The White Tree Of Gondor

Last year Rob and I both came up with the idea of adding fig trees to our burgeoning home farms. The only difference was that he happens to live in Louisiana, which has a fig-o-licious climate and I live in NJ which, despite all the Consensus Proven Science claims of the Gorians, had a Winter this year that basically consisted of below freezing temperatures from Thanksgiving through the end of February, including a foot-plus of snow on the ground from Christmas to Lincoln’s birthday.

All of which means that he awoke this Spring to fig trees that were thriving whilst I awoke to, well, basically dead brown twigs

You know, the kind of tree that makes Charley Brown’s Christmas tree look like the one in Rockefeller Center.

So I resigned myself to at least having taken one for Science and proving that the NJ climate was not conducive to fig production. I went out and bought a few Blackberry bushes to replace the fig trees, but when I went to yank the suckers out what to my wondering eyes did appear but GREEN SHOOTS OF LIFE

Both trees have these little shoots popping out of their bases. Let’s see how they fare…

16 Responses to “The White Tree Of Gondor”

  1. JeffS says:

    That’s cool!

    But I have to ask….BLACKBERRY bushes? I’m hoping those are a different breed than what I grew up around. Unchecked, that stuff would cover hundreds of square feet with thorny bushes. I didn’t mind the thorns, except they protected the tasty berries very well indeed.

  2. Gary from Jersey says:

    A true non-paisano. Trim and wrap the tree in late fall to keep it warm; drink grappa. Take the wrap off after the last frost. More grappa. Feed tree with horse manure (Monmouth Park’s is best, but Freehold Raceway has acceptible piles, too). Then wait. Your figs will come and so will all the neighbors.

  3. Mr. Bingley says:

    I’m a total non-paisano; not a drop of Mediterranean blood in these veins.

    Is it that obvious?

  4. Rob says:

    Are those leaves in the first image on the fig tree? If so, your leaves look a lot different than mine.

  5. Mr. Bingley says:

    No, those leaves in the first pic are from the plant next to it; I was having a little depth-of-field issues with my camera. There are in fact not leaves whatsoever on the upper portion of my figs; there’s only the one leaf popping out of the base of each (and that ONE leaf looks like the BIG DAMN GREEN ZILLONS OF ONES on your trees) (but I’m not jealous).


  6. major dad says:

    The Victory Garden has nothing to fear…

  7. Have Blue says:

    If you do the wrapping thing use several layers of burlap. Fill the interior around the branches with leaves. Oak leaves are best as they do not break down quickly and mat up, instead they tend to shed water and curl so they naturally create insulating air pockets. Several layers of burlap will keep out the wind.

    Alternately I have heard of people who lay the entire tree over in trench and cover it with loose soil, compost or mulch every winter. Obviously this means you have to manage the root ball, either keeping it in a container or wrapping and trimming it each year. Snow actually makes a good insulator from cold weather. I have kept several warm weather plants in Connecticut by covering them with a deep layer of oak leaves covered with a breathable tarp (don’t use impermeable plastic).

  8. Rob says:

    I like to have lots of fig leaves … for, ahem, biblical reasons.

  9. mojo says:

    I have one in the BY that I’ve been trying to kill for a couple of years now, but it keeps coming up again. Maybe you could come over and, I dunno, look at it (or whatever voodoo you do)…

  10. tree hugging sister says:

    Vis a vis Rob’s fig leaves: TMI!!! TMI!!!!



  11. Mr. Bingley says:

    Hey Have.

    If the trees prove themselves worthy this year I may give them a little wrapping this year…but I really strive for ultra-low maintenance.

    And it shows.

  12. Mr. Bingley says:

    I do seem to have that magic Black Thumb, don’t I mojo?

  13. Rob says:

    Strictly a gentleman, ths. I’m accounting for Eve, too. 🙂

  14. Winston Smith says:

    How far away from any structure is this thing planted, Bingers?
    You do know how big these damn things get, and how far the root systems go, don’t you?

  15. Mr. Bingley says:

    Hehe, I know what you’re saying, Winston. One of my favorite restaurants is Figueira Rubaiyat in Sao Paulo, where you eat under a 500 year old fig tree. The thing is like a freakin Ent.

  16. mojo says:

    “The Black Thumb of DOOM!”

    The only thing around here even more unkillable is the Trumpet vine that tries to eat the garage every summer…

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