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We have recently bought a brown turkey fig tree. The garden is south facing and we have a 6 foot fence down each side. I was wondering where it is best to plant, on the east or west facing fence? My idea was to train it to grow along the fence in a fan shape. Thank you in advance for your help.


West facing as this will give it the longest and warmest hours of sunshine for ripening the fruits.  

Thats great, thank you. I am just going to get some paving slabs to restrict the roots!

A fig needs hottest site possible. Also,for soil to be poor and roots restricted or you will get lots,of,growth and no fruit. The classic way is to,dig a large hole and,line it,with slabs including one at the,base. I,did just this a few years back and,had good fruits from it. Conversely, a friend of mine has,one in the open ground and it simply just grows without,any signs of fruiting. Figs need 2 summers to produce and ripen fruit. This means protecting tiny embryo figs over the winter with fleece so that they can regrow following spring. Figs in pots over wintered in a greenhouse are good option
Oops. Just noticed your last post re paving slabs so,clearly,you have already thought this out


Thanks Christopher, I have just bought the five slabs. I am going to site it next to a japanese quince so hope it will be OK. Look forward to seeing some fruit in a couple of years!


Protection with fleece unnecessesary, figs are tough as old boots.  Unless the site is very cold, and a west-facing position should not be.

It's the emerging fruit that DO NEED PROTECTING, FOR SURE. Even here in s.w Cornwall these tiny embryo fruits are susceptible. Yes, fig bushes are tough as old,boots but if you want the fruit then protect them with fleece. Anyway, you won't get fruit for a couple of years and then you can deal with issue when the time comes. Don't want to fall out with welsh onion over this.....we are both celts after all.

My fig was in wet West Wales, a Brown Turkey, on an exposed west wall, in the ground, at over 600ft and never protected with fleece.  We will agree to differ!

It's about frost welsh onion. I am on the coast in mild west Cornwall. Daveonnordolk does not live in such a mild area as we do possibly so should,fleece. IF he is prone to severe frost should he fleece?

We live at the bottom of a valley so it can get pretty cold here but we are in one of the driest parts of the country. I am looking to fan train along the fence and it will be sheltered from the northerly winds. I was lucky enough to find a plant that was roughly a fan shape to begin with! Thank you both for your replies.


Figs produce two sets of fruit in a year even if the embryo fruits produced now get frosted over the winter they produce a second set in spring which will be stronger and bigger. Unless you can protect the autumn embryos completely ie. undercover, it is best to rub them off and let the plant concentrate its energy on the later flush of fruit. In this area (North Bucks) we have a few figs growing in council planting schemes on the side of roads and foot paths and they are always dripping with fruit in midsummer - they get no care apart from the odd brutal prune with a hedge trimmer!

Green Magpie

We have a Brown Turkey on a south-west facing fence, in Devon. It's 6 or 7 years old and is now HUGE, At first I used to wrap the shoots in fleece in winter to protect them from the frosts, but as the plant grew this became impossible. The only frost damage (in several recent hard winters) has been to the topmost shoots that protrude above the fence, and I just trimmed them down in the Spring. We've had good numbers of figs for several years - except this year, and that, I'm sure, is to do with the cool summer rather than the cold winter.

Just allow it plenty of space and be prepared to reinforce your fence in a few years, otherwise the weight of the fig tree may bring it down!


Plumstone, I think you inadvertantly gave incorrect advice in your post.  The figs that will develop and ripen spend the winter as embryo figs no bigger than a tiny pea in the leaf axils at the top of the branches.  If you rub them out as you advise you will not get any figs the next year.

The figs that should be removed from the tree in autumn are those that develop in the spring/early summer, which have not had time to grow to maturity in this country, outdoors, where they are really on the edge of their range.  They will have the typical fig shape but they are small.

Graham Peacock

I have a load of unripe figs on my 2nd year tree in a pot, and need to know if I should remove them all at this time of the year. Had a small crop of about 6 in August and can also see some emerging pea sized which I believe will be next years crop which I should leave. Can someone confirm?

I live in SW Essex and do have a convenient brick wall against which I will transplant the tree next spring into a paving slab lined hole.




I would,have suggested covering with fleece to try and protect those small fruits but if you intend to move your fig I think you will lose the fruit anyway.  I would transplant between December and January not wait until the spring.  I know there are different,opinions on this but I prune at this time too. (sap flow is lowest during this short period and figs bleed). 

So, I would move and prune at,the same time.

Graham Peacock

Thanks for the suggestion.  What about the 2013 2nd crop, which in the country i believe is never going to ripen. Should I remove them entirely?  They are nearly the size to pick, but I guess to late to ripen this year. 

Too big to overwinter really. You lose nothing leaving them, do You? Might ave a freak warm spell, who knows?  Oh, not too late to take cuttings.  They root easily, ESP if fairly long...4 to 6"


Mine are just the same, a second crop this year of almost fully-grown figs - I'm going to leave them another week as we have a relative heatwave forecast, but I'm almost resigned to the fact that I'm going to have to remove them - I'll then get the fleece ready to protect the embryo fruits from frost - the tree's still of a size to make this feasible and I can attach fleece to the fence behind it to make a 'lean to tent' so it should get plenty of air around it while still being protected. 

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