A fig tree is sweet smelling and provides shade and fruit. One Rabbinic tradition says: The best place to study the Law is under a fig tree. Fig trees are still planted near synagogues today. Jesus said to Nathaniel, “I saw you (while you were a child in school) under the fig tree (John 1:48).”
Figs appear at the same time as the leaves. A “hypocritical fig tree” would have the leaves of religion, but no fruits of faith – See Mathew 21:19.
(Lash, Neil & Jamie., “Jewels From the Journey,” Jewish Jewels, Ft. Lauderdale, FL., pg 4)