Umbrella tree branching


I have had this umbrella tree for a few years now, but it hasn’t formed any branches. It continues to simply grow straight up. Now it’s getting to be too tall for the width of it’s trunk and I’d like to have branches lower on the tree. If I cut the top 2/3 of the tree off, so you think it will grow branches at the cut site? Or will that likely end up just killing the tree?

I’ve also thought of trying to air root the tree and then cut between the leaf stalks, but then I’d lose the width of the current base.

I’d appreciate anybody’s thoughts on this. Thanks!!

(Jonas Dupuich) #2

If the tree is healthy, cutting somewhere along the stalk should be able to encourage the tree to produce a later bud or two. Cutting just above where some leaves emerge is a more conservative approach that can have the same effect.

If the tree isn’t strong enough to push these buds it can be too much for the tree. I don’t have a lot of tropical bonsai experience outside of growing the trees in a greenhouse so there may be other approaches.

(Frank Corrigan) #3

If you wish a bushier format then i would advise repotting in a much larger container to allow more root growth first. Then after the tree recovers and begins to respond well start pinching back the growth.
progressive pinching and cutback over time will create budback and more side branching if you can get the plant healthier first.
The smaller pot and restrictive growth results in the pattern you are observing. Schefflera can be very bushy if given the right light, humidity and temperature.

(Raymond Mack) #4