Saturday, May 30, 2009

My Fig Tree

Last year, I planted a fig tree (in a spurt of optimism). I deliberately planted the tree at the end of the house near the block wall that absorbs heat during the day and then releases it overnight.

The little tree grew happily all summer. It lost its leaves in the fall, but they are deciduous trees and this is normal. I mulched it in and let it settle down for the winter. Then came the 17 degree weather, and I mulched the tree a little more, but didn't really have time for much else.

This spring, I checked on the tree and the branches were brittle and dead. The fig tree, it seemed, was no more. I was very sad. But my husband said, "Leave it for a bit and see what happens."

Well, as it turns out, he was right! I checked again yesterday and there are tiny leaves poking up from under the mulch at the base of the dead branches. And they are the distinctive shape of fig leaves - the fig tree is growing! It hasn't died and I still have a fig tree!

I think I'm going to see how much growth we get through the summer, and then decide if I want to dig the tree up and put it in a container for the winter, or try to do something to protect the branches from the cold. Any suggestions?


Lisa said...

ahh fig trees, how I miss having things like that now that I live in the cold east. I used to love picking the figs off our tree in California and eating them. Maybe I should get one and put it in a pot too. I'd have to find a nice window for it and there isn't many in this small house.

Anonymous said...

I am sure glad that fig made it. I remember when you talked about buying it. My parents had one planted at the corner of their home and apparently it got enough protection from the bitter cold there. It was huge when we sold their home.

Daisy said...

I've never grown a fig tree, Terri. I think I live too far north to do that. So I'm no help as far as advice for you. I'm glad it came back for you and hope you can figure out the best thing to do for it to keep it growing.

Have a great weekend! :)

Terri said...

Lisa, my friend (who lives in Maine) keeps her fig tree in a pot. It lives outside all summer, and in the fall she brings it in and it loses its leaves and it doesn't need any sun then!

Mildred, I love figs, and that's what I'm hoping for with this one. I might need to build it an extra wall for the winter!

Daisy, you might be too far north to do anything but pot one. :(


Anonymous said...

Figs don't grow in my area and the first time I ever saw one was when I went to visit my uncle in Oregon. They sure are messy trees when they drop all that fruit. I"m not so sure I would want one after seeing all that mess.

Anna said...

Hey Terri that last commend was from me but I accidently hit send before I was finished.

I've got a butternut tree that I also though was dead that is regrowing from the roots. I'm happy to see that.

Amy said...

Glad your fig tree came back! I planted some lavender last year. Died. Then I thought, wait and see....Still waiting, still seeing nothing!

crt said...

In our part of the world the winter temperatures go down to -10 to -15 Celsius.

This is how I overwinter our young fig tree:

- put stakes in a circle in the ground around it

- wrap chicken wire around the stakes, enveloping the tree , more or less enveloping the tree - the branches are flexible and you can tie them up a bit beforehand to achieve a narrower circle

- stuff inside with straw

- wrap several layers horticultural fleece on the outside of the wire

Good luck!