Figs are an ancient and easy fruit tree to grow in the home garden. Mentions of figs being grown at home go back literally millennia. But, when it comes to fig tree pruning, many home gardeners are at a loss as to how to properly trim them. With a little knowledge, this “ancient” mystery is as easy to do as growing a fig tree. Keep reading to learn more about how to prune fig trees.
Pruning Fig Trees After Transplanting
There are many situations where you might want to prune a fig tree. The first time you should be doing fig bush pruning is when you first transplant your young fig tree. When a fig tree is first planted, you should trim a fig tree back by about half. This will allow the tree to focus on developing its roots and becoming well established. It will also help the fig tree grow side branches for a bushier tree. In the next winter after transplanting, it is best to start pruning fig trees for “fruiting wood.” This is wood that you will be pruning to help keep the fruit healthy and easy to reach. Select four to six branches to be your fruiting wood and prune away the rest.
How to Prune Fig Trees After They are Established
After a fig tree is established, the best time when to prune a fig tree will be in the dormant (winter) season when the tree is not growing. Begin your fig tree pruning by removing any branches that are not growing out from your selected fruiting wood, as well as any dead or diseased wood. If there are suckers growing from the base of the tree, these should be removed as well. The next step in how to trim a fig tree is to remove any secondary branches (branches that are growing off the main branches) that are growing at less than a 45-degree angle from the main branches. This step in pruning fig trees will remove any branches that may eventually grow too close to the main trunk and will not produce the best fruit. The last step in how to prune fig trees is to cut back the main branches by one-third to one-quarter. This step in fig tree pruning helps the tree put more energy towards the fruit that will be produced next year, which makes for larger and sweeter fruit. Pruning fig trees the right way can help you to improve your fig crop. Now that you know how to prune fig trees, you can help your fig tree produce better and tastier figs.
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Heather Rhoades founded Gardening Know How in 2007. She holds degrees from Cleveland State University and Northern Kentucky University. She is an avid gardener with a passion for community, and is a recipient of the Master Gardeners of Ohio Lifetime Achievement Award.
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