How to Prune a Fig Tree

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

Figs are a delicious fruit that can be enjoyed fresh or dried. If you have your own fig tree, you’ll need to prune it regularly to ensure a good crop. Read on to learn how to prune a fig tree.

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If you have a fig tree, you may need to prune it at some point to control its size or shape. Pruning a fig tree is not difficult, but it is important to do it correctly to avoid damage to the tree. With the right tools and techniques, you can easily prune your fig tree to keep it healthy and looking its best.

The Right Time of Year to Prune a Fig Tree

In general, the best time to prune a fig tree is in late winter or early spring before the sap starts to flow and new growth appears. This allows the tree to heal quickly and helps reduce the risk of infection or disease.

If your fig tree is overgrown or has weak, diseased, or damaged branches, you may need to prune it more severely. This can be done any time of year, but it’s best to wait until the tree is dormant (before new growth appears in spring).

How to Prune a Fig Tree

When pruning a fig tree, there are a few things you need to take into consideration. The first is the time of year. The second is the tree’s age. And the third is the type of pruner you will be using. With those things in mind, let’s get into the details of how to prune a fig tree.

Step One – Assess the Tree

Before you begin pruning your fig tree, it’s important to assess the tree and decide what type of pruning is necessary. If the tree is overgrown and has many dead or diseased branches, you will need to do some major pruning. If the tree is healthy but simply needs a little shaping, you can do some minor pruning.

Once you’ve determined how much pruning is necessary, you can begin pruning your fig tree.

Step Two – Cut Off Dead or Damaged Branches

After you’ve assessed the overall health and shape of the tree, it’s time to cut off any dead or damaged branches. Use pruning shears to make clean cuts at a 45-degree angle about ¼ inch above a healthy bud. Make sure you’re cutting back to a point where the branch is still about the same width as the one you’re removing.

Step Three – Cut Off Any Crossed or rubbing Branches

Start by cutting off any crossed or rubbing branches. These are the places where two branches are touching or growing too close together. These rubbing branches can damage the bark and prevent air and light from getting to the inner parts of the tree.

Next, remove any branches that are growing inwards towards the center of the tree. These branches are called sucker growths, and they will steal nutrients and energy away from the rest of the tree. Sucker growths are generally much thinner and weaker than the rest of the tree, so they’re easy to spot.

Finally, cut off any dead or dying branches. These branches can be distinguished from healthy ones by their bark color (dead branches will be darker) and by the leaves (dead leaves will be brown and withered).

Step Four – Prune to an outward-facing bud

Prune to an outward-facing bud on the main branch and to a bud that is pointing in the desired direction of growth on lateral branches. This will help the fig tree produce more fruit and allow for better air circulation.


Pruning a fig tree is an important part of keeping it healthy and productive. By selectively removing certain branches, you can encourage the tree to produce more fruit and keep its growth under control.

There are a few things to keep in mind when pruning a fig tree. First, always sterilize your pruning tools before using them on the tree. This will help prevent the spread of disease. Second, make sure to prune during the dormant season, when the tree is not actively growing.

Pruning a fig tree can seem daunting, but with a little practice, you’ll be an expert in no time!

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About the author

Alex Kountry

Alex Kountry is the founder of HayFarmGuy and has been a backyard farmer for over 10 years. Since then he has decided to write helpful articles that will help you become a better backyard farmer and know what to do. He also loves to play tennis and read books