Proper Pruning of Fig Trees


Figs are commonly grown as bushes. They can tolerate winter temperatures of 10 to 20 degrees, and thus are primarily suited to warmer, coastal areas of the U.S. Figs often bear two crops of fruit per year. The first fruiting is usually smaller and more acidic. The second fruiting is considered the main fruiting and is the source of most edible figs.

Step 1

Begin training your fig tree at planting by cutting off one-third of the young fig. This will force bushy growth from the base of the plant. Allow these new shoots to grow the first year.

Step 2

Remove about one-third of the new growth with a pair of sharp pruning shears in the spring after you plant your fig. Prune figs in the spring after all danger of frost has passed. Remove about one-third of new growth annually.

Step 3

Prune out any dead wood with a pair of sharp pruning shears of a sharp pruning saw. Dead wood saps growth energy that is better put to fig production.

Step 4

Remove any branches that cross or that interfere with the growth of the main leader. Cut these branches back to the bud of the branch on the main trunk of the fig.

Step 5

Remove any branches that are in danger of touching the ground. Cut these branches back to the bud of the branch on the main trunk of the fig.

Things You'll Need

  • Fig tree
  • Pruning shears
  • Pruning saw


  • Alabama Cooperative Extension Services: Caring For Your Fig Trees
  • University of Georgia Extension: Home Garden Figs
  • Marin County Cooperative Extension: Cultivating Fig Trees

Who Can Help

  • Purdue University Extension: Fig
  • Louisiana State University Extension: How To Take Care Of Fig Tree
Keywords: fig pruning, fig care, fig cultivation

About this Author

Christopher Earle is a freelance writer based in Denver, Colo. He has been writing since 1987 and has written for NPR, The Associated Press, the Boeing Company, Ford New Holland, Microsoft, Active Voice, RAHCO International and Umax Data Systems. He studied creative writing at Mankato State University in Minnesota.