More input on the problem fig trees comes from centuries ago with something for both sides of the debate (while taking liberties with the quote). The scriptures describe a scene at daybreak on the road outside Bethany.
He (Jesus) was hungry: and, seeing a fig-tree by the road side, he went up to it, and found nothing but leaves on it. And he said to it, Let no fruit ever grow on thee hereafter; where-upon the fig tree withered away. His disciples were amazed when they saw it; How suddenly it has withered away! they said. Jesus answered them, I promise you, if you have faith, and do not hesitate, you will be able to do more than I have done over the fig-tree; if you say to this mountain, Remove, and be cast into the sea, it will come about. If you will only believe, every gift you ask for in your prayer will be granted. (Matthew 21 Knox translation 1945)
On hearing a visiting scholar I delved into the scriptures despite my limited knowledge. Like Knox, the visitor, Fr Nicholas King SJ, is an Englishman, an elder scholar, Oxford lecturer, translator and witty speaker who will be in Hamilton on Sunday 11 September, with, no doubt, fine commentary and delightful in-depth music to illuminate the Psalms. An hour or two of esoteric contrast to an otherwise grim anniversary.
I understand the above quote is parable-talk. One explaination refers to this strange, almost unbelievable action of Jesus (the only time he worked a miracle not from kindness of heart) as really a parable in action...the withered tree marks an unforgettable impression and is metaphor for those who didn't get it and bore no fruit or right reponse to the new insights