Why And How Cutting Back A Fig Tree Helps Good Cultivation

Cutting back a fig tree needs some steps to follow. Fig trees can be let to grow wild or managed to become big shrubs or mid-size trees in a variety of forms. When trimming fig-trees, fig tree farmers employ particular procedures; nevertheless, the recommendations below are meant for home gardeners. This article will reveal the steps of cutting back a fig tree.

There is no need to prune your fig if you want it to reach its full potential. Aside from that, there are a few things to think about. Avoid contact with the milky sap from the stems, leaves, and unripe fruits during trimming to avoid skin and eye discomfort.

If you want to manage the size and shape of your plant, start trimming at planting time to encourage side branching. Maintain this pattern as the plant grows. After the primary crop has been gathered, the plant is generally pruned on a regular basis once it has established itself. However, this varies by location and kind, so read the label.

There is no need to trim fig trees to improve fruiting because they generate great crops without it. Pruning, on the other hand, can increase the quality and pace of harvests. Trim just the terminal growing tip of stems bearing fruit while a breba crop is forming. This will hasten the ripening process.

Shorten fresh shoots in early summer for plants cultivated in locations with a second crop, such that only 4–6 leaves remain on each. On potted plants, you won’t need to do this.

If you just have a little amount of room, you may train figs like an espalier — flat against a wall or climbing frame. New shoots should be tied back (you may remove the ties when the wood hardens) and any shoots that point outwards should be trimmed off.

Pruning a fig tree isn’t strictly essential. Young fig trees, on the other hand, can be pruned in a way that produces new “fruiting wood” during the first couple of years, resulting in higher fruit yields the following season.

Each active growth season, figs are generated on “old wood” (branches produced the previous season). As a result, if you want to produce more fruit in future seasons, you’ll need to grow additional branches.

The fig tree is one of the few fruit trees that will suit both the novice fruit gardener and the gardening connoisseur. A fig tree is a worthwhile feature in many home gardens, or even on a balcony in a tub, yet is often ignored by gardeners nowadays.

Many knowledgeable gardeners would advise you to plant a fig tree if you only have room for one. It is quite beneficial as a landscaping and productive plant, as well as being low-maintenance and virtually maintenance-free for cutting back a fig tree.

The fig tree doesn’t need much of an introduction. The multi-lobed form of the big, somewhat hairy leaves is readily recognizable. The trees grow in a spreading, multi-trunked form if left to their own devices, but they are generally trimmed – and they may be pruned very aggressively – to preserve shape and vitality and to make fruit simpler to harvest.

Figs may be grown in pots as well. Because of the root limitation, they are reported to be fruit best when grown in pots.

Uses of fig trees

A fig tree may be used for a number of purposes, including:

It may be planted in a fruit or vegetable garden.
Because of its enormous leaves, it makes an excellent showcase plant.
It’s an excellent “starter” fruit tree.
It looks fantastic in huge pots and tubs.

How to cultivate and plant a fig tree

For figs to ripen correctly, a fig tree needs full light. The tree will need shelter from the intense afternoon sun in particularly hot locations or warmer climes since the branches and stems can be sunburned. This isn’t usually an issue with plants that have a dense leaf canopy, but it is something to keep in mind, especially with young trees.

A light, rich sandy loam is best, although figs may grow in almost any soil, with the exception of waterlogged circumstances for cutting back a fig tree.

Fig trees of all kinds appreciate consistent rainfall. Keeping your tree properly mulched is the greatest method to guarantee moisture stability. Avoid drinking too much water while the fruit is growing, since this might cause the fruit to split.

Leaves that are yellowing and falling, as well as a reduction in the number of fruits, are the strongest indicators of insufficient moisture.

The majority of fig trees in the ground will thrive without any further care. In the spring, if last season’s branches grew less than 30cm, use a balanced controlled-release fertilizer for fruit trees. A yearly application of this fertilizer is also suggested for potted plants.

Fig tree planting

Because fig roots may be quite strong and invasive, don’t put your fig tree near any drains or pipelines. Prepare the hole for planting by mixing in good, well-composted manure or compost.

Use a high-quality potting mix in pots, ideally a fruit tree blend if one is available for cutting back a fig tree.

Taking care of a fig tree

Provide some shade to freshly planted trees until they are well established. Keep plants properly mulched while they are surface rooted.

Fig harvesting

When should you pick your figs?

Many fig types yield two crops every year, particularly during long summers. The “breba” crop is the first to arrive, and it appears in the spring to early summer. This is the fruit that began to develop in the previous fall. This harvest’s fruit will be bigger in size but fewer in quantity.

The second crop, which arrives in late summer to early fall, is the most important. In the upcoming season’s growth, the fruit will be smaller, more abundant, and tastier.

How do you choose figs?

Because fresh figs are fragile and easily bruised, picking them off the stem is preferable to touching the fruit. Avoid stacking the fruits on top of each other while storing them in a shallow dish.

Eat your figs as soon as possible once they’ve been picked. The fruit must be consumed within 2–3 days. Mature figs may yield hundreds of figs in only a few weeks each year, so make sure you have some great recipes on hand!

