Fig Trees

Pruning Fig Trees

Why do I need to prune fig trees? 

Main crop fig trees produce fruit on new wood. Pruning them to a few main branches creates a strong framework that can support larger fruits. Removing unproductive branches can divert more energy to fruiting branches, which can increase your yield.

When should I be pruning my fig tree? 

Prune in late winter or early spring, while the tree is still dormant. This will reduce the amount of sap the tree releases during pruning and will allow the tree to recover more quickly.

How do I prune a fig tree? 

Use clean, sterilized pruning shears and first remove dead wood and any damaged branches. Then, work on opening up the framework to allow more light to penetrate the center of the tree. Thin any spindly, weak growth, cutting those branches all the way back to a main branch. Remove any side branches that form less than a forty-five-degree angle with a main branch; narrow branching leads to crowding and creates a weaker framework. Remove any suckers growing at the base of the tree. Shorten the length of the main branches by about a third, making heading cuts just above a node.

In summer, you can pinch back the tips of the fruiting branches to prevent the development of new fruit, so the tree can focus its energy on ripening the current crop.

What should I not do when pruning? 

Do not shear your fig tree like a hedge. If you only make heading cuts without thinning the canopy, the tree will develop a mass of thin branches too weak to support a large fig crop.