The Demise of the Fig Trees: A Backyard Orchard Culture Update

Our garden is verdant, and the trees look like lush new things bursting into life. We even have fuzzy baby peaches huddled together on one of the branches in the more vigorous peach tree. Our Montmorency Cherry was profuse with its blossoms, and I feel a tickle of pride whenever people walk by our garden and point or smile in appreciation. I have every reason to be pleased with our backyard orchard culture going into its second year… except our fig trees died. Both of them.

I believe we were a little too late in winterizing the figs last year. The cold snap had arrived before we were really ready for it, and the figs paid the price (and so did we, boo!). Now, we’re stuck staring at two dead trees amid a vernal oasis, and we have to decide how best to proceed. Because the fruit trees are only a year old, I think we can sneak in two additional trees to replace the ones that we lost.

I wanted to buy two pears, but my husband does not enjoy pears as much as I do. The figs were the trees that my husband wanted in the garden, so we compromised on getting one pear tree and another apple. Even with seven other apple varieties, he wanted another. He’s an apple fiend! I picked out the Seckel Pear, a self-fertile pear variety that sounded delicious. He picked out the Baldwin, which amuses me more than it should since we have friends with that name. It may be a silly thing to be tickled by, but I believe in recognizing and being tickled by silly things!

So, in addition to the other work we’re tackling in the yard this week, we’re digging out two dead trees in preparation for the new ones we’ll be receiving. On the bright side, we did discover baby apples earlier this week, and that is a cause for celebration.

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