The fresh fruit may be frozen and kept for at least a few months. Figs also dry well and can be stored in this state for up to 6–8 months.

What is the best way of cutting back a fig tree?

After Planting, Pruning Fig Trees

If you decide to trim your tree, the first time you should do it is during the first dormant season after it has been planted. Pruning should be done in late winter before new growth emerges in early spring.

Use a pair of sharp hand pruners to prune your fig back to half its original size during the initial pruning. This will assist to encourage root growth, allowing your fig to establish itself more swiftly underground. This will also encourage the growth of new branches above ground, making your tree bushier.

2nd Season of Dormancy

Select 4 to 6 of the strongest branches developing from the main trunk(s) to be your fruiting wood / major branches the following late winter, and cut away the remainder.

As previously said, keep the four to six strongest ones, but stagger them around the trunk. Remove any branches that aren’t growing out of your chosen 4 to 6 main branches, as well as any dead or diseased wood, to begin pruning. If there are suckers sprouting from the tree’s base, they should be cut off at the base and removed as well.

Remove any secondary branches (shoots coming off the main branches) that aren’t growing at a 45-degree angle to the main branches. This stage in the fig tree pruning process will eliminate any branches that may grow too near to the main stem and yield inferior fruit.

Cut down the 4 to 6 main branches by 1/3 to 1/4 their length once all subsidiary branches have been eliminated. This encourages the tree to devote more energy to the fruit that will be produced the next year while it is still young, resulting in bigger and sweeter fruit for cutting back a fig tree.

Following Years

Established fig trees are trimmed seldom and produce well even if they aren’t heavily pruned. Only undertake heavy pruning during the first few of years, as mentioned above. However, minor thinning can be done to eliminate any weak, diseased, or dead branches or stems. Whitewash the entire tree if drastic pruning is done to limit the size or revitalize an aged tree.

TIP: When trimming a fig tree, bear in mind that if you prune it too much, you won’t get any fruit that year or maybe even the following year. Take your time and don’t go overboard with the pruning. Over pruning, on the other hand, will seldom harm a fig tree.

cutting back a fig tree

Fig Tree Espaliering and Tree Forming

A Fig-Forming Tree

You may teach your figs to develop into a tree if the winters are warm. The process of developing a single or multi-trunk tree must begin while the tree is extremely young.

Choose one to three trunks that you want to retain and chop off the others as low as feasible. Then carefully choose and remove lower horizontally-growing branches that will not affect the tree’s canopy.

Remove lower branches as needed as your fig tree develops to retain the ideal height and shape. It may be essential to remove suckers that develop from the base or secondary branches that grow downward in subsequent years to preserve your fig in a tree shape.


Espalier is a method of growing plants against a vertical, flat surface, such as a home or other structure’s wall. One of the advantages is the quantity of fruit in a short space. Because they have flexible branches when young and yield fruit while very young, figs are particularly suitable for espalier.

The fig tree may be grown as an espalier in a variety of formal shapes, including candelabrum, double U-shape, and fan shape. A basic stack of three horizontal levels originating from the tree’s base, on the other hand, is straightforward for cutting back a fig tree.

The espalier procedure is straightforward:

Step 1: While you may absolutely build your own support structure, first-timers may want to purchase a sturdy trellis with horizontal bars and a lovely design. Placing your trellis against a wall is a good idea. Alternatively, you may use coated wires to attach branches to the wall.

Step 2: Place your fig in the center of the trellis and let it develop.

Step 3: Gently bend new branches to your desired form and loosely attach them to the bars of your trellis using plastic tie tape available at your local nursery and garden center as they emerge.

Step 4: Remove any weak or crowded branches or stems when the leaves fall off in the fall. Unless you desire a solid shape, you should leave some gap between the branches you maintain.

Step 5: Continue to trim down the overgrown areas during each dormant season after that. Adjust the tree’s top or sides to the appropriate form and size

Pests and diseases that harm figs

Scale insects can infest the surfaces of plants and fruits. They can be readily eliminated with the use of appropriate oil. Rust may also wreak havoc on leaves.

Remove and discard any fallen leaves after treating them with an appropriate substance. Put them in a trash bag and throw them away, not in the compost or green waste bin.

Inquire with a plant health specialist at your local nursery about the best pest and disease treatments, as treatments must be safe for edible plants.

Figs are grown from cuttings

Cuttings of new fig trees will grow quickly.

Take 20–30cm long cuttings with some two-year-old wood at the base that is less than 2.5cm in diameter in early spring, before the leaves begin to emerge. Dip in a good cutting product and place in a propagation mix container in a warm, sunny location, keeping it wet.

A word of caution

After fertilizing, wait a few days before harvesting and thoroughly rinsing before preparing and eating. When dealing with pests, illnesses, or weeds, read the label carefully, follow the directions, and wear appropriate safety gear. All horticultural chemicals should be kept out of reach of children and pets.

We hope this article on =cutting back a fig tree was helpful.

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