Can you transplant a large fig tree or parts of it?

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Can you transplant a large fig tree or parts of it?

Post by kcforge » Sun Oct 07, 2012 1:35 pm

We have a beautiful fig tree that the previous owners planted on the side of our barn. It is now 15 feet tall and perhaps 20 feet across. It produces large sweet figs which we dehydrate and enjoy year round. The problem is the fig tree is now growing over our barn and is causing moisture damage. A neighbor told us we could pull lower branches down onto the ground and place cinder blocks on them and they would root. This would allow us to "grow" the tree away from the barn. Is there any truth to this process? We are afraid it is too big to transplant and digging it up would compromise the barn's foundation. Is there anything we can do to save the tree and hopefully move it?

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Re: Can you transplant a large fig tree or parts of it?

Post by lorijones » Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:34 pm

Figs can be ground layered in this way but the preferred method is to dig a 3"-6" hole at the point where the branch will contact the ground. Drive a stake into the ground at the edge of the hole, scrape a little of the bark off the branch at the point where it will contact the soil, bend the branch down into the hole, and tie it to the stake. Fill the hole, covering the branch. You may want to lay a cinder block over the hole to stabilize the branch until rooting has taken place. You can do this now or in the spring. It will take several months for roots to form. Here is site that gives detailed instructions on a layering a fig without burying the branch: ... ering.html.
A better way might be to take stem cuttings in May or June. Take 8" long cuttings and dip the cut ends in rooting powder. Place these in a soilless rooting mix.
You can also prune your fig at the end of April. Thin out and trim some of the branches hard. This may affect the fig production for the first year. After this more drastic pruning, you can thin the tree and prune it on a yearly basis to keep it in bounds but do not remove more than 20% of the growth.

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