Fig tree scar question

Hey all, I’ve got a question about a laurel indian fig tree I have. I bought it from a nursery earlier this year (after the nursery stock video) and it came with this scar from nursery pruning. It’s pretty unsightly and pretty much right in the middle of the tree. My question is, will this eventually heal over or would it be better to just cut off this branch entirely?

The tree is actually growing quite vigorously at the moment and seems to be in a healthy state. I’ve already done an initial pruning for styling and minor repot (basically shortening the pot to get it ready for a bonsai pot). Any thoughts?

San Diego

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It has pretty bad inverse taper to me. I would get rid of it. Also seems like it has been left without any paste or other professional help to heal after the cut.

If it were mine I would tidy up the dead wood in the centre, then re cut around the old callous and cover that cut with some cut paste. I am sure that would improve the appearance over time.

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Do you know the specific species?

I have a few ficus with scars. Cut paste seems to work okay with smaller cuts. Larger cuts can be protected by cut paste, but it’s going to rot out eventually.

That said, I would encourage the tree to grow aerial roots. I like to pack my developing trees close together. These trees are a typically growing in potting soil or a 50/50 blend of potting soil and haydite/lava rock. I water them from the tops. I’ll check the bases to make sure the roots stay moist and I’m not missing them with the watering. Under the canopy of numerous trees packed together, the micro-climate has very high humidity. Various trees will put out a cluster of aerial roots, but favor the ones that are watered. When I water, the last of the water settles at the bottom of the aerial roots. This encourages further growth.

I have a tree where I thought I had held off water long enough, but the trunk snapped in two places when I tried to introduce movement. I left the wire on to see what the tree would do. Above the break did not die. Instead, at the break, the upper portion sent down aerial roots. I’m hoping to get enough of these aerials to cover up the break points.

So you would recommend cutting it off now since it will rot out anyway?

Also, it’s a laurel indian fig. Do those grow aerial roots? My style idea behind this particular tree is all the laurel indian figs I saw lining streets in Los Angeles. They have this really majestic, cloudy appearance (picture below).

Hope your aerial roots can cover those break points! Thanks for the advice!


Thanks for the advice! I think I’m leaning towards getting rid of it. And yeah, inverse taper is the main reason. It’ll just take too many years to heal over if it’s going to heal well enough anyway.


Thanks for the advice! I’m definitely going to go out and buy some cut paste.

Do NOT cut off the top!
I’ll chime in later, but needed to say this to you

If you work on that scar it will heal over, yes it does create aerial roots. They are a pretty hardy tree, drought tolerant and humidity encourages aerial roots.

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It adds character. Other than wire scars(obviously artificial)scars are good:wink:.

I wouldn’t be worried about this healing over. Ficus in development can put on a lot of vascular tissue. The tree and branch in particular look fairly young and small. In a couple years of growth while developing branches this should close right up. You can also allow the branches above the scar to grow freely to heal it faster and later cut back to the desired lengths. If anything, scars add a nice natural touch to the tree and show age IMO.