I was given a small fig tree which we have planted in the garden. It is...

Asked November 12, 2013, 7:15 AM EST

I was given a small fig tree which we have planted in the garden. It is approximately 3 feet tall and this year had leaves at the very top. It has a single trunk/stem and no branches. I would like to encourage it to spread - have another trunk. could you please tell me how and when to prune it. Do I just cut the stem back and hope? thank you

Montgomery County Maryland

3 Responses

You do not mention the age of the tree, but we'll assume that it was planted recently, because they are pretty vigorous growers, once they get started.

If it was just planted this year, you might just allow it to branch and grow other trunks naturally on its own when it is ready. Otherwise, you can encourage side growth by pruning off a few inches at the top next spring while it is still dormant. March is usually a great month to prune. Cut back to just above a dormant bud.

You might find our pruning publication useful: http://extension.umd.edu/sites/default/files/_images/programs/hgic/Publications/HG84_Pruning%20ornam...


Thank you so much for responding. The tree was actually a gift, given to me in Boston about a year and a half ago. I had it in a pot and then when I moved to Maryland a landscaper told me that I could plant it in the ground here, which we did this June. I am so excited to have it actually growing as it was hard for it in Boston. I really appreciate your response. I am quite attached to the little guy. This summer it actually did produce 4 little figs. Amazing!
thanks again