So, I have 2 things that are really very perplexing to me and thought maybe you guys (and Gal’s, of course!) could help solve.
- A “wild” fig tree found growing in my orchard. This is by far the bigger of the 2 mysteries. How on EARTH could a fig just come up in my yard/orchard? From everything I know, this is way, way beyond possible!!! Let me give you some details and shoot down some easy possibilities:
a) I am absolutely certain that I never planted a tree, a cutting, or anything else where this plant is. It is located within 6 inches of the base of one of my persimmon trees. No way on earth would I have planted a tree so close to another one. However, the reason I do find this location especially interesting is that I do often see other fruit trees (including wild cherries especially) start in this location for obvious reasons. Birds eat the fruit from a neighborhood tree, poop out the seeds while resting in my tree, and the poop falls in are area which doesn’t get mowed or sprayed (at least not since mid summer this year). So its a place where birds rest and poop and an area where a tree could grow safely (my mower doesn’t get that close to my trees and I haven’t sprayed for a while now). So if it were anything other than a fig, this location would be explained by bird pooping in a safe place. HOWEVER-
b) Everything I’ve every read says that the only way a fig seed can be viable is if the mother plant/fig was visited by a fig wasp. My understanding is that the fig wasp in the USA only exists in parts of CA. Even if they have migrated, it’s certainly safe to say they couldn’t make it all the way to TN or live here if they one was somehow brought here (in a produce shipment or something). So…how on earth could a fig tree just sprout up underneath another tree?
c) Because the nearest fig tree is about 100 ft away, there is no way in the world that a root would grow this far and then send up a shoot. NO WAY.
This has caused me a great deal of curiosity and thought. Let me get you folk’s opinion on one long shot theory.: After my figs have been ripening for a little while, I get these strange little, tiny black bugs that show up. They are about the size of 2 straight pin heads, These guys all crawl in the eye of my figs and eat (and spoil) the figs from the inside. It seems plausable that one of these bugs that is crawling in and out of my figs and me having so many different figs side by side that one of these little black bugs could pollinate a fig. The rest is easily explained by a bird eating a fertilized fig and then pooping out seeds as it say in the tree that has the “wild” fig under it. Even more likely in my case is that one of my chickens ate a fig (they eat TONS of them) and/or just carried a fertilized fig to the new location. You often find pieces of figs my chickens picked and abandoned after eating a small part of it.
I know…everything I’ve read says only a fig wasp can fertilize figs…but darn it, how else do I get a random, wild fig growing?
MYSTERY # 2:
2.) I have had a couple limbs on one of my persimmon trees get “broken” but not from a load and not really broken. It must be some kind of critter and probably even an insect of some kind, but the thing is, where the branch “breaks” it is the absolutely smoothest “break” you have ever seen. It looks exactly as if it were cut by a saw. More accurately, it looks like it was cut by one of those copper pipe cutters you go around and around with. I just can’t fathom an insect doing this, but it almost has to be. But not only is the cut smooth, its also a fairly large diameter limb. Seems like it would be beyond the ability of an insect to perfectly cut through hard Is there an insect that can do this? I’ve posted a photo.
After reading this giant e-mail most of you will be thinking it isn’t so great having me back after all! haha
Here is my mysterious wild fig. See…I’m not making this up!!
Here is the “cut” made on one of the limbs on my persimmon tree.: (NO…I didn’t do that! Unless some twisted person is sneaking in my orchard with a saw, (ha) then this is some kind of critter. A squirrel would be much messier if it did it. Beats me!