Big cut on “malsai” ficus

Hi all. I was given this ficus three years ago. It was enormous, straight and leggy. Grown in a giant pot of alpaca poop. Over three years I have repotted it, decreased it’s size and started an air layer.

Now I am ready to separate the air layer but I would like some advice on how to handle the cut in order to lessen impact the bottom portion of the tree.

I would like to make the large bottom branch the new apex. Should I cut straight across above it? How do I handle the sap that will run from the cut?

Thanks for your advice.

I’d treat the 2 cuts as separate operations.

Cut straight across below your air layer and then work out the rest of the seperation, roots and leftover trunk that you will need to reduce.

Then if you want the existing branch to be the new apex cut an inch or more above that to allow for dieback. It may take some time to transition and close that large wound. You will need a cut paste to protect it, and limit sap and decay. You will likely get new shoots there as well.

Others may have additional insights.
Good luck!

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