My first Ficus

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My first Ficus

Post  ericksond on Wed Jun 13, 2012 8:50 pm

I finally decided if I will get serious into bonsai then get my hands dirty on a real pre-bonsai stock. I went to Om Bonsai Nursery in Hollywood, FL. The owner, Michael, is a very nice guy who even helped me with quite a number of tips. I asked for a beginner's tree and he led me to the Ficus Nerifolia section. I chose this particular tree because of the nebari.

As of now I do not know what to do with it. I am afraid to touch it. Embarassed

However, if you feel like helping today then please feel free to comment or let me know what is the best styling approach for it.

Once again, thanks to all the helpful folks at IBC.








ericksond
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Re: My first Ficus

Post  JimLewis on Wed Jun 13, 2012 9:15 pm

To start, it is about 3X too tall. Clench your jaw, grit your teeth, take a deep breath -- and CHOP.

And welcome to the nerve-wracking sport of bonsai.

_________________
Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: My first Ficus

Post  ericksond on Thu Jun 14, 2012 4:05 am

Thanks Jim. I always thought someone would say that.

Anyway, I summoned enough guts to defoliate the tree and do some chops. I probably did a bunch of newbie mistakes so please correct me if you see one.

Here it is after defoliating:



After the chops:



And finally after my first attempt at wiring!



I think I may have broken the 3rd branch. Embarassed It seems bigger though than 1st and 2nd branch so maybe it will turn out good later on.

Should I reduce the length of the branches? I hope this Ficus don't die!

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Re: My first Ficus

Post  Guest on Thu Jun 14, 2012 7:04 am

Hi Ericksond

It is now too late for a second idea for your first tree, and I do not understand what your idea is, and why you was advised to cut it back to this...Please explain what your own thoughts are, and you plan for the tree in the future.

In this case would I just have removed some of the branches comming from the top, close to the main trunk...marked with red, I would need to have the tree in my hand, before finaly deciding, but the ( only ) two green branches could have been a nice leader, and a branch.

Later would i have made a layering to remove theese much to big nice roots, and replace them with smaller roots, that would fit the tree....

Kind regards Yvonne

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Re: My first Ficus

Post  Guest on Thu Jun 14, 2012 7:23 am

Forgot to post photo Smile



Kind regards Yvonne

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Re: My first Ficus

Post  ericksond on Thu Jun 14, 2012 7:55 am

Thanks Yvonne. I was planning on reducing the tree's height in proportion to the trunk but now I see the wisdom in your advice and that I have just lost my leader. It is too late now. Back to square one and I dont know what to do. pale

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Re: My first Ficus

Post  Guest on Thu Jun 14, 2012 9:57 am

Hi Ericksond

Place the tree in an angle, so that the highest placed alive branch is new leader, and the branch below is to the other side, this will give the front....dont care about the roots being placed wrong, just keep them under the surface.
Let it grow, a year or two, and see what you have...then you make a layering, and loose the big roots.

Kind regards Yvonne

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Re: My first Ficus

Post  JimLewis on Thu Jun 14, 2012 12:41 pm

You haven't lost a thing. You are in Florida. Yvonne is in Denmark. Your tree will grow more in six months than a comparable one of hers would/could in several years -- even in a greenhouse. You can develop much better taper and (eventually) much better ramification without that topmost tangle of branches.

And yes, you will want to shorten the branches at some point -- but probably not now.

_________________
Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: My first Ficus

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Thu Jun 14, 2012 12:50 pm

Just let it grow, it will put out clusters of new branches in the next few weeks, IF, you don't love it to death. The problem for a beginner with ONE tree is that he want to constantly mess with it. Fertilize it, give it plenty of outdoor light, water it, and let it grow. It looks to me like a Ficus salisicaria '89. Watch the wire, the tree will grow fast and that small wire will begin to cut in as little as a month. Try to attend a meeting of a local club.

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Re: My first Ficus

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Thu Jun 14, 2012 12:55 pm

Clubs near you:

Bonsai Society of Miami
Web site: http://www.bonsaisocietyofmiami.org/
Meeting place: Pinecrest Garden
11000 Red Rd.
Pinecrest, FL
[view map]
Meeting time: 4th Wednesday of the month at 7:30 p.m.

Broward Bonsai Society
Web site: http://www.browardbonsai.com
Meeting place: Flamingo Gardens
3750 Flamingo Road
Davie, FL 33330
[view map]
Meeting time: 3rd Saturday of the month at 10:00 a.m.

Gold Coast Bonsai Society
Web site: http://www.goldcoastbonsai.com/
Meeting place: Village Civic Center
6800 Sunset Strip
Sunrise, FL
[view map]
Meeting time: 2nd Saturday of the month at 9:30 a.m.

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Re: My first Ficus

Post  Sam Ogranaja on Thu Jun 14, 2012 1:44 pm

Billy and Jim's advice is accurate. You have some outstanding bonsai folks around you that can teach you many things. I would take full advantage of the clubs and nurseries around you. There's inspiration everywhere out there.

Good luck and keep us posted.
Sam

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Re: My first Ficus

Post  Guest on Thu Jun 14, 2012 1:53 pm

Yvonne Graubaek wrote:Hi Ericksond

Place the tree in an angle, so that the highest placed alive branch is new leader, and the branch below is to the other side, this will give the front....dont care about the roots being placed wrong, just keep them under the surface.
Let it grow, a year or two, and see what you have...then you make a layering, and loose the big roots.

Kind regards Yvonne

Do the same...but dont wait a year or two Smile
To seak a club like suggested is a good idea for you.

Kind regards Yvonne

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Re: My first Ficus

Post  ericksond on Thu Jun 14, 2012 2:02 pm

Awesome flurry of replies and kind encouragement! cheers

Yes, I am done fiddling with it. It will now sit on its pot until it's ready. I will definitely join one of the clubs, I'm just not that confident yet.

If I want to fiddle, I'll just get another tree. lol. Thank you, you guys are the best!




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Re: My first Ficus

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Thu Jun 14, 2012 2:07 pm

I can't speak about the clubs in your area, but our club in Brevard (Melbourne) Florida is very open to beginners and has even had beginner classes.
Don't wait to join a club, many members never show a tree, I am not even sure some have trees.

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Re: My first Ficus

Post  Sam Ogranaja on Thu Jun 14, 2012 2:33 pm

Billy M. Rhodes wrote:I can't speak about the clubs in your area, but our club in Brevard (Melbourne) Florida is very open to beginners and has even had beginner classes.
Don't wait to join a club, many members never show a tree, I am not even sure some have trees.

Amen Billy. You beat me to it. cheers cheers cheers

I couldn't imagine a club that's not friendly to beginners. Ours has a meeting specifically for beginners the Saturday after each monthly meeting. You'd be surprised as to how many experienced members volunteer their time and how many beginners come out to learn. It's very exciting to be a part of a club that is so active.

I would also, highly encourage you to seek out bonsai shows and go see top grade bonsai constantly. It will help you advance leaps and bounds.

I'll be hoping you stay in it for the long term.
Sam

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