We just published a lovely new blog article about fig growing
by POP volunteer Anisa, see message forwarded below!
Also just wanted to remind everyone that it's now safe to unwrap figs,
pomegranates, and other tender plants if you did so for winter!
This is also a good time to prune fig trees, removing any winter dieback. With some of the cold temperatures we had this winter, some figs are now showing some dead branch tips, identifiable by their reddish-brown coloration and lack of swelling buds. For any growth that you're unsure of, you can leave it until later in the month to see where new growth and leaves emerge.
Although POP has generally taken a minimal approach to fig pruning, it can be helpful to do some more aggressive pruning with these goals in mind:
1. Thin out overcrowded growth (each branch should have at least a foot of space around it)
2. Reduce height of figs extending beyond reach
3. Pruning to generate new growth. Unlike most other fruit trees, the main crop of figs forms on new growth, so more aggressive pruning can actually help produce a larger crop. NOTE: Some caution is needed, as over pruning can also delay the formation of fruit, which may be problematic for some slower-ripening varieties.
Figs take to pruning well and don't need to be pruned to any particular form. Since they have no significant pest or disease challenges, pruning is primarily focused on maximizing fruit production and accessibility and controlling size of the plant.
Here's a good video on fig pruning and propagation:
Read below for more info about the amazing fig and how to grow it in Philadelphia!
Phil Forsyth, Co-Executive Director
Philadelphia Orchard Project