Q. Should I prune my fig tree now?

I'm trying to figure out what to do with winter damage to two older fig trees -- each at least 40 years old -- on the Eastern Shore of Maryland (outside Oxford). They may be brown turkey figs, but I'm not sure about it -- generally the fruit is green, with the bottoms turning reddish brown as the figs near picking stage.

At any rate, both trees were very slow leafing out this spring, after a cold winter. Everybody in the area had the same problem. Many thought the trees had died but finally they began producing growth at ground level and then from some but not all of the branches. At this point there is green growth from most of the branches, often from the middle of the branches, not the ends. And a number of branches remain bare.

My question is about pruning -- should I prune off the dead branch ends now (early July), wait until later in the year or give it up altogether? I haven't found good information about pruning fig trees even under normal weather situations.

Thanks very much for any advice you can provide.


Dear Bob:  Dont give up!!  It sounds like the trees are trying!  However, at this point I suspect any new growth that is going to occur would already be evident on the fig trees.  I would certainly prune out any dead wood and then prune carefully to attempt to restore a good form to the trees.  When pruning, if  the wood on the branch looks green and viable, maybe give that branch a little more time, but I suspect most new growth that is going to appear has already appeared.  I think we all are hoping that this winter is milder than last winter!  

  • Last Updated Jan 08, 2019
  • Views 83
  • Answered By Aska Gardener

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