Split fig tree

Evening all, 

A maintenance customer of mine contacted me in a bit of a panic this weekend, saying that their treasured standard fig has split down its trunk. I have seen much larger ones that have not done this, so cannot really think of a reason for it to have gone as it has (it was not windy on the day). The customer has since applied a ratchet strap to hold the split together, but is concerned about its longevity. Does anyone have any advice of what we may be able to do to save it? I haven't seen it in person yet, but have been sent photos as attached.



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  • Figs are prone to splitting. The good news is that they are robust enough to be pruned hard to ground level (coppiced) and they will make good growth in the new season. Since the trunk is split, water and disease will take hold so the only option is to cut it down to the ground. However, it will be a shrub as opposed to a standard fig.
    • PRO
      Andrew, unfortunately, for the position, there is no option what so ever for it to be a shrub, it simply must be a standard. I appreciate I've probably missed the usual window to apply a wound sealant, but does anyone know if there's any worthwhile products to apply?
  • PRO Supplier

    Image result for tree splitting down the middle

    Prune & Seal is a latex based sealant HERE - not sure if you would need to clean before sealing - have even heard people use listerine in dilution !!

    • PRO

      Thanks Richard!

  • Realistically, it has had it: best thing to do will be replace, but choose a plant that does not have co-dominant leaders!

  • Once I saw the picture I have to agree that it is a goner. The pure weight of the branches, leaves and fruit may have caused it to split. Or maybe someone pulled on it. There obviously was already a weak spot. It looks like the split has gone all the way to the ground. Fungus, bacteria are most likely already in it. It may last for a few more years but eventually it will start to turn. 

  • PRO
    Thanks everyone,

    I was pretty sure there was no chance for it, I know that wound sealants usually have to be applied within minutes (though am realistic that they probably won't work on that anyway) but the customer was desperate not to lose it.

    It's had weight reduced and has had a ratchet put around to stop it breaking altogether
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