narrow leaf ficus

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narrow leaf ficus

Post  moyogijohn on Wed Aug 12, 2009 12:32 am

I have 2 of these younger trees..how do you go about styleing them? i know it will be hard without a pic but just a general idea..thanks john

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Narrow Leaf Ficus

Post  bonsaisr on Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:04 am

I assume you mean the willow leaf Ficus, Ficus salicaria. The main thing to be aware of is that unlike most figs, it does not have apical dominance. You do not develop it by pinching & pruning the top while encouraging growth of the lower branches. On the contrary, if you let the side branches run loose, the top may die altogether. You need to balance the growth of the top & lower branches.
If I recall correctly, you live in the Mid-South. Winter may be a problem. Willow leaf ficus needs warmth and sun. Bring it indoors when temperatures go below about 55. It will only grow in strong sun. If you keep it on a windowsill during the winter in less than optimum conditions, it will lose its leaves & go dormant, then start growing again in the spring.
There is a chapter on it, under the wrong name, salicifolia, in Jerry Meislik's book.
Iris

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willow leaf

Post  moyogijohn on Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:24 am

I live in w va. i guess i need to wire the branches out flat first ...now i have a ball of branches and leaves.. thank you john

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Re: narrow leaf ficus

Post  Rob Kempinski on Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:30 am

bonsaisr wrote:I assume you mean the willow leaf Ficus, Ficus salicaria. The main thing to be aware of is that unlike most figs, it does not have apical dominance. You do not develop it by pinching & pruning the top while encouraging growth of the lower branches. On the contrary, if you let the side branches run loose, the top may die altogether. You need to balance the growth of the top & lower branches.

I have been growing them for over ten years and have hundreds, and I have to say I have never noticed this un-apical dominance. Maybe this is behavior when growing indoors but certainly not in Florida. If you let them grow tall they will to about 20 ft or more.

bonsaisr wrote:
There is a chapter on it, under the wrong name, salicifolia, in Jerry Meislik's book.
Iris
In fairness to Jerry Meislik, the Ficus Salicaria is a relatively new name recently cited. Research is ongoing to learn the true genetic nature of this tree. Salicaria may be wrong even though Berg got a citation for it, but Berg was unaware of its actual heritage or origin.

I did an article for the Knowledge of Bosani about how to work with these great bonsai specimens.

Here is a photo of one of mine. It's as shohin (Small tree - about 9 inches tall) showing apical preference.



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Narrow Leaf Ficus

Post  bonsaisr on Thu Aug 13, 2009 12:48 am

[quote="Rob Kempinski"][quote="bonsaisr"]Maybe this is behavior when growing indoors but certainly not in Florida.
bonsaisr wrote:
That may very well be, but if John is going to grow them indoors, he needs to be aware of this. I also found it in a group that were greenhouse grown in the North. Growing tropicals in the tropics sometimes has nothing whatever to do with growing them indoors in a cold climate.

bonsaisr wrote:
There is a chapter on it, under the wrong name, salicifolia, in Jerry Meislik's book.
Iris
In fairness to Jerry Meislik, the Ficus salicaria is a relatively new name recently cited. Research is ongoing to learn the true genetic nature of this tree. Salicaria may be wrong even though Berg got a citation for it, but Berg was unaware of its actual heritage or origin.
True, but the correct name at present is F. salicaria. Berg published it from a cultivated specimen, which is always risky. Nobody knows where it came from, because it was found (so the story goes) in a shipment of other trees in Florida fifty years ago. That is why it was floating around under aliases for so long.
Iris

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willow leaf ficus

Post  moyogijohn on Thu Aug 13, 2009 1:08 am

Thank you all for posting...i have the trees outside now but in winter they have to come inside... makes my wife happy yea right!! the pic. of the tree is what i want mine are no where near that size.. have to work with what i can get..thanks john

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Re: narrow leaf ficus

Post  bonsaisr on Thu Aug 13, 2009 2:11 am

moyogijohn wrote:mine are nowhere near that size..

In that case I suggest you forget about styling for now. Plant them in coarse bonsai soil in bulb pans as large as you can manage, feed them heavily, & just keep the branches balanced & neatened. Try to get the trunks thicker.
Iris

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Re: narrow leaf ficus

Post  Rob Kempinski on Fri Aug 14, 2009 2:49 pm

[quote="bonsaisr"][quote="Rob Kempinski"][quote="bonsaisr"]Maybe this is behavior when growing indoors but certainly not in Florida. [quote="bonsaisr"]
That may very well be, but if John is going to grow them indoors, he needs to be aware of this. I also found it in a group that were greenhouse grown in the North. Growing tropicals in the tropics sometimes has nothing whatever to do with growing them indoors in a cold climate.

[quote="bonsaisr"]

Well I wonder if your sample size is large enough to make such a broad pronouncement. Maybe there was a root or soil problem with your tree.


BTW, my avatar is not a sprinkler head. Keep guessing although the answer was posted to the board awhile ago.
Laughing Cool

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Narrow Leaf Ficus

Post  bonsaisr on Fri Aug 14, 2009 3:28 pm

[quote="Rob Kempinski"][quote="bonsaisr"][quote="bonsaisr"]Maybe this is behavior when growing indoors but certainly not in Florida. [quote="bonsaisr"]
That may very well be, but if John is going to grow them indoors, he needs to be aware of this. I also found it in a group that were greenhouse grown in the North. Growing tropicals in the tropics sometimes has nothing whatever to do with growing them indoors in a cold climate.
Rob Kempinski wrote:
Well I wonder if your sample size is large enough to make such a broad pronouncement. Maybe there was a root or soil problem with your tree.
Laughing Cool
The greenhouse group were about ten trees. After noticing this problem on all of them, I took them back. The trees we bought for our workshop were from another greenhouse. They were kept indoors over the winter, some of them in a sunroom & some under lights. They all seemed to have this tendency, but it was easy to control once we were aware of it. Most Ficus, when grown under fluorescent lights, tend toward exuberant growth at the top, less further down. This was not a scientific study, just casual observation. However, I heard the same comment from other people who have grown this species in the North. I can't comment any further, because I don't grow F. salicaria. As far as the comment goes: Growing tropicals in the tropics sometimes has nothing whatever (OK, little) to do with growing them indoors in a cold climate. I will stand behind that unequivocally. I have been growing tropical plants under lights for 50 years, bonsai for 20.
Iris
Iris


Last edited by bonsaisr on Fri Aug 14, 2009 3:30 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Quote misplaced)

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