Poor Figgy! I knew when I planted her (him? if it fruits is it female? do trees have genders?) from a little twig that it might be too close to my old clay pipe sewer line. And it was: the roots grew down and my drains clogged up.
I have documented this little tree’s life since I first planted it as a cutting (see planting a stick, 3 leaves, and skinny trunks) and for the first time it had produced several delicious figs (sketched above). There were still a few on the tree (can you find them in the sketch below?).
After several approaches to fix the clog failed, the plumber had to dig a huge, deep hole to reline the pipes. This required moving the tree, which it turns out, I’d planted RIGHT ON TOP of the sewer line where it met the street.
The plumber is a good man who loves trees.While I watched and sketched, he had his crew very carefully dig the tree out, gently arrange and trim the extensive roots (it’s true: trees have as much below the ground as above). Then they dug another big hole several feet away and replanted Figgy.
By then it was getting dark, I was getting panicky as I’d been without water and bathroom use all day, and the job was extensive and expensive. They set up lights and kept working, finishing around 9:00 that night.
A few days later I could see Figgy was in critical condition. The leaves were dead and the branches were shriveling. That called for emergency surgery; I cut off most of them and as you can see by the sketch at the top of the post, it was successful.
So Figgy is a stick again, but full of potential, just as the year ends and a new one begins. I will spend this evening reflecting on 2012 and 2013 and will post about that soon. Meanwhile, best wishes to all for blossoming in a lively and good new year !