How to Trim Ficus Trees


Trimming your ficus tree is necessary to encourage new growth, shape the tree, and to get rid of any broken or dead branches. Prune your ficus during dormant seasons for the best result, and make sure to only prune about 1/3 of the tree at a time, so as not to weaken it.

Step 1

Put on the work gloves. Is your ficus an indoor or outdoor tree? If it is indoor, lightly trim around the sides in order to shape the ficus tree. If it is an outdoor tree, you will need to do much more trimming. Begin trimming towards the bottom of the ficus tree, where small branches less then eight inches long (called "suckers") may be growing. Trim these off where they connect to the trunk. These may drain sap and energy from the tree, which is unnecessary.

Step 2

Move on to the middle of the ficus tree. Use a ladder if necessary, because you want to be at eye level with what you are trimming. Cut away any branches that are growing straight up or down, overlapping other stronger branches, or any broken, diseased or dead branches. This all helps improve air circulation and increase the sunlight exposure to the lower parts of the ficus.

Step 3

Use the ladder to get to higher parts of the tree, if necessary. The higher portion of the tree is where you should trim the least.

Step 4

Discard the trimmed off branches, or add to your home compost pile.

Things You'll Need

  • Gloves
  • Pruning shears or loppers
  • Ladder, if necessary


  • Trimming Ficus Trees
Keywords: caring for trees, trimming ficus trees, pruning ficus

About this Author

Lauren Wise has more than eight years' experience as a writer, editor, copywriter and columnist. She specializes in food, wine, music and pop culture. Her writing has appeared in various magazines, including "Runway," "A2Z," "Scottsdale Luxury Living" and "True West." Wise holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Arizona State University.