If you properly prune your fig tree, you will help it produce large, healthy and sweet figs. If you allow the tree to grow wild, it will not produce usable fruit and could even die. As the prune tree ages, you must adapt your process of pruning from a focus on growing roots to a focus of growing figs.
Trim each branch on your young fig tree by approximately half length right after you transplant the tree from a pot to outdoor soil with a pruner. This allows the young fig tree to focus on building its root system and less on producing figs.
Select four to six of the largest branches on your fig tree and designate those branches as the fruit-producing branches. Prune away the rest of the branches. This allows the fig tree to focus its growing energies. This will produce healthier and larger figs. Complete this step during the winter season after you first plant the fig tree outside.
Prune all branches that are not growing from the four to six branches you selected during the last winter season. Prune all branches that are growing from the four to six branches but are growing at less than a 45-degree angle to the branch it is growing on. Pruning these branches will help to produce larger figs. Trim the four to six branches back between one-fourth and one-third the length of the branch. Complete this process during the winter months when the fig tree is not growing.
Prune any suckers or branches growing out of the root system at the base of the tree. You can complete this task during the winter or summer months.