Pruning figs?

I don’t know much about figs. Can I head these back as they are coming out of dormancy? The tall spindly ones are scions rooted last year. I should have pruned them last summer. Any problems heading them back now?


No. You may slow growth a bit. As they are starting to grow. But besides that, no.

Thanks Drew. I’m not worried about slowing the growth so I’ll head them back.

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It’s still early you probably will not slow them down. These plants are tough cookies. I once scraped a plant and just dumped the root ball upside in a hole I needed to fill. A month later it had branches turning back up and growing. Even with the roots fully exposed. That was 2 years ago, it’s still there. Dies back to the ground now and re-sprouts every year. This year it seems some of last year’s branches survived.

I’d think about thinning the branchy one, if you make light heading cuts to all those branches it will just get more congested. If you remove all but one or two buds of last year’s growth it will increase growth a little. That will delay and spread out the crop a little bit, stronger heading cuts will do the same thing only moreso.

The spindly ones I usually just leave alone, they tend to branch out as they wake up, there’s no apical dominance when coming out of dormancy. Then remove unwanted growths in a few weeks. Unless you want them bushier.

It depends on the variety. some only produce a breba (early) crop on last year’s wood. Most trees will produce a main crop on new wood. Let us know what you have so that we can provide a bit better advice.

Those are Chicago Hardy. I struggle a bit to ripen figs before frost. We got about 70% ripened last year before the cold nights set in.

Last year was a bad year here, they will all ripen in future years. Everything was late last year. This year looks better.