A Resurrection Fig

Fig 1

The sprouts of the once dead Celeste fig tree in our yard, next to a small marigold for size comparison

This is the story of a once dead fig tree that eventually came back to life.

In the summer of 2014, here in central Georgia, I planted three fig trees in our yard, a Celeste, a Brown Turkey, and a Black Mission.  Brown Turkey trees are very hardy; I had one that thrived in our yard when we lived in the colder climate of North Carolina.  Celeste trees also have a reputation for hardiness, so I expected it and the Brown Turkey to be able to easily handle anything the Georgia winters could throw at them.  The Black Mission tree was more questionable.  What I’ve read about them indicated that it may, or may not, grow well here, but since Black Mission figs are so yummy I figured I’d give it a try.

That summer the Celeste outgrew and outperformed the other two trees, and even produced a few small figs.  The Brown Turkey grew well too, but only gave us one or two tiny figs.  The Black Mission just survived, reluctantly at that.

The winter of 2014/2015 was, as the folks around here say, “sharp”.  It got very, very cold for central Georgia.  While not lasting as long, the cold weather almost made us feel like we were back in North Carolina, dealing with ice and snow.  Yuck!

By the time spring finally rolled around our poor little fig trees had taken a beating.  The Brown Turkey had lost many of it’s branches, and the Celeste and Black Mission were killed back to the ground.

As expected, the Brown Turkey quickly recovered, threw up lots of vigorous growth with the increasing warmth of spring, and bore lots of figs during the summer.  The Black Mission grew back from its roots, but, probably stressed by the weather, refused to give us any figs.

The unpleasant surprise turned out to be the star performer of the previous summer, the Celeste.  That it had been killed back to the ground didn’t bother me, as I expected it to grow back from its roots just like the more sensitive Black Mission.  But it never did.  All through spring and early summer I watched anxiously for a sign of life, hoping that eventually the Celeste would “wake up” and start to grow again.  Days turned into weeks, which turned into months, and still no sign of life.  I finally had to admit the tree was dead.

Then finally, this last day of October, the Celeste has at long last put up some new growth.  It may be too late, even here in Georgia, for the tree to survive another winter, but if it does, I’ll be impressed.  So impressed, in fact, that I may rename it Charleston, for a cat I once owned.

On a Halloween night many years ago, just after I had finalized a divorce, been dumped by a girlfriend, put on probation at work, and lost nearly $10,000.00 in a bone-headed “investment”, (NEVER play with Options!), Charleston, the cat I had inherited from my now defunct marriage, mysteriously disappeared.  I have no idea what ever happened to him.  Knowing his personality, he probably took up with a bitter old lady.  But maybe this “resurrection fig” is his way of coming back into my life, returning on the same date he left?

The little fig tree will need a lot of help to survive the coming cold, and it may not make it.  But I’ll mulch it well, to give it a fighting chance.  And who knows?  Maybe we’ll be eating figs from “Charleston” soon?

Fig 2

A closeup of our Celeste Fig tree, renamed “Charleston”.