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House Plants/Tree top looks dead

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Question
Hi.. My ficus that I have had for approx 21 years, looks like it's dead on the top!!! The leaves started falling off from a move but came back green on the bottom half. Is the top part dead? Should I trim off the top part? It's about 1/2 of the tree that looks dead!!!
Please help, I've had it so long and want to save it..
Thank you
Candie

Answer
Candie,

The top could have been wind burnt when you moved or sun burned that caused the leaves to die. I would remove the leaves and wait. If the twigs are not dead and shriveled they are not dead and will probably produce new leaves quickly. Ficus trees are very resilient. Be patient. If the twigs and branches are shriveled and there is no green under the bark you can prune them off but again, do not give up. The tree has a full set of roots and will probably send out a lot of new growth quickly to replace that top. The more sun it gets the more growth you will get. Put it in the sunnniest location you have. Good luck!

Darlene

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Darlene K. Kittle

Expertise

I have been an Advanced Master Gardener for 24 years and I raise around 300 houseplants and bonsai trees a year including tropicals, succulents, and cacti. I have also been a professional plant care person for businesses in the Fort Wayne, IN area and currently professionally care for bonsai trees for my customers.

Experience

I am also studying the Japanese art of bonsai with tropical plants and is President of the Fort Wayne, IN Bonsai Club.

Organizations
Fort Wayne, iN Master Gardeners. President of the Fort Wayne Bonsai Club. Allen County Master Gardeners

Education/Credentials
I am not a hortculturist. I am a Purdue University Advanced Master Gardener for 24 years. I have studied plants on a personal level by growing hundreds of plants annually for the last 35 years. I have also studied under several nationally known American Bonsai experts.

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