If you have a fig tree growing on your property and weren't overall pleased with the amount of figs that were produced this past spring, the reason for the shortage could be due to the tree having long, damaged branches that were blocking healthy branches from receiving enough sunlight or depleting energy from the tree.
The best time to prune a fig tree is during the winter months because fig trees are dormant then and you will not interfere with the fruit producing cycle. Use the tips that follow while pruning the fig tree:
- garden gloves
- pruning shears
- utility ladder
Remove Diseased Or Dead Wood
Diseased or dead wood can be identified by its unnatural color and wood may have small spots or splotches on its surface. Sometimes affected wood will have bark peeling from its surface. This wood needs to be removed from the tree because it can affect other parts of the tree if it is left intact.
Use a pair of pruning shears to clip off the branch sections that are affected. Take your time while walking around the tree so that you are sure to locate all of the branches that need to be cut. If the fig tree is taller than you, a utility ladder should be placed by the tree so that you can stand on it while using pruning shears.
Trim Back Branches That Extend From Fruiting Branches
Look at the branches of the tree. The thicker branches that extend outward are the fruiting branches. The ends of these branches can be trimmed if they are damaged, but your main focus should be the thinner branches that extend from fruiting branches.
Thinner branches will deplete energy from the fruiting branches if they remain on the tree. As a result, less fruit or smaller fruit may be produced. Remove each thin branch by clipping the portion of the branch that connects to a fruiting branch. Be careful while doing this so that you do not accidentally gouge one of the fruiting branches.
Remove Suckers From The Base Of The Tree
Suckers are thin branches that usually grow upward and can be found at the base of the tree. They are not a vital part of a fig tree, but merely an extension. Just like the branches in the previous step, suckers can deplete energy from the fig tree and cause the tree to grow at a slower rate and produce less or smaller fruit.
Use the pruning shears to clip through the wood that is attached to the base of the tree. You can kneel down while removing suckers so that you can clearly see which part of the wood to cut through. Once finished, rake up all of the branches that were removed and place them with other yard waste that is due to be picked up by a waste removal facility. Contact a company like Treetime Inc for more information and assistance.