Ok to cut a Evergreen Texas Fig Shorter?
I know it sounds like a weird question, but I have a fig tree that is about 5ft. tall, about 1 1/2 years since planted and it only has one branch on the left of the main trunk and then the main trunk gets thinner as it becomes the taller in height, with a few little thin branches coming off of it. I have about two or three twiggy branches coming off the left stem also. Can I just cut the tree down to about 1 foot tall and let it start over again, hopefully becoming a bush instead a two branch fig tree? I prefer bushy fig trees. I have little green swollen buds on the tips at this point. Thank you, Chris
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Let's evaluate why your fig tree is growing so oddly. Is it in a location of full sun? Is it in a location where it has well drained fertile soil? Does it get enough water and has it been fertilized? Did it sustain any injury in the past from severe cold weather, etc? The reason I ask these questions is because if there is something in the environment causing the tree to have stunted growth then pruning it drastically isn't going to resolve the issue.
For guidelines on the care of fig trees, please visit the following link:
Technically, fig trees should be pruned when the tree is dormant and not growing (you mentioned it was budding). You can cut down your fig as you proposed and it should grow again. I did some research and found this great article (with before and after photos) where a homeowner severely cut down their figs and they grew back bushier than ever. Basically, I don't see where you have anything to lose by cutting it back as you are not happy with the tree in its current state.
Here is the article about the homeowner who cut down their figs:
Also, I would recommend trying to propagate your fig and make some new trees! Here is a link with guidelines on how to do that:
For more information on pruning fig trees, please visit the link below: