The Q&A Archives: Ficus Tree (after freeze)

Question: My 3 story tree is starting to show some growth. It has very little leafs at about 14 feet up, but has a LONG way to go. It also has more growth at the ground level. Should I cut off the

Answer: Ficus around here really had a bad winter. Many did not come back at all so you're lucky to see some growth, however sparse. The dead branches really are dead so leaving them on the tree won't serve any purpose. The highest point that you see new growth is the highest point that the plant is alive. The growth closest to the roots can be removed; ficus are actually fast growing shrubs and if you allow the new growth to remain you'll have a thicket rather than a single-trunked tree. Remove that growth and anything that is obviously dead. Rub out anything that sprouts from the trunk. This will direct the plants' energy into building a new crown. At 14' it's taller than most in the neighborhood. With a little patience and a lack of freezing temperatures, your ficus will eventually develop into a tree with a full crown. Good thing they are fast-growing!

Best wishes with your garden!

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