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keeping an un-insulated, unheated shed from freezing

15 years ago

Dear FIG FORUM members:

Any ideas on how I can go about keeping an outdoor shed between 33 to 40 degrees, so that the rootball/root zone of my containerized fig trees does not freeze solid?

I would really like to add a source of heat to slightly raise the temp's. within the shed to just above freezing, and still keep the trees in hard dormancy until April.

I recently came across a plug-in, thermostatically controlled socket, into which can be plugged a small heater. The socket will turn on the heater below a certain temp. and turn it off after that temp. has been reached. I really do not care for a heater being activated in a outdoor shed ... fire hazzards, etc. I'm thinking more towards a heat lamp set-up or heating pad, etc. but my concern is that since the shed is un-insulated, these devices will be on constantly, and will cost me a small fortune in the long run.

One member suggested thermostatically controlled heater cable which is used to prevent pipes from freezing. How can I use these on my fig trees? Do I wrap the electric cable around the pot to keep the roots warm? ... and what about the branch-end of the trees? Do I need to keep the branches slightly heated also? I know these questions come up on this forum now and then, and I'm worried that the harsh storage conditions, especially in Jan-Feb. will kill-off parts, or all of my containerized trees.

I have no other option than storing my trees in a small shed. I need some updated advice. Maybe there's some new products on the market that will help me out, if indeed, I really need help. Maybe my trees will be just fine without the added heat. At this point I just do not know.

Again, I want to prevent tree/root-zone death, but still keep trees dormant as long as possible ... at least until mid April.


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