Fused Ficus natalensis

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Fused Ficus natalensis

Post  Hank Miller on Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:35 pm

About 5 years ago I decided to make a fused trunk Ficus natalensis which would remind me of the trees of Southern Africa. I did not want a massive trunk with a large canopy. but rather a smaller trunked tree with an interesting crown. Although I am unable to find the images of the tree initially about a year ago the tree looked like this



I found that the tree did not do especially well in the shallow container I had selected. Earlier this summer I re-potted the tree in a slightly deeper container and I let the foliage mass increase
a bit. In spite of tjhe fact that the tree will have to be raised a bit when I next re-pot I am very pleased with the results.



It would seem that finally the tree and I have reached some sort of agreement about its final shape. Enjoy.

Best wishes for the holidays to everyone.
Hank
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Re: Fused Ficus natalensis

Post  Cockroach on Thu Dec 20, 2012 2:43 am

Very nice. I really like it. Do you have close-up pictures of where they fused?
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Re: Fused Ficus natalensis

Post  Jerry Meislik on Thu Dec 20, 2012 4:01 am

Hank,
Really good-looking tree.
Jerry
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Re: Fused Ficus natalensis

Post  -Daniel- on Thu Dec 20, 2012 5:32 am

Hello, very nice 's tree, very elegant ..... Maybe the pot is too large. Congratulations and merry Christmas santa Very Happy
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Re: Fused Ficus natalensis

Post  Tom Simonyi on Thu Dec 20, 2012 12:54 pm

Lovely tree indeed, Hank. Thanks so much for sharing.

Best wishes for a peaceful and joyful Holiday Season.

Tom
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Re: Fused Ficus natalensis

Post  JimLewis on Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:08 pm

Nice tree. Sometimes you need a larger pot for the health of the tree.

Maybe, in time, it can be moved back into a slightly smaller pot.

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Re: Fused Ficus natalensis

Post  -Daniel- on Thu Dec 20, 2012 5:21 pm

JimLewis wrote:Nice tree. Sometimes you need a larger pot for the health of the tree.

Maybe, in time, it can be moved back into a slightly smaller pot.


Exact, you are very accurate , good . regards , santa
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Re: Fused Ficus natalensis

Post  Hank Miller on Fri Dec 21, 2012 5:34 pm

Thanks for the comments. Below is a close-up image of the trunk. The fusion is very good but you can still see where the original cuttings were. The vertical striations are all that remain.


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Re: Fused Ficus natalensis

Post  coh on Fri Dec 21, 2012 9:06 pm

Nicely shaped, natural looking tree. Do you remember how many cuttings you used? Does each major root represent a separate cutting? How long has the process taken?
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Re: Fused Ficus natalensis

Post  Hank Miller on Sun Dec 23, 2012 2:35 pm

I think I used somewhere between 20 and 50 cuttings. Unfortunately I don't always keep good records. Each root is one of the original cuttings. It takes about 6-12 months before I begin to work on a fused trunk tree. Initiially I did some drastic pruning to get rid of what I do not think I will need and I wired the major lower branches Over the next year or two the tree was cut back and allowed to grow out and much of the styling was done. For the last few years I worked on the refinement.
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Re: Fused Ficus natalensis

Post  coh on Sun Dec 23, 2012 10:15 pm

Thanks Hank. One more question - when you put the cuttings together initially, how do you bind them together? Do you wrap with something like raffia with wire over that, or some other method?
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Re: Fused Ficus natalensis

Post  Hank Miller on Tue Dec 25, 2012 1:50 pm

I usually use Chinese string ( it is cheaper than raffia) to bind the cuttings together initially. Once bound they can easily be bent with wire.

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Re: Fused Ficus natalensis

Post  efishn on Tue Dec 25, 2012 3:31 pm

Hi Hank,

Thank you for sharing this. I have this ficus, how long in your opinion its gonna take to fuse it ?



Greetings

Efi
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Re: Fused Ficus natalensis

Post  Hank Miller on Thu Dec 27, 2012 1:23 am

I am not sure what you would like to fuse. Are you interested in improving the taper by adding additional material to the lower trunk? This is certainly possible if you have enough rooted cuttings in addition to any aerial roots present. I have found that strangler figs like F natalensis fuse the quickest. Usually it takes 6-12 months. Other figs, for example F burtt-davyii, take at least twice as long.
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Re: Fused Ficus natalensis

Post  Todd Ellis on Thu Dec 27, 2012 12:53 pm

Nice work! I wouldn't have known it was fused unless you told us. I am trying to listen to my trees now, and try to pot accordingly, versus trying to force them to grow to my whims.
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Re: Fused Ficus natalensis

Post  efishn on Thu Dec 27, 2012 1:57 pm

Hank Miller wrote:I am not sure what you would like to fuse. Are you interested in improving the taper by adding additional material to the lower trunk? This is certainly possible if you have enough rooted cuttings in addition to any aerial roots present. I have found that strangler figs like F natalensis fuse the quickest. Usually it takes 6-12 months. Other figs, for example F burtt-davyii, take at least twice as long.

Hi Hank - ok, I got the idea, thanks.

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Re: Fused Ficus natalensis

Post  Hank Miller on Sat Dec 29, 2012 5:14 pm

Thanks for the comments. Below is another of my fused trees which hopefully has not lost its natural look.




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