I was lucky enough to buy a house with a mature fig tree, but had no chance to inquire about maintenance. Noticed some pictures with burlap wrapping in winter and some heavy pruning on old and new branches as well. As it is growing very close to foundation I wonder if pruning was done to keep it in check or because of the winter troubles. At the moment it is about 12 ft tall and trunk about 5 in thick. Any input will be appreciated.
Thank you for contacting Toronto Master Gardeners about correct maintenance of your mature fig tree.
Steven Biggs, Toronto author of Grow Figs Where You think You Can’t has a great deal of fine information available by Googling Steven Biggs figs. Within that information is a discussion of the benefits of retained warmth from thermal mass which the close proximity of your house wall provides supplying winter protection for your tree. He also discusses the inherent shrubby nature of the plant unless pruned into a single stem tree which would equate with the evidence of pruning on your tree. The original owner of the fig tree clearly has successfully mastered the cultivation of a plant not usually grown in the ground in our cold climate.
You may find a Toronto Master Gardener response to an earlier enquiry useful, by searching our link: http://www.torontomastergardeners.ca/askagardener/chigago-hardy-fig-tree/
We wish you great success and a bountiful harvest from your fig tree.