The Q&A Archives: Fig Tree Pruning

Question: I have an 18 year old fig tree that's become a huge bush. Will it hurt to cut it back?

Answer: Fig trees will grow to about 30 feet high, with spreading branches that hang low. Most fig trees are lightly pruned each year to keep them in shape and to remove old and dead wood.<br><br>You can begin by removing any dead wood and any crossing or rubbing branches. Take out any branches that are hanging low enough to obstuct foot traffic. Then prune your tree to the size you want. If you prune it back hard, it may produce a crop of smaller than normal figs next year, but the setback will be only temporary. Try not to feed the tree too much nitrogen or it will grow very quickly, and you'll have to prune it back hard again.

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