Saturday, June 17, 2006
More first leaf Hardy Chicago fig 'trees'
More trees from the same origin as the one that I just posted. These will be 'adopted' out when dormant. They came from a Garden Web member.
It was once common for gardeners to trade slips, starts, seedlings, and divisions from their favorite varieties. I remember, when I was growing up, that family members or neighbors would pass on starts from their yards and gardens. This doesnt happen as much now, but it would be a great tradition to revive. A successful locally grown variety would have a good chance in another local yard; it is much less costly to start your own (the cost of a 'free' fig tree is only the cost of the potting soil, and they can be started in the garden soil if there is no hurry).
It is even possible that locally grown varieties can adapt to the local growing conditions - as 'sports' and genetic drift occur, if the more successful local varieties are propagated, then it makes sense that regional varieties would be different from nationally distributed ones.
Hardy Chicago (also called Chicago Hardy) can be purchased at lots of places - this is one: http://www.raintreenursery.com/catalog/producttype.cfm?producttype=FIGS
Of course, these cuttings are not of local origin - in fact, are from a Garden Web member who I will be sending them back to as rooted trees (as well as one of my locally found trees). Hardy Chicago is not thoroughly tested here, so this is a chance to see how some 'new blood' (or should I say, 'new sap') will do. So there is a place for local varieties, and new varieties, as well.