ficus microcarpa / retusa ? tiger bark? styling?

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ficus microcarpa / retusa ? tiger bark? styling?

Post  mr_greggy on Sun May 27, 2012 5:13 pm

Hi guys n gals

I got this one from a nursery a few weeks ago cos i loved the trunk. However I have a few questions.

First of all identification. I know it's a ficus Smile but is it a retusa? is microcarpa the same thing? I have found inconsistent info on the net. My best guess so far is that its a retusa/microcarpa var. tiger bark.

Next, I would appreciate some styling tips. I want it give it more foliage in the lower parts, instead of just at the top. I have read that it responds well to sever cutback, but I m still hesitant, especially seeing that some of the branches are still leafless. If i were confident that it would bud easily from old wood after cutting back, this is what i had in mind:

Please help! Btw, I am from Malta, a tiny mediterranean island, below Sicily. Weather is hot, very very mild winters (doesnt reach freezing) and summers reaching up to 40 celsius (104F). Seems like it would be Zone 10, comparable to southern tip of Florida.

Any tips pls?

PS - In trying to 'bring' the foliage down without risking killing it, I have been clipping it back to the last leave or two, so as to encourage backbudding. It seems to work, but if its possible to cut it back more drastically, I would rather do that and save time. Also how can i encourage leaf growth on the bare branches?

Last edited by mr_greggy on Sun May 27, 2012 5:17 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : had forgotten to include what might be helpful information :))


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