Winter pruning a Fig tree

An old fan trained fig tree, growing against the south facing wall of a Victorian coach house near Itton in Monmouthshire. February a good time for its annual winter prune.

In the UK fig trees fruit on last year new growth, having formed pea like embryonic buds that are poised and raring to go for the following long hot summer! They are unpollinated and seedless – the Mediterranean wild fig has a fascinating relationship with Chalcid wasps whose life cycle is intimately associated with fig tree pollination – see here.

Given half a chance, fig trees can be large and unruly, especially here  in the mild mild west and this was the first time I had tackled this particular tree. So, some restoration pruning was required, with a number a large limbs outgrowing their allotted space and overshadowing the core of the wall trained fig. Their removal was fairly significant so I only lightly pruned the retained fruiting structure so as to not over stimulate vegetative growth. Dealing with over pruned fruit trees with a riot of water shoots is not uncommon.

This summer I will pinch back the new growth to continue developing the wall trained fruiting framework.



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