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How to Prune Fig Trees

How to Prune Fig Trees

Fig trees, with their exotic appearance and ornamental appeal, are a favorite among gardeners in tropical and warmer temperate regions. While they may seem challenging to grow due to their sweet, rich-flavored fruits, maintaining these deciduous shrubs or trees is as simple as caring for any other fruit trees. Mastering the art of pruning is the key to effortless fig tree care, ensuring your plants remain healthy and productive.

Basic Pruning Tips for Fig Trees

Timing is Everything

During the first winter post-planting, trim 50% of the foliage and leave four to six branches for fruiting wood. This aids in root establishment. For established trees, prune during dormancy in winter to prevent disease. Remember to prune every year and be consistent with how you prune.

Pruning the Right Way

Begin by removing dead, diseased, or discolored wood. Trim secondary branches that grow inward, horizontally, or at less than a 45-degree angle from the main branches of fruiting wood. Eliminate branches that cross or rub against each other. Cut back suckers at the base, and reduce main branches by one-third to one-quarter to direct energy to fruiting wood.

Essential Supplies for Pruning


Protect your hands from sap and potential harm during pruning. Gloves are a must-have for any gardening activity.

Garden Shears/Tree Pruner

Bypass pruning shears are ideal for lighter branches. Pruners like our ClassicPRO bypass garden shears with a non-stick coating and sap groove make the process easier.


For thicker branches beyond the reach of shears, use loppers with a cutting capacity of up to two inches, like our PowerPRO bypass loppers.

Pruning your fig trees is simple with these easy-to-follow tips and essential tools. Keep your trees healthy and thriving, and enjoy a bountiful fig harvest every season. Happy pruning!