1st year fig pruning?

FiveStarApril 26, 2011

Hello all! My wife and I recently bought a house, and have been filling the half-acre lot with tons of edible landscaping plants. It's always been a dream of ours to have a backyard Eden of sorts, so amongst the various berries and grapes we've planted, we also put in 3 fig trees!

We planted Vern's Brown turkey, LSU Purple and Kadota for a good variety. We're very excited about the prospect of caring for these plants, and shaping them into our landscape!

These are all nice sized well rooted cuttings that were in 1 gallon pots. 2 of them have a main trunk about 8 inches high, with some branches forming above that. The third has two main trunks forming from their union at the soil line. they are leafing out nicely, and are about 1ft high.

Now to my question. The folks we bought them from recommended pinch pruning every branch at about 5-6 leaves when I asked them about the proper form of pruning. This seems a bit intense right off the bat for such young trees. We do intend to keep these low and bushy so they can be easily harvest, and tucked in for the winter. I don't want to maintain a central leader and have large trees on our hands!

So what would you experienced figsters suggest for the first year of pruning? Would it be prudent to tip nip these guys from day 1, or should I let them establish this year, and then prune to some outside buds in the winter/spring to establish some scaffold branches? My guts tell me that I should at least let them get waist high, but then again, I'm really new to pruning fruit trees in general...

Your opinions are greatly apprecieated!

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Dennis AKA Snaglpus(8a)

If the trees were mine, I would not pinch until they are around 2 years old. Let the little guys build up some root mass first. cheers, Dennis

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 10:00PM
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Dennis has a good point but I prune even my cuttings. If I have an end tip cutting I cut it right above a bud so I can have a multi-branched tree from the start. Theoretically I may be forcing the plant to put energy into branching vs producing more roots, but I am no expert and that's what I do.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 11:20PM
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Thanks for your help folks. I think I'm going to let them get good and established before I start pinching or pruning. I'll see what kind of growth they put on this year, and correct anything I don't like by next season.

Cheers, and thanks very much!

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 9:04AM
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