I have completed the decapitation of the ficus tree.
It is absolutely furious with me. From the day after the first cut, it started a serious campaign of re-growth. Since I was cutting in stages, this meant I had to cut off some of that new growth, and though I apologized every time, the tree was not having it.
Now that the "topping" is complete I have to embark on the even-more-risky project of pruning the roots. That will begin soon. In the meantime, some of the re-growth from the new top of the tree is already to a point where I need to start shaping it. I had to order some bonsai shaping wire.
If the tree survives the root pruning (and I do expect it to) I have a space reserved for it on the top shelf of my again-rearranged patio garden.
For me, quite apart from the pang I feel when I have to injure a plant, by far the hardest part of this was cutting off and discarding the branches that still had leftover hummingbird nests. I sure hope I get a new nest next year. The fun factor of my garden has definitely suffered from the absence of Torino and his harem. Flowers are great ... but not the same. get off my lawn