this is where the fun begins. At the website http://www.ivillage.com/home/garden/zone/ the New York area is described as zone 6&7 with Long Island(approx. 20 miles wide) being divided into two zones. When you go to the Canadian map(as per USDA) a huge chunk of southern Ontario is classified as zone 5. However, if you go to Canadian Rose Society website there is an excellent, recent article detailing the 3/4 zones that are lumped by the USDA as one zone. We have zones 5, 6a, 6b and 7 in south part of Ontario and while I'm not sure how these zones relate to the USDA zones, it's clear that at a minimum there is room in my imagination for fig's to grow in the great province of Ontario. British Columbia with it's much more moderate climate must have figs everywhere. And now that it is past Labour Day, I'll have to wax up those ski's and pretty soon it will be time to move back into the igloo.


Subject: RE: Fig trees in Toronto?
From: JoanneS
Zone: 3a
Date: 26-Sep-01 04:32 PM EST

Diana, I have the answer. A few years ago, I distinctly remember a story about an italian or greek gentleman, who has a very mature fig tree in Toronto. I saw the story in a gardening magazine and also on a television program, but unfortunately can't remember which. It may have been Canadian Gardening magazine. I don't remember much about the story, except that it was definitely Toronto and it was definitely a fig tree. To overwinter he soaked the thing and then used boards to weigh down the wet branches and covered with burlap, and something else, but I can't remember.

Does anyone else remember more?


Subject: RE: Fig trees in Toronto?
From: betty
Zone: 5a
Date: 26-Sep-01 06:22 PM EST

Has anyone besides me thought of that delightful story "Figs" by Stuart McLean in "Vinyl Cafe unplugged" while reading the discussion about caring for Diana's fig tree? I think it was Diana's comment "I just obtained some cuttings from an old family fig tree that is growing in Philadelphia." that first twigged my memory. The story was about the neighbours, who were growing a fig tree in Canada, which had come from the family farm in another country.


Subject: RE: Fig trees in Toronto?
From: Will Creed
Zone:
Date: 26-Sep-01 08:44 PM EST

Dave - I apologize for assuming that our northern neighbors have colder climates than we do in NYC. Although that is generally true, there are obviously exceptions that I overlooked. Thanks for setting me straight.

Fig trees are not native to zone 5. Apparently they can be grown in Zone 5 "with winter protection." Just how much protection is required is the key. Personally, I think it is a risky proposition unless you really know what you are doing and are prepared to do provide lots of protection.

Now, about those igloos...


Subject: RE: Fig trees in Toronto?
From:
Zone:
Date: 27-Sep-01 01:18 PM EST

Betty, our family are great fans of the Vinyl Cafe. I can't recall the fig tree story, however. Coincidentially, I had just been thinking about his bird story, the one about the scarlet tanager. Anyway, in Alberta he hits CBC at noon on Sundays and we always find it a nice addition to our sunday lunch.


Subject: RE: Fig trees in Toronto?
From: gaetane
Zone: 4a
Date: 27-Sep-01 10:03 PM EST

Joanne, the story you're referring to is from Canadian Gardening as you suspected. It's from the December 1998/January 1999 issue, page 10. The gentleman buries his fig tree in the fall and covers everything with leaves and plastic and more dirt.


Subject: RE: Fig trees in Toronto?
From: JoanneS
Zone: 3a
Date: 28-Sep-01 11:53 AM EST

Gaetane, merci beaucoup! It did stick in my mind, because I thought I could transfer his idea here over a cold prairier winter.


Subject: RE: Fig trees in Toronto?
From: Beth
Zone:
Date: 18-Dec-12 11:02 PM EST

I have had a fig tree for twenty years. It's a Greek fig, quite miniaturized, too big and unruly for a bonsai, but not very big and that occasionally produces fruit. I live in the Junction area of Toronto. It's brought in in the fall and seems indestructible!


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