Guide To Pruning Fig Trees

Figs are beautiful foliage ornamentals and produce fruits that are rich in nutrients and antioxidants. It takes 4-5 years for a fig to be ready for a big harvest. Figs require full sun in the summer. Frost isn’t a danger to figs. Feed nitrogen rich fertilisers in early spring and subsequently liquid tomato fertilizer every 2-3 weeks in their growing period. Pruning is required to obtain a good crop.

Why prune:

  • Un-attended trees can be damaged during the winter from cold and frost. Branches can easily break from heavy snow or wind.
  • To keep an open frame. It can grow up to 3m in height by 4m spread, therefore by keeping it at a low manageable height, this will make harvesting easy. Keeping it at a manageable width will ensure branches don’t overlap or get overcrowded, because the fruit need full sun.

How to prune:

  • For the first few years of its early growth, do tip pruning during late winter and this will create additional branching in the following spring.
  • After the tree has finished fruiting, cut the edge (this year’s growth) to about one 30cm ensuring there are buds just below the cut and these buds will grow in the next season to about the same amount.
  • In the winter, once leaves have fallen, removed any remaining fruits. Leave the tip, do not cut it as this is where the next fruits will develop in spring. Cut branches that will potentially cross in the future, just to open it up, and ensure the canopy won’t give too much shade. Too much shade will interfere with the ripening of the fruits. Remove thin and dead wood. If your plant is in a pot, remove all suckers. If they are planted in the ground, you can train the suckers.