A Long Winter's Nap

Back in the spring we planted a fig tree in the orchard. After a season of growth, it has graduated from a mere stick to a slightly more respectable baby tree: 


Frost has killed off its (very few) leaves, so it's time to get our little Brown Turkey tree wrapped up for winter. Figs are not reliably hardy in our growing zone (6a), so we need to give it some protection from the cold so it doesn't die back too much over the winter. To do this, we repurposed two of the potato boxes we are no longer using to create a little fort around the tree:


Kirk set one box atop the other and screwed in two extra boards to across the gap to join them together (which you can see better in the picture below). This contraption is all wood and heavy as all get-out, so it should hold its ground despite our typically blustery winter weather

Once the boxes were in place, we filled the whole thing to the top with leaves we raked up:


We have no dearth of maple leaves in the front yard, so this part went much more quickly than we thought it would. The leaves will probably settle over time, but we can top it off with more as we continue our fall cleanup through November. 

All those leaves will act as a blanket to insulate the fig tree from wind and freezing temperatures. It's like a tower of mulch, and it should offer just enough protection to give us an extra zone's worth of temperature control. And hopefully that will be enough to keep our little tree happy and healthy until we uncover it again next spring.

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