Schefflera - To cut or not to cut (repost)
I'm new to the forums although I've been lurking around for some time. It was suggested to repost this here instead of trees:
I'm newer to our company so keep that in mind when giving radical ideas. I really don't want to be seen as the crazy plant lady. ;-) Only teasing.
We have a very tall Schefflera Tree that can be described simply as this: 2 inch around 7-8 foot trunk with a bunch of very large, very top heavy leaves spewing out from everywhere on top. Within that 7-8 feet of trunk the plant has swayed back and forth due to the lack of care it has received, rarely being turned and the top heavy leaves. There are actually 3 trunks in this pot, 1 is about 2 feet tall and completely dead. The other two are identical in size, shape and quality.
This (should-be) beautiful tree has become the office joke and I feel desperate to fix him. I've been caring for him for the last 6 months, watering, feeding, etc. Since my continuous care and rotating, he has some new growth but the whole tree itself is in desperate help for TLC! I have permission to "fix" him and would love to repot him because I'm sure the small planter he is in also needs to go. Without knowing for sure, I believe he is in a typical black garden store cheap plastic container (the thin kind with tons of holes all throughout) then sitting on top of Styrofoam that is then sitting in this white container, with the edges jammed with mulch. It's a typical white cylinder shaped pot most likely 2.5-3 feet in diameter seen in office settings. I believe this tree is way too big for that pot and surely root bound. Additionally, since his purchase here (no one knows for sure but at least a few years) he has the same soil without it ever being rinsed or changed.
My first, biggest question is: Can I hack off the top till he stands about 4-5 feet tall (leaving absolutely no leaves what-so-ever) and he will grow back? If yes, how long until some growth is seen? Or if I cut the trunk, is that the end of him?
Next, if I hack the top off, can I prune off the leaves from what remains and stick that in a bucket of water and it will grow roots and plant another one for the office?
Next if I cannot do the above hacking, what can I do to fix this poor thing? His weak trunks are bent all sort of funky ways and he has hit the ceiling and beginning to bend down. There is a support stick in the soil but itÃ¯Â¿Â½s not working.
My final question is how am I going to do this repotting if I can't cut off the top. I am sure this tree is going to flop on the floor as soon as I begin to pull it out.
Please explain step-by-step procedures like you would to a 5 year old. I am fairly new to gardening and really need extra explanations of what I can or can't do?
Thanks so much in advance!
Btw, I'll try to get pictures but it's in our conference room and they're in an all-day meeting today.