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Fig Tree

Q.Need help with young fig tree

Zone 6B | pcollins added on October 13, 2014 | Answered

I have a two year old fig tree that has produced fruit this year but none have ripened. I am looking for direction as to appropriate care. I currently live in south central PA right on the MD line. The fig tree is a single stalk approx 3/4″ diameter with three offshoots at the base of smaller size. The main stalk is about 8′ tall. Should it be pruned back to encourage the growth of the other three offshoots? I’ve also heard that one reason these figs have not ripened is that in this growing zone only the breba crop typically ripens. It is planted in the front of the house about 5 feet from the front porch facing east. We are looking at moving it to a new location not so close to the house as we’ve been told that the root system can become invasive. Any information you can provide would be extremely helpful, as not much of what I’ve come across on line has been much help. Thank you for your consideration.


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Answered on October 15, 2014

First, I hope you've got a fig variety that is hardy in your area; 6b is pretty close to the northern limit of tolerance, and many cultivars won't perform successfully in this area. Second, an 8' stem with no side shoots is sorely in need of pruning. For your winter pruning, you can cut back that stem 1/3 to 1/2. Third, investigate the origin of the basal offshoots. If they are originating below the graft union, they are root stock suckers, and they need to be removed immediately. If they are originating above the graft, they can be nurtured to help form a nice bush shape, which you should work better for you in your northern area. This article has more about fig pruning: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/fruits/figs/pruning-fig-trees.htm
You might want to access the resources of the county extension service to find the best figs and fig growing practices for your area. This link will help you locate the nearest office: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/garden-how-to/info/what-is-extension-service.htm

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