This week we are looking at the fig tree which was one of the first trees ever to be cultivated by humans.

Thought to have originated from Western Asia, figs were at first distributed through the Mediterranean by man and then to the rest of the world.

The White Genoa Fig has a moderate growth rate and is a long lived tree. It will grow to a height of 3 – 9 m and thrives in a sunny, sheltered position with well-drained soil. Once established, this fig is tolerant to all but the severest conditions. The root system is fairly shallow and can be spreading.

Fruit ripens in February and the White Genoa is known for its’ sweet, juicy flesh. The figs are versatile and can be eaten fresh or dried and made into jams. The outer skin of the fruit is a yellow green colour with the inside a lovely pink straw colour. The fruit is very attractive to birds and will attract all kinds of feathered species year after year. Some people might be allergic to the latex like sap that oozes out when the tree stem is damaged and care should be taken when picking the fruit.

The deciduous Ficus carica is a good specimen tree that provide shade and can be used for hedging purposes.