The High-Security Fruits of West University

And here we have perhaps the best-monitored fig tree on Tangley, west of Buffalo Speedway in West University. Practicing for the thorough investigation that is sure to follow, the reader who sent us the tip claims to have been “in the middle of a public street when I took the photo.” Fig poachers, you have been warned! Says our reader:

who knew these figs were so valuable they’re worth the sign, netting, security camera, and wiring installed to protect them?

Oh, but have you ever tasted a West U fig?

Late Update: The fig tree has been outed by several commenters. C’mon — fess up! You’re really a peach, aren’t you?

Photo: Swamplot inbox

48 Comment

  • Can you prosecute a squirrel? They love figs.

  • In ten years, the next sign will state, “For the love of God, take this fruit! I’m sick of figs!” I’m sure these people are a ton of fun at the HOA meetings.

  • I love the almost biblical Old Testament feel to the sign, coupled with high tech modern monitoring, God would be proud. BTW being from a family of fig eaters, usually fig trees go in the backyard….problem solved.

  • jgriff is right. Figs are targeted heavily by squirrels and if my memory from childhood is right, mockingbirds are big fig eaters too. My dad put a net over the tree and weighted the bottom so squirrels and bird couldn’t get the fruit.

    wilf is right, these are the people that make HOA meetings funny and sad at the same time.

  • That’s not a fig tree! Looks more like a peach or nectarine. I’m judging by the leaves. Those in the photo wouldn’t cover Adam’s or Eve’s precious parts.

  • I had a semi-girlfriend in college who ate a dozen fresh figs from her backyard tree. Once. She quickly learned why that was a real bad idea. ;-)

  • I just expect better than arbitrary capitalization (e.g. As but not and??) and the injudicious mixture of serif and sans-serif typefaces from West U. residents…

  • I really want to put a sign facing the “Camera” which screams, “I drink your fruit smoothie! I drink it up!”

  • Life, sell your home and buy one

  • Now at Central Market for the next 10 minutes, West U figs, at mere $2000 a pound. Apparently there is a new “ca$h” crop in town..

  • Superdave, you right. That ain’t no fig tree.

    As a wayward youth in backwoods Louisiana MeeMaw had me picking plenty of figs for her strawberry fig preserves. So I know a fig tree.

    That’s a peach tree.

  • Probably someone who “moved up” from Southampton. Whose neighbors probably wish would “move back.”

    Here’s to the birds discovering the fruit.

    “Officer, arrest those birds…..”

  • 1) That is not a fig. It is a peach

    2) West U. does not have HOA. They have zoning instead

    3) Houston peaches are usually full of worms if the critters do not eat them.

  • Darn, now I’ll have to wear a disguise.

  • It’s been sweet – and a little tart – reading this thread.
    I like Bobby Hadley’s comment. Way to slice through the issues!
    “Bobby Hadley’s a linguist –
    Seeks perfection from the quips.
    Punc-tu-a-tion and Se-rifs
    Really. Bother. Bobby.”

  • Yeah, squirrels could be the culprits, they stole all my plum tomatoes. But I had one guy tell me someone stole all his Meyer Lemons. Rodents don’t usually go for citrus.

  • BTW, squirrels can’t read.

  • Markd, my mother made faux strawberry preserves with figs and strawberry Kool-Aid mix. Is that what you are talking about?

  • HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Those people must have a lot of aggravation in their lives. I feel sorry for them. I hope the fruits they do manage to harvest are good for their blood pressure. And could that be a loquat tree? Those are delicious.

  • Maybe they just don’t want strangers wandering around their lawn, taking what in fact (BTW) does not belong to them. Maybe their lawn was torn up in past years by these uninvited scavengers.

    Maybe an elderly resident wants a fighting chance to use HER fruit for preserves, a much-loved family dessert, or any damn thing she pleases. Maybe he/she wants to feed the birds!

    If this were somewhere off Almeda or Telephone Road, the PC police would be on the attack! Shame on the thieves!

    This is Texas – property rights should be respected – even in affluent areas.

    Maybe all the facts aren’t yet in.

  • Udunno,

    It funny because of the excessiveness/West U-ness of it all. Someone on Telephone would have a gun and folks would know not to take their fruit… and if they did have a sign, I guarantee they would not have gone to a printshop to make it or have a security camera setup.

  • We have an orange tree behind our fence. You wouldn’t believe what people will do to get an orange. It’s not a huge deal to me when they do, but it’s insanely rude and I can empathize.

  • Hahaha, a security camera for that little tree. I wonder how much dog pee is on that tree?

  • I should have said this in the beginning:

    Why would you put a fruit tree outside of the backyard where the public can see it?

    If it’s that precious, put it in the back yard. Or did that get covered up with a pool and patio when the new larger home was built?

  • Agree with kjb434

    For what it costs to monitor the tree, maybe it would be more cost effective to put a native shade tree on the front lawn and buy peaches at the farmer’s market when they’re in season? Of course, money is probably no object.

    Private property should be respected, but I was really happy the time I saw a person gathering the fruit from a Mexican plum tree on the median near the Judiway post office.

  • Control freak

  • Why would you put a fruit tree outside of the backyard where the public can see it?

