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How to prune a fig tree

Good morning,

I live in the UK and have for the past 5 years have been growing 3 fig trees from cuttings. They are all singe stem/trunks with a lollypop effect of branches at the top of each. Their height being approx 7 feet tall; in 18inch dia by 18inch high pots.

My question is this:

I want to reduce the height of these trees down to approx 5 feet and then reproduce the lollypop effect of branches.

The reason for this is as they have become too tall to store in my shed in winter.

How should I prune? Just saw off at say, 4 feet from the base and paint with a pruning sealer whilst in their dormant state in winter?

Will new shoots form at the top of the cut?



Last edited: 26 January 2018 10:34:26


  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,700

    It might be a good idea to see a picture of these trees. Based on your measurements, it sounds like your trees are extremely narrow and it would not be a surprise they will be trying to put on growth at the top. Generally, Fig trees are vigorous if given the ideal conditions. You will need to thin out your branches, and now will be the best time because any other time in the growing season, they may bleed which is not good for the tree.

    Be ruthless and prune them hard back to the main trunk. This will not only stop all the congestion, but also limit the branches all trying to grow upwards. Take a look at them properly and start with removing the weak and thin looking branches, and then look at the branches near the centre area and try to prune as many down by at least half of their length from the main trunk. The idea is to make the branches grow outwards. 

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