Pruning Advice odd shape Fiddle Leaf Fig

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    christabell.mchristabell.m
    Greenhorn
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    We have a fiddle leaf fig with three branches that we have had for a few years now and it has become leggy and lopsided. There was a time when it wasn’t getting a lot of light or watered enough so the lower leaves fell off but its in better conditions now and has had consistent new growth. The only thing is that I want it to look more tree like with a taller trunk and more condensed bushy top. I’m thinking both branches are too low and wide so I would like to cut them eventually. I want to create more branches but higher up than the current ones. So i’m not sure what I should do first and how much i should do at once. cut the sides branches off/ or one side branch off/ or try to get branches higher up by cutting the top off or notching it where i would like the new branches to be/ or potentially some combination of those things. Im also planning on putting a stake in it to straighten it out. Any thoughts or advice on the pruning of my tree would be greatly appreciated. (I know if this works it is going to be more of a long term thing and i wont see results quickly as it will take alot of time to prune and fill in but fingers crossed i can get a better shape from it eventually)

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    christabell.mchristabell.m
    Greenhorn
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    Nate from N&GNate from N&G
    Expert gardener (moderator)
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    Hello Christabell, welcome to the forum! That’s quite a nice fiddle leaf you’ve got growing there, and a nice collection of plants on the side, too!

    I would go ahead and do the following to spur growth of branches towards the top:

    • Snip the terminal bud on the topmost branch (unless you want it to grow taller still, in which case you can leave it be).
    • Prune both side branches near the trunk, perhaps a quarter-inch (5 mm) away from the trunk to make the wound as small as possible.
    • Notch just above an older leaf node in several spots. Only notch across one fourth or one third around the branch. You can do this several times, even up to 5 or 6 times.

    All the above I would do at the same time. Cutting the side branches will redivert all the sap to higher up along the tree, where the other steps provide new places for it all to grow.

    The only thing I would do at a later or earlier time is the staking. You wouldn’t want to bruise any roots at this stage. Do the staking either a month before or a month after the other steps.

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