    Maybe it’s some sort of exotic hybrid something. Peach, loquat, maybe some sort of African fig tree we’ve never seen. Shockingly expensive. So of course has to be “displayed.” But, well, you know. Look but don’t touch.

    More of the “I have, therefore I am…”

  • Wow, it’s funny to watch profound class jealousy in action on Swamplot.

    Predictable as the sunrise.

    Again, no one has heard the other side of the issue – which could explain a lot.

    Flame on, proles!

  • Wow, it’s funny to watch profound class jealousy in action on Swamplot.


    Oh, please. The old rich know not to put the Ming vase by the front door. The new rich of course put it by the front door. So everyone can see it. And then of course wonder who took the Ming vase as they headed out the door.

  • Udonno–I have total class solidarity with the people of West U., but even I find this sign a little silly. Especially when, as many people here have suggested and as I have personally experienced in my garden, the likely culprits are squirrels. And most squirrels of my acquaintance are rock-ribbed Republicans, although I know a few anarco-syndicalist squirrels as well…

  • Wow, it’s funny to watch profound class jealousy in action on Swamplot.

    I don’t think it’s class jealousy this time, although you see that all over the internet. There may be another side to this story that we haven’t heard; maybe this guy has seen someone stealing his figs. If not it’s entirely crazy to suspect that whatever is stealing your figs can read. In my many years of experience raising every kind of vegetable you can imagine I can tell you that squirrels, rabbits and turtles are the biggest thieves there are. I was finally forced to put up an electric fence which got me the added bonus of conveniently fried rabbits occasionally. It couldn’t stop everything though. My garden was finally trampled by a horse who paid no attention to the electric fence.

  • The sign may be silly – not my point.

    The reaction on Swamplot from a core group of posters/haters which continually smacks of class jealousy is what I find amusing (sometimes appalling).

    ..and I still think the “other side of this story” may be even more entertaining.

    Also, squirrels are heavily into nuts, which means they could comfortably fit into the margins of either major party!

  • Whoever took this photo needs to send it to! Good times.

  • “I Will Prosecute As Trespass And Theft”? Good Grief! When will this show up on

  • Udunno

    Actually now that I look back on the posts I see you are correct. There is a little bit of “hate the rich”. It’s just so much less than usual that it didn’t even register to me.

  • Oh ooh let’s all rationalize OVERKILL.. It’s a freaking fruit tree, learn to share, or as stated plant it in the backyard. The real nuissance is the sign, and likely those exceptionally up tight home owners..

  • I wonder if they have a sign permit . . .

  • I was finally forced to put up an electric fence which got me the added bonus of conveniently fried rabbits occasionally. It couldn’t stop everything though. My garden was finally trampled by a horse who paid no attention to the electric fence.

    Probably one of the rabbits who came back as the horse to seek a little karmic vengeance.

  • Why must every post on swamplot these days devolve into a ill-tempered stone throwing session about class or political differences? Can we not all appreciate the humor in this sign, and leave it at that? Jeez.

  • Phil:

    Good one!


    Doubt it!


  • Udunno, Is this your fruit tree?

  • @movocelot Haha. I think a little levity is good every now and then…but perhaps I should have directed my words more towards the serious issue of fruit theft if I wanted to win Comment of the Day again.

    There’s always tomorrow!

    Matt Mystery is right about putting fruit trees in the front yard though. Who does that? It’s not even like they’re the prettiest of trees. Most of the year, they’re kind of ugly.

    And bozo’s third point about peaches having worms in Houston is completely true. My parents had two peach trees in our backyard for several years and the peaches were always nearly inedible and often infested with bugs of some sort.

    Which brings up a last quick point on the peach tree hypothesis. It looks like a peach tree from the picture, (I live close enough to walk by, but I’m out of town) but most varieties of peach/plum trees require *two* trees in order to produce fruit…

  • I, um, happened to drive by on the Westchester side today and saw that they are also providing multilingual signage. How very PC of them, though, I think I would have gone for Samoan.

    Pic of both signs:

    And to think I thought those little “Don’t let your mutt poop on my grass” signs were tacky.

    – Embarrassed to live here

  • So that picture there answers the question. There *are* two peach trees…

    I love the sign in Spanish better because it translates Beware into Peligro which is more appropriately defined as Danger!

    The ‘I will take you the police’ part at the end is quite threateningly funny also.

    Heck the whole translation is funny…

    Don’t enter my property. Don’t steal fruits. I would have loved it better if he/she had written, ‘Don’t Steal My Fruits.’

    Sent from my iPhone.

  • Bobby-
    Are you thinking of “Wanna steal your peaches lemme shake your tree?”

  • Pax-

    I thought it was yours!

    I’ve got a mature pecan, and all are welcome come harvest time…

    You entirely missed my point.

  • Come on folks…..we’re not giving the tree owner much credit here.

    Don’t you think they would know if it was a bird or squirrel ‘taking’ their fruit?

    It’s been my experience that small animals and birds don’t actually “take” fruit. They peck, bite, nibble or otherwise render the fruit inedible then leave what’s left on the ground.

    But, I agree. Trees like those pictured should be behind a fence.