pruning ficus

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  #1  
Old 02-11-07, 07:59 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: USA
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Red face pruning ficus

My ficus was hit pretty hard by the recent freeze in So California and now all the leaves are brown. Is it OK to take out all the dead leaves in order to retain the shape? I read somewhere that you shouldn't take out more than a third of the crown at a time, but that would take 3 years before I can cut out all the dead stuff, so I'm looking for the next best option. Any suggestions?
 
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  #2  
Old 02-13-07, 11:40 AM
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Maryland zone 7
Posts: 1,716
Hi Mgang,

I'm a bit confused with your question. You ask, "Is it OK to take out all the dead leaves in order to retain the shape?"

The dead leaves will fall on their own as the new leaves sprout. You can pull them off if you like.

Then you said, "I read somewhere that you shouldn't take out more than a third of the crown at a time, but that would take 3 years before I can cut out all the dead stuff,"

Dead wood can be removed at any time and all dead wood can be removed at once. I think what you are referring to when you mention the third of the crown over 3 years, is a crown reduction of LIVE wood. That is correct as removing too much LIVE wood will cause shock to the tree and weaken it.

Here's a helpful site on pruning.
http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/howtos/ht_prune/prun001.htm

Newt
 
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