Hi, I recently bought a house with a large mature fig tree in the backyard. last year it had a very good crop, this year half the tree is dead/dying. Any ideas or suggestions as to why?
Thousands of fig trees were either killed, or very badly damaged by the Winter of '13-'14. Your tree was probably also damaged. Without photos, it's hard to tell if it's due to a bad winter, disease, or, both. I'll assume it was winter damaged.
Prune away all dead/dying wood, and keep the tree watered until it goes dormant. If it survives the coming winter, next spring it will re-sprout. It may take a few years to recover. Keep the tree pruned back for easier harvesting of figs.
Many fig tree growers are in the same boat.
Good luck. Your tree will most likely survive, and you'll pick figs again.