How and When to Prune Fig Trees

The fig tree or as it is also known as Ficus carica is a shrub type Moraceous and belongs to one of many varieties of ficus that exist having its origins in Southwest Asia. Today this plant is found all over the world, although it is much easier to find it in the Mediterranean and most South American countries. In this article, you will learn all about how and when to prune fig trees.

Tools for Pruning Fig Trees

Before learning how and when to prune fig trees, you should verify that you have all the necessary tools for pruning fig trees. If you have other trees or shrubs in your home, you probably have most of the tools necessary for pruning. Some of the equipment used to prune fig trees is listed below:

  • Pruning shears: For cutting branches up to 2” (5 cm).
  • Saw: For sawing branches from 2” to 8” (5 to 20 cm).
  • Extendable tree pruner: For pruning high branches.
  • Chainsaw: To cut thick trunks of more than 8” (20 cm).
  • Ladder
  • Safety glasses, gloves, and boots

It is recommended to disinfect pruning tools before pruning. This will help prevent diseases in fruit trees.

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How and When to Prune Fig Trees

In this article, you will learn how and when to prune fig trees. I will explain how and when to prune fig trees separately so that everything about pruning fig trees is perfectly understandable.

Normally, fig trees are pruned in the spring, but there are areas with a year-round warm climate where they can be pruned in the fall. I always recommend using sharp, disinfected tools for a correct cut on the fig tree. Continue reading the following paragraphs to learn more about how and when to prune fig trees.

When to Prune Fig Trees

When to Prune Fig Trees? If there is one thing to consider when planning fig trees pruning, it is frost. If temperatures drop too low after pruning, fig trees can suffer bark damage, as is the case with other fruit trees. Consequently, whenever low temperatures close to 32 °F (0 °C) are expected, pruning should be delayed until the risk disappears.

Therefore, it is important to plan the pruning of fig trees in the season of least activity and growth of the fruit tree.

As a general rule, a good time to prune fig trees is right at the beginning of spring, before the tree becomes active again and as long as there is no risk of low temperatures. This will allow for less loss of sap, and as the growth stage is near, the wounds will begin to heal.

In places where winters are not very hard, fig trees can be pruned in autumn. Important pruning such as formation, production, or renewal pruning should be done in the cold seasons. Green pruning should be done in early summer when the weather is warmer.

when to prune fig trees
The best time to prune fig trees is in spring.

How to Prune Fig Trees

How to Prune Fig Trees? You know which tools to use and when to prune fig trees. Now I am going to explain to you how to prune fig trees step by step.

Step 1

It is recommended to prune the fig tree in early spring. If the fig tree is located in an area where winters are not so extreme, pruning can be done in the fall as mentioned above, but it is always best to prune the fig tree in the spring.

It is recommended to prune first at least once a year during the first three years of the fig tree, cutting in the first year a shoot that would be the trunk of the tree when it is mature.

Step 2

In the second year, cut the shoot according to how tall you want it to be.

Step 3

At the beginning of the third year, you shape the top of the fig tree, making cuts above the bud outwards, with this the plant will show the figure you wanted from the beginning, from this year onwards you can practice fruiting pruning more often keeping the size and cutting branches that obstruct the light to the top of the tree.

These are the basic steps to prune fig trees, if you want to know more about the different types of pruning for fig trees, I recommend you to continue reading our guide about how to prune fig trees step by step.

Final Conclusions

In conclusion, the best time to prune fig trees is in spring. If you live in an area where winters are not so extreme, you can prune fig trees in the fall. From my own experience, I recommend pruning fig trees in spring, even if the winters are mild where you live.

I hope this article about how and when to prune fig trees will be useful for your next pruning. I recommend our article about how to care fig tree.

fig tree pruning
A well-pruned fig tree will produce more fruit than an improperly pruned or not pruned fig tree.
About Henry Morgan

We are the Morgan family, Henry, and Julia, both agronomists from the University of Michigan, where we met. We are experts in putting our hands in the soil and developing organic foods and improving production processes for decades. Likewise, we have worked for companies such as Mondelez International, BASF, Monsanto, etc. currently in our role as science writers for TheGardenStyle.com as well as advisors in promoting large scale food growing in urbanized areas. In this website, we share what we are most passionate about, gardening and farming. Enjoy and see real photos on our website.