How to Stop Multiple Shoots on Fig Trees

Overview

Well cared for fig trees are trained to produce only a limited number of fruit-bearing branches. By pruning unwanted or ill-placed shoots, the remaining branches and fruit are afforded access to direct sunlight. However, fig trees produce multiple shoots each season. While you can't stop these shoots from appearing, you can stop them from growing into branches (or producing even more shoots) by pruning them promptly and correctly.

Step 1

Prune shoots that do not have direct access to sunlight, or grow at less than a 45-degree angle. Use a clean, sharp pair of pruning shears to prune shoots flush with the base of the trunk or main branch of the fig tree. Pull off young, brand new shoots with your hand. If you leave too much of the shoot behind, the fig will produce even more shoots in its place.

Step 2

Prune superfluous shoots, which divert energy that the fig could be using to produce fruit. Prune to create a fan-shaped fig with evenly-spaced branches that do not overlap.

Step 3

Fertilize your fig tree only if its branches grow less than 1 foot in a growing season. Then give them 1/2 to 1 lb. of nitrogen, spread out over four applications during the growing season. Fig trees grown in the landscape do not need regular fertilizing and excess nitrogen may cause multiple shoot production.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears

References

  • Brian's Garden: Pruning a Fig Tree
  • Gardening Know How: Tree Sucker Removal And Tree Sucker Control
  • Gardening Know How: Fig Tree Pruning
Keywords: fig shoots, prune fig, multiple shoots

About this Author

Emma Gin is a freelance writer who specializes in green, healthy and smart living. She is currently working on developing a weight-loss website that focuses on community and re-education. Gin is also working on a collection of short stories, because she knows what they say about idle hands.