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New Ficus Nitida Hedge Maintenance

8 years ago

Location: Los Angeles Hollywood Hills, USDA zone 10b

We've just planted about 150 Ficus Nitida trees along the road 2-4 ft. away from the property wall. Each tree is about 7' tall. My final goal is to have a privacy hedge, about 9'-10' high with equal foliage from bottom to top. A few maintenance questions:

1. Is it OK to prune some long branches now or do I need to let the trees sit in for some time first? If so, for how long?

2. I've noticed that the top part of these trees are bushier than the bottom. I am thinking about cutting 1/3 from each branch in the top section, so the bottom gets bushier. Does it sound like the right way to go about it? Also, can it do it now or should I wait until the plants are settled (it's only been a week).
3. Is it OK to start cutting the top sooner to make the plant get thicker below or should I wait first until each main stem reaches its final height?

Thank you in advance.

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