Now that Spring has finally decided to arrive, it’s time to uncover, unearth or remove your fig tree from its winter confinement.
During a visit to Michele’s earlier today, we inspected his trees for signs that they had successfully made it through this particularly long and severe winter.
We first took a look at the trees that he had buried in the fall, which had spent the winter several feet underground.
He nicked the bark with the blade of a sharp knife to see if signs of life were visible underneath. All the trees that had been buried looked moist with a hint of green under the bark.
The trees that he had not buried but rather had wrapped and covered while standing did not fare so well.
Even though these trees had been protected with a thick layer of straw, then wrapped in blankets and then plastic, none of their branches or trunks showed any green under the bark when nicked. What we saw was just brown and dry wood. But even though they appeared dead, he will wait several weeks hoping that a few of the branches may still be alive.
If no signs of life appear within a month, he will cut the tree down to its base. It is very likely that the roots are still alive beneath the ground and will send up new shoots this summer.
We discovered more encouraging results upon inspecting his late winter fava bean planting. He had blanketed the freshly sown seeds with a layer of straw to protect them from a winter that seemed like it would never end.
A peek under the straw revealed tiny green sprouts.