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Getting a fig tree under control

We have a fig tree at the bottom of the garden. It's at the bottom of a north-facing slope, growing against a wall about seven feet high, and overshadowed by a large Douglas Fir. We've been here for over thirty yeas and it was here when we came. It fruits and the figs are good, but it is completely out of control. We've chopped it back from time to time but it is a completely tangled mess now. I'd like get it int some kind of shape so that we don't have to fight our way past it to get to the raspberries, but don't want to lose it. I believe that now is the time to prune it.  Where should I start? I have posted some pictures of the tree so that you can see what it looks like. imageimageimageimage 


  • floraliesfloralies Posts: 2,210

    You can be quite ruthless with it, figs don't mind hard pruning. You may lose quite a lot of fruit this year but if you feed and mulch it will romp away again. have you ivy and weeds growing round it? if so these need to be removed as they are competing for nutrients.

  • Thanks very much for this advice.  There is a lot of ivy there, so we will have a go at that too, and nettles as well.  Are there any particular points to focus on when cutting it back, do you suggest? 

  • floraliesfloralies Posts: 2,210

    You want to aim for an open framework to let in light and air, a cup shape would be good. Remove all the thin straggly branches especially in the centre and any that are crossing and rubbing. Be quite harsh with it! I hope this helps.

  • Thanks again. Been away, which is why no reply.  Now that Doris has passed by, I will have a go.  I have just noticed another thread that started since this one, and someone has said to someone else "you can absolutely slaughter it, and it will grow back,if you get at it before the sap rises", so I hope I am at the pre-sap stage! Thanks.

  • I pruned my fig at the weekend - sap wasn't rising in Norfolk.  It's still pretty cool. 

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

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