Saturday, 30 December, 2000

Chopping down the Fig

Today was actually a pretty nice day.  Clear skies, little wind, and temperature in the 50's.  Hardly a record-breaker, but a lot nicer than the previous month of Saturdays.  So I spent the day working outside.  Today's job:  chop down the fig bush.  You see, the weather here in Central Texas is a little too cold for fig trees to last the winter.  So instead of a single tree you end up with fig clumps that die back every winter and form new growth from the roots every spring.  When the fig loses its leaves, it's one ugly plant:  just a bunch of 12-foot sticks poking out of the ground.  A few times I've left the dead sticks over the winter, and in the spring I've noticed new growth on a very few existing stalks.  Mostly, though, come winter the stalks are dead.

Any day you get to start the chainsaw is a good day.  So out with the chainsaw, and down with the fig bush.  After chopping both bushes to the ground, I broke out the chipper/shredder (starting that monster after a couple months is chore) and made a dozen bags of fig mulch, which I promptly put around the fig roots.  Not to worry about taking the plants to the ground:  they'll be 12 feet tall by the end of August.  And good figs, too, if you like that sort of thing.