I was given a small rubber tree plant when my Mother died 9 years ago. I put it outside in the summer and it has now grown to over seven feet. I live a small apartment and need to bring it down to a smaller size. There is a smaller shoot at the bottom of the main trunk. Can I cut the main trunk and just keep the smaller on and should I repot it?
Rubber Tree Plant
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
If you cut the main trunk, the tree will probably grow back from the small shoot, but the stump may be unsightly and may send up more shoots.
Instead, one option is to take a cutting from the tree (this could be the small shoot or a piece of a branch), help it develop roots, and repot it as described in these articles:
Another option is to gradually prune the rubber tree down to size over the course of two or three years, by removing about 1/3 of the tree each year: