I know Benjamina don’t bud back well, so any cuts I make will leave a bud to try to ensure total branch loss doesn’t occur. That being said- styling thoughts? I have a few ideas to cut it back hard and deal with that one cross root, but I’m interested in your thoughts.
Cool tree. I like twin trunks but this one is a little hippy. To lose the inverse taper, Have you considered cutting off the straighter trunk?
2 trees maybe better than one in this case. View attachment 449876
This would be my move. I would ground layer that trunk with hopes that the new roots will help grow out that inverse taper and would give this more of a twin trunk tree feel. Then start working the canopy down.
I could support both of the above suggestions as viable options. However you will still be left with several inches of straight trunkline. You could get one of those trunk benders. The wood can still be bent but prob dammaged if done with wire alone.
Also, don't underestimate how frustrating these can be when developing canopy. It's not just leaving a bud.... they can be spiteful.
Another approach would be to layer it much higher up where some branching exist. Additionally, this would still be flexible enough to wire. I understand the desire to preserve the thicker trunk and nebari, but in the long run, honestly, that's the fastest and easiest thing to develop. Good luck, it a nice tree.
Layering is an option but you might consider cutting the left trunk back quite a bit to put energy into the right trunk. I have done this and the suggested air layers. In fact I am doing it now. Layers should form roots in about 3 weeks but I would just let them grow awhile. I typically separate mine in 4 to 5 weeks.
Is this cultivar "Nicole"? It has a bit more variegation than the typical "Nina". But I do find that "Nina" is a tougher plant and grows faster.