fig tree

Asked August 23, 2019, 5:55 PM EDT

I have a 5 yr old fig tree that is very healthy. It's about 7-8 feet tall and quite full with branches and leaves. It only bears a handful of fruit each year. Why?

Multnomah County Oregon

1 Response

There are several causes for fig trees not producing fruit. The tree may not be old enough, some varieties don't produce fruit until they are 6 years old. Excess nitrogen fertilization can limit fruit production. Water stress, either too much or too little can cause fruit loss. Winter temperatures can kill fruit buds which are visible as tiny nubbins on branches in the fall. This article has additional information, Why a Fig Tree is not Producing Fruit

Fig Trees prefer a south-facing location in full sun. Well-drained soil is very important. Organic matter will improve soil drainage. Mulching around the trunks with a couple of inches of compost each spring will help keep soil consistently moist by retarding soil surface evaporation. Figs also prefer a soil pH of 6.5-7. Our soils are slightly acidic, usually pH 5-6. Doing a soil analysis or measuring soil pH can determine that for you. If your soil is lower than 6.5 you can add lime to bring up the pH. This article has excellent information on growing figs in our area, Don't Be Fooled, Figs Grow Well in Oregon

Fig trees are vigorous growing trees. Fig fruit is produced on newer (green-stemmed) branches. Most experts advise pruning them as multi-trunked trees vs single-trunked trees like apples, peaches and cherries. Figs like to branch, so if you prune to open up the center by taking out old wood your fruit will be much easier to pick.

Finally, this is a good introduction to growing figs in Oregon, Figs