Spent a happy day today pruning a large and rather unwieldy fig tree. This seems to be a theme of my gardening life at the moment: I look after two overgrown fig trees at the moment and March (I know, it’s late Feb, but we can stretch a point) is the time to have a go at them.
You don’t want to do too much all at once. The older wood is less fruitful, so that’s what you want to target, leaving younger wood to be productive later in the year (hopefully, if it’s sunny enough). Take all the older wood out at once, though, and you send the tree into a state of outraged shock from which it may never recover.
So I’ve taken out one in four of the oldest trunks – which effectively in this case just means one major trunk, the one which was crossing all the others and going in totally the wrong direction.
I also removed the (smaller) side branches which were heading away from the wall into the path – necessity, this, as otherwise you couldn’t really walk past. It may have taken me over the top a little with the amount I’ve removed, so fingers crossed I haven’t overdone it.
The eventual idea is to train this back against the wall as a fan, but it will be at least three and probably more like five years before we get there. You do need a little patience to be a gardener…