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How to Prune a Brown Turkey Fig Tree Canopy

By Alexis Lawrence ; Updated September 21, 2017

Brown Turkey Fig is a type of fig tree that produces a medium brown or dark purple fig best eaten fresh. The trees, which thrive in southern California, are small and grow quickly. Branches grow longer horizontally than they grow tall. To get the best fruit production, Brown Turkey Fig trees require heavy pruning after each growing season.

Cut away any decaying or dead wood. The wood in Brown Turkey Fig trees is weak and goes through rapid decay.

Trim frequently in the initial years of the tree's growth. This will help train the tree into the shape that you would like it to grow in.

Train the tree according to the type of production you want to encourage. Keep a low crown if you want fresh figs.

Shape into a shrub if growing space is limited or to guard against harsh growing conditions. A shrub-shaped Brown Fig Tree can survive in growing conditions where frost damage occurs, while a tall, tree-shaped fig may not survive such conditions.

Prune during the dormant winter season. Cut away up to half of the branches in the tree’s canopy. Avoid pruning once the tree has begun to bloom for the season. Production is based on the previous season’s wood, and too much pruning can impede the fruit yield.

Trim branches in a Brown Turkey Fig's canopy back to any desired length and remove branches that are rubbing together or crossing over the trunk of the tree. Rubbing branches will cause wounds on the tree’s bark, which can leave the branch open to infection.

Open the top of the tree's crown. Prune the center so that it is open between branches. This lets in the sunlight, which in turn causes a heavier fruit yield.


Things You Will Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Pruning saw


  • After the first few years of growth, Brown Turkey Fig trees do not have to be pruned in order to produce a good yield.

About the Author


Alexis Lawrence is a freelance writer, filmmaker and photographer with extensive experience in digital video, book publishing and graphic design. An avid traveler, Lawrence has visited at least 10 cities on each inhabitable continent. She has attended several universities and holds a Bachelor of Science in English.