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30+ Year Old Indoor Tree We Inherited

Discussion in 'Homeowner Helper Forum' started by hardhaus, Jun 12, 2018.

  1. hardhaus

    hardhaus New Member

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    Hello - My wife and have been living in her grandparents old apartment and they left behind this awesome tree they had in their living room for decades, at least 30 years, maybe even 40(?).

    I think it has seen better days, as we we haven't really known how to best care for it. Now we're moving and we'd like to bring the tree with us. One problem, we live in an elevator building and won't be able to get it out in it's current form. So here's my questions I hope some of you could help me answer:

    #1 What kind of tree is this?
    #2 How much and how should we, or could, we trim the branches to get it out the door and in a regular sized elevator?
    #3 If we can't move it, would it be easy to root cuttings from this tree?
    #4 What's the largest I can make a cutting and still be able to grow a root?

    Thanks a million for any help you can provide, we love this tree, and it means a lot to my wife if we can save it and bring it with us, even if it means we have to take a small part of it and regrow it.

    Some pictures of it attached.
     

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  2. greengreer

    greengreer ArboristSite Operative

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    Not sure on the species but if you can make it fit in the elevator I think it'll be worth a try. Prune some of the longer branches back to a lateral and maybe try tying it up to skinny up the canopy.
    If you clone it, for one you would be setting yourself back 30+ years
     
  3. JeffGu

    JeffGu Antagonist/Heckler

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    It's a Ficus benjamina tree... very popular indoor tree in dentist/doctor offices and office buildings. They drop their leaves if you so much as look at them crosseyed.
    They became so popular, but are such a pain in the rump, that about half the ones you see these days are fake trees made to look like this species. To me, this is rather like sticking a plastic flamingo in your yard... in Nebraska. How this got to be a popular thing to do, is beyond my understanding.

    I have moved several of these out of a condominium building by trimming them up, pulling them out of the pots, knocking the loose soil off and wrapping the roots in wet newspapers. We then chucked the pots off the balconies so we wouldn't have to haul them down in the elevator, so I understand your problem completely.

    We repotted them all, and all but one actually survived this rough treatment. They looked like hell for a long time, but the woman who wanted them had a greenhouse and was able to get them to leaf back out and the pruning didn't seem to bother them in the least. They're slow growing in a pot, but when I saw them last (when I built a garden gate for her) they looked pretty good. She's a nutty old gal who sells houseplants and flowers... charming as hell, and can't stand to see a mistreated or tossed out plant suffer. She told me that she used to follow landscapers around and rescue shrubs and plants they were discarding.
     
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  4. ropensaddle

    ropensaddle Feel Lucky

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    Hahaha jeff you missed your soulmate, she probably had eyes on you too you just didn't notice she was sweet on ya.:rolleyes:
     
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  5. JeffGu

    JeffGu Antagonist/Heckler

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    No, no... I'm afraid that her success at growing things in dirt might be related to the strange disappearance of her last four husbands. You gotta watch those cheerful ones...
     
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  6. Philbert

    Philbert Chainsaw Enthusiast

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    Lower it out the window on a rope and a net under the pot?

    Philbert
     
  7. redlawn 78

    redlawn 78 ArboristSite Member

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    Ficus can take a hard pruning rather well so that shouldn't be a problem. I can see the pot size but its prolly not too big to get out the and onto and elevator, but it may be an easier task if u can find a cart with wheels. I would also let it dry out somewhat so it wont be as heavy she moving it. . Make sure its in bright light but not direct sun. Away from heater/ac vents in the new place and definitely away from fire place/ wood stove. U really wanna make sure its not situated in a drafty area- cold or hot. When u think u have found a good place for the tree water it thoroughly, and leave it alone. Its gonna drop leaves like crazy but dont panic. Thats normal. wait until u see new growth to even think about watering it again.
     

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