Squirrel 0 Jennifer 12

Posted by September 9, 2013 Squirrels 5 Comments

This year I am winning. My fig tree is not beautiful, but it is productive. Every winter I wonder if it is worth the effort of dragging it into the apartment and down the stairwell to the landing which is the coolest darkest spot we have. The tree is only about 1.5 metres tall however, the pot is big and heavy and manhandling it down the stairs isn’t easy. We have to walk around it all winter then drag it back outside in the spring. Yet every year the tree rewards our efforts by producing lots of figs.

This year there are well over 30. They take a time to ripe in Toronto’s climate and usually “the squirrel” gets to them before me. This stupid, indiscriminate animal knocks them off before they are ripe and doesn’t even bother to eat them. If he ate them he might be worth catching and cooking. This year after he’d removed a green lemon from our lemon tree we decided to take action. We covered the tree with mesh, and despite being labeled deer fencing it works wonders as protection against thieving squirrels.

Now I can let the figs to ripen naturally and every day there are several ready, the tree seems to know there is not much time left before it will be imprisoned again in the stairwell. And while my figs may pale in comparison to those grown in warmer climes they are pretty damn good. The skins are thicker than the imported ones, but they are sweeter. Deer fencing is now covering our lemon tree too protecting the 2 lemons left. However, it is flowering again and is a magnet for bees that seem to be able to get to the blossoms through the netting but not find their way out. So every day we take the netting off. Luckily the squirrel is not smart enough to figure this out, yet.

I think deer fencing will be covering my raspberry canes next year. Not to protect against the squirrels, but the two legged raiders who seem to think they can just wander into my yard and help themselves. If only there was some way to electrify it…..


  • Carol says:

    I really want a fig tree. So in the winter it doesn't need light? Could I put it in my basement and just forget about it? And where do you get the fig tree – is it a certain species for here?

  • Jennifer says:

    Hi Carol, My fig tree was left over from a photo shoot years ago. It produces purple figs and I have seen fig trees for sale at local garden places. You must be sure that the tree doesn't freeze. Is your garage heated? You want a dark cool place so the tree goes dormant but you can't let it freeze.

  • Carol says:

    This is the first year I've seen fig trees at Loblaws and on the Danforth, but I didn't want to take the plunge. Maybe next year. Thanks for the tips.

  • Jennifer says:

    Buy one next year and give it a try. It might take a couple of years to get fruit but it is worth the effort.

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