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Fig tree is out of control


Firstly sorry about the lop-sided photo -- couldn't figure out how to load it properly

We bought a garden flat with an overgrown garden.  By law, given we are in a conservation area, we are not allowed to get rid of this ugly fig tree.  You can see that the branches are twisted around the main trunk, and not shown in this photo are suckers that are long and have shot out from the ground.  We have lobbed off a few branches that are infringing on the path, but are at a loss at what to do next.  Any advice much appreciated!  Thank you



  • YviestevieYviestevie Posts: 7,063

    If you are not allowed to get rid of it.  I would get a qualified tree surgeon in and get him or her to sort it out for you. Once its in shape I would look for a clematis that will grow through it.

    Hi from Kingswinford in the West Midlands
  • SikoltSikolt Posts: 5

    Prettying it up with a clematis, that's a great idea - thank you!


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,101

    Are you sure that you can't remove this tree if that's what you want to do?  My understanding of the law is that in a Conservation Area, permission is required for the felling, pruning or lopping of any tree (including fruit trees) with a trunk greater than 7.5cm in diameter, that measurement to be taken at a height of 1.5m above ground level. 

    Is the fig tree that big?

    However, I love fig trees and I'm sure you can rejuvenate yours if that's what you want to do. 

    I would pick out half a dozen branches that could by stretching your imagination be seen to form a fan shape, and remove the rest - but don't remove them all this winter - do half this winter and half next. 

    You'll find a clearer explanation here

    scroll down to Renovation Pruning.

    Also have a look and see if the roots are constricted - hopefully they are as this encourages the tree to produce fruit. 

    Alan 4711 is a forum member who is really into figs, and takes loads of cuttings - hopefully he'll see this post and tell you how to do that image

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • You can remove suckers by tracing them back to where they are growing from the roots. Fig trees can look attractive but do need regular pruning to keep tehm in shape and under control. They fruit on 2 year old wood so as above, only remove approx. 1/3 of branches each year. If you cut it back hard all over it will just make it throw up lots more young, non productive branches.

  • I have an over grown 6 year old fig tree bearing tons of fruit, is it possible to cut into ground and contain roots over the winter as it's getting too big. 
  • just because you're in a conservation area doesn't mean you can't chop it down if you want,
    its a non native tree and a fruit tree, and not too old by the looks of things, as long as it doesn't have a Tree Protection Order (TPO) then you should be able to remove it, but check about the TPO first
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,700
    Treehugger80, I think Graniagregson has just tagged onto this thread.

    Fig trees will always grow fast if planted in ideal conditions, which is warmth, sunny and free draining soil. By cutting it down, you will just create loads of new young shoots next year. This will keep happening unless you have decided to totally remove the tree.
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