fig tree with weak branches

arlenem(z8 WA)July 24, 2012

I have a tree - probably Desert King - which grew in a huge pot until it was about 4 feet tall. We then moved to a different house and the tree was planted in the ground. It has been in the ground for 4 years and is now about 7 feet tall. It gets some early morning light and lots of direct south and west light the rest of the day. I thought that it was growing well as it produced new growth and an increasing number of figs each year.

It has always had rather flexible branches. This year they are blowing all over and on a recent windy day a big forked branch just broke off with the loss of about 9 fat figs.

Is it normal for fig trees to be so flexible? I have none others around for comparison. Can I prune it in some fashion so as to help it develop a strong structure of main branches?


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Perhaps, if you could post some photos of your tree, it will be easier to suggest a solution for your problems.

Fig wood is both weak, and, brash. It doesn't take much to snap a branch, especially a branch loaded with fruit. If a branch can bend and deflect from its own weight, and's probably too long.

Without a photo it's hard to tell you what to do. I usually cut/prune back branches on my trees so that no branch is longer than 12". This keeps them stiff. As the branches sub-divide into smaller branchlets, pinch out the terminal buds after the branches grow 6-8 leaves. That will force figs to develop and ripen quicker, and at the same time, keep the branchlets shorter and stronger. A search on this forum for pruning fig trees will give you more complete answers.

I suspect that with some corrective pruning, your tree will be fine once you have the growth under control.

Hope this might help.


    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 7:47AM
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one of my aunt's fig trees is huge. it had tons of fruit, but a few weeks ago we had very heavy rains and strong winds, and several of the branches snapped. they were thick too, about 6" diameter.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 7:09PM
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