I never intended to have a fig tree


I didn’t have room for a fig tree and had no plans to plant one. While on a visit with a friend last year I notice he had a big tree. He told me it had some of the biggest figs he had ever seen. What was I to do. We always find a way. Then I remembered a spot where I had removed a tree and had not replanted. I ask if he had a sucker of it and I was told just to cut a few sticks and stick them into the soil and they would root. That’s what I did. I took five sticks and pushed them in and a few weeks later they started growing (2019). Toward the end of 2019 season they actually started to put on a few figs but it turned cold before they could mature. The top didn’t survive the winter but started growing from the roots. Never heard of tipping to get early fruit but that’s what the guy on YouTube said to do. On 20200520 I did the pinch on the tips of the tallest two limbs. Looks like it worked and I might get to taste a couple this year.
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What great luck! Keep us posted.


That is awesome @Auburn I have a couple figs but nothing so far… I may have to pinch tips as well?


My fig tree is completely ignored, and has gotten tall and leggy with minimal branching. It’s about 10’ tall with maybe 3 branches. Any suggestions on how to get it to produce more leaves and branches? It’s currently sitting in a 5g pot. Thanks!


We just cannot help ourselves !


I’m just getting started with growing figs so I can’t help with how to prune them. Some of the more experience grower will probably offer suggestions.


Figs in my location seem to grow well but they occasionally die back partly or all the way down to the soil. If pinching works well at least a die back won’t completely eliminate getting fruit on these years.


Good luck with your pinching.


I read about pinching on the OurFigs forum. so i started doing this a couple years ago, though rather haphazardly.

@starfruit Pinching should help your tree have a bushier form. If you cut it back drastically, i think it would probably be fine and should start to branch more. Then as each growing branch/tip puts out 5 new leaves, pinch the very tip off and wait for it to grow another 5 leaves and pinch again, etc. I believe that’s how it goes (the recommended number of leaves varies)
@Auburn Yes i have read about and have had success with pruning figs back to about 4 feet in late fall (after leaf drop) and then mounding leaves over the whole thing. This helps prevent dieback. Last year I did NOT do this, and mine all died back to the ground and I thought i actually lost one totally (finally did leaf out). Not going to make that mistake again!


Impressive…I might have to try a couple of fig trees, they seem to do really well here…we’ve got a guy around the corner that has 3 or 4 in his front yard, he probably planted them a year maybe two ago and they’re huge…


I’m not an expert, but from what I understand whether or not to pinch the tips can be determined by the presence of fruit buds. If you pinch and there are no fruit buds, the plant will direct it’s energy into the vegetative buds. When you look at the base of the stem if you only see one bud, it’s a vegetative bud. If there are two buds, or you can see a small cleft in the bud, there’s a fruit bud there with the vegetative bud. I’m still experimenting with this, but it seems to be working the way it’s supposed to so far.


Good deal…for me i am fine with a bushy habit, so i pinch them regardless since either outcome meets my goals.


I should have added that tip pinching is most useful for those of us in zones with ripening issues. Looking at fruiting buds for us ensures the plant is actually ready to be forced to fruit and then we can force it as early as possible.


I will look more closely at my plants. I appreciate the tidbit of info - not something i was really aware of.


I have never tried to do what you are asking intentionally, yet every time that a tree of mine had to be pruned near to the ground, or cold damage did that, it came back much better than the original, more branches and thick ones long before it would reach 10 feet tall. How much sun do you keep it in?


Thank you for the suggestion, I never knew that about pinching the tips. I will definitely try that out.


When to stop pinching? Pinching the tip induces fruit production but one needs to consider the number of days that it takes from pinching until ripening. If it takes 90 warm days then in my area I should stop pinching toward the end of July. I still need to work out the stop pinching date.


Interesting point …
Since mine died back to the ground and we had frost the first week of May, I wonder if I’ll get any fruit at all this year. Not counting on it. I do have some forming.


I might pinch one more time just to see if they have time to ripen. According to the video I watched he said to pinch the tip after it develops five leaves. I think the key is to start early so they have plenty of time to mature.


Keep in mind some varieties won’t have fruit buds formed at 5 leaves. Pinching them would only induce branching and more vegetative growth. Pinching will only work if there are fruit buds already formed that have yet to emerge.