Fig trees are becoming increasingly popular. Their fruits are not only very tasty but also healthy. However, there are also figs that are kept as houseplants. Fiddle figs are particularly popular here. Do you have a fig tree and it is unintentionally getting wider and taller? Then our article is perfect for you. With the help of our step-by-step instructions, we will show you what you should pay particular attention to when pruning a fig tree.
When is the best season for pruning fig trees?
If the fig tree grows out of shape, you can cut it back in spring. The best period for pruning fig trees is between February and March. Make sure, however, that there is no more night frost. We cannot recommend pruning in autumn as the tree is weakened at the cutting points. The tree is therefore more susceptible to frost damage in these areas.
3 steps: Prune your fig tree correctly
There are a few things to consider when pruning a fig tree, but with our step-by-step instructions you can do it without any problems. The violin fig is a species that tends to stay small and does not necessarily need to be pruned, but other species do need pruning very badly.
Step 1: The right tool to cut the fig tree
Whenever pruning a fig tree, the right work clothes are important. So wear long clothes and gloves, because even small cuts in the wood of the tree or even breaking off the leaves will release the slightly poisonous milky sap. This can cause skin irritation.
Each cut should be smooth and not fibrous. When using tools, make sure that your tools are sharp and clean. This is how you prevent the transmission of pathogens.
Tip: If you want to be on the safe side, clean your tools with disinfectant.
Step 2: Cut the fig tree for a nice growth
Pruning the fig tree is limited to the shoots that grew in the previous year, which are now interfering with each other's growth. Cut off the offending branches growing inwards. The best way to do this is with sharp pruning shears. Make sure that the cut is as vertical as possible so that the water does not collect at this point. Bacteria can multiply in the water and penetrate the interfaces.
Always cut your fig tree from bottom to top. If a few thick shoots are interfering with the growth of your fig tree, you can cut them off at ground level. It is also important to remove dead and frozen branches and shoots.
Reduce the side shoots in the upper part of the crown as well. To do this, separate every second new shoot and leave a stub.
Step 3: taper cut
For trees that are more than 5 years old, it can happen that they are bare from the inside. If this is the case, a radical cut is in order. To do this, cut the entire shrub down to a height of 30cm. With a bit of luck, some branches will form that have what it takes to become a leader. Cut them back in half. Unfortunately, the harvest may fail next year, but that is still better than digging up the entire tree. After the radical pruning, your tree can sprout healthily again and bear more fruit than before in the following years.
If you are interested in fig trees, then we have many other interesting articles for you here, including how to fertilize your fig tree properly and what needs to be considered when caring for it. Of course we also have a fiddle fig for you in our shop. Now that you're a violin fig expert, it's all the more worth stopping by.