This is our cold hardy fig winter test results report, for winter 2012/2013.
While uncovering figs spring of 2012, I noticed that in our rush to cover up the figs, start of winter 2011, I over looked one Marseilles Black VS, seven month old, 12" Tall sucker. Then upon checking the seven month old sucker, I was surprise to see that it was green, and alive right up to it's tip.
Although, our winter of 2011/2012 did not get any lower then 5 degrees, I thought that was impressive, for a plant that was no more then seven months old. We were planning on starting our winter uncovered figs testing, after our figs reached five years of age. But since this one little sucker did so well, we decided to start our cold hardy fig testing earlier. So winter of 2012/2013 we left uncovered one of three, five foot tall, Marseilles Black VS, one of two Hardy Chicago plants, and one Brooklyn White.
Brooklyn White and Marseilles Black VS, are planted about ten feet apart next to a four foot tall boulder. The Marseilles Black VS, is about five feet tall, and the Brooklyn White is about four feet tall. The Hardy Chicago was pruned down to about three feet at the start of winter, and occupies a microclimate, in the V of our chimney.
The Brooklyn White lost 50% of it's top. The eight year old Hardy Chicago did not suffer any winter damage. The four year old, five foot, Marseilles Black VS, did not suffer any winter damage either. Our 2012/2013 winter did not get any lower then 0 degrees. It has been rather warm the last two winters, in our cold Connecticut, zone 5b/6a location.
We are growing and testing around 25 or so figs. Figs that have been classified as cold hardy. Paul Tracesky, tested Hardy Chicago, Sal's EL, and other figs for several years, in this part of Connecticut, during the middle of the 1990's. Paul had come to the conclusion after his trial testing, that Hardy Chicago was not the most cold hardy fig, and that he thought Sal's EL, was more cold hardy the Hardy Chicago. After his testing period, he kept only one fig, his Sal's EL. I agree with Paul, on his test results.
Marseilles Black VS, is superior to to Hardy Chicago, being able to withstand more cold, then Hardy Chicago. Plus Marseilles Black VS, does not need as much direct sun light, as Hardy Chicago needs to to produce a large crop of figs.
Although, we have many more cold hardy figs being grown and tested here. Plus, several that look like they may even do better then Marseilles Black VS, and Sal's EL. The two that we still recommend to our new gardening customers, in cold areas like ours, is Paul's selection, Sal's EL, and it's now replacement, Marseilles Black VS.
Attached, our winter pictures of Hardy Chicago, and Marseilles Black VS.
Bob - Connecticut zone 5b/6a
MARSEILLES_BLACK_VS_2012-2013_-_-0F_(480x640).jpg (219.52 KB, 176 views)
HARDY_CHICAGO_2012-2013_-0F_(480x640).jpg (168.20 KB, 160 views)