Ficus Techniques : 1

Lowering a Branch

Working with a Ficus salicifolia '1989" Bart Thomas and Chase Rosade lower a branch.

Despite serious efforts to lower the bottom left branch it resisted conventional wire and hold-down techniques. The tree was a demo tree done by Ed Trout at the MidAtalantic show in 2002.

Ficus salicifolia before any work. Bottom left branch has resisted lowering with wire and tie-downs.


Tree was defoliated to allow observation and work.


Close up of branch after sawing the branch from above and bamboo stick in the groove. Wire applied to lower branch.


The plan was to lower the branch by sawing thorugh it from above since there had already been a damage to that area before. Without the previous injury a decision could have been to use the "saw from below" technique. The vascular system feeding the branch from below should support the branch. A bamboo stick was inserted into the saw cut to keep the branch from moving back up. Once the piece of bamboo was in position heavy wire was applied to keep the branch in place.

Heavy cut paste, clay type, was used to cover over the saw injury.

Tree after the succesful lowering of the left branch.


The tree will be allowed to grow freely to recover from the injury and to form callus over the saw cut.

A heavy branch can be lowered by sawing partially through it and wiring it into position. In this case a piece of bamboo chopstick was an additional aid in keeping the branch postioned. Future photos will document the progress. Thanks to Chase and Bart for showing us this valuable technique.

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