Bare & Brittle branches on a ficus tree
When I inherited this ficus, in the back the leaves are gone and the branches are bare & brittle. Can I cut it back or what do you suggest?
Brittle branches mean that they are dead. My guess would be that the plant was against a wall, and the branches in back died. Yes, you'll want to cut the dead wood off. Cut slowly until you find live tissue - it will be green. Then place it so the back is facing a window, and give it the best care you can so that it can regrow leaves. This article will give you information: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/houseplants/ficus/ficus-tree-care.htm