Willow Leaf Ficus #2

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Willow Leaf Ficus #2

Post  coh on Thu Dec 20, 2012 4:53 pm

Here's my other willow leaf ficus, offered up for opinions and suggestions. This one was also acquired last November (2011); it came in standard nursery (potting soil) mix. In May I repotted it into bonsai soil. The root system was OK but not particularly vigorous. It grew OK during the summer, not as vigorously as the other tree (http://ibonsaiclub.forumotion.com/t12309-willow-leaf-ficus-1). The foliage is a little more sparse and lighter in color, it almost looks like they are different cultivars.

Anyway, here are 2 views of the tree as it is today. The tree has had some minimal wiring to separate and lower branches, but has otherwise been allowed to grow to regain strength. Some excessive top growth was pruned back late in the summer. The height above the soil is 10". Trunk flare is about 2.25" at the soil surface, trunk itself is about 1" just above the lowest branch. Single trunk with horizontal branches, about half way up the trunk splits into several upward rising sub trunks that can partly be seen through the foliage.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts...




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Re: Willow Leaf Ficus #2

Post  JimLewis on Thu Dec 20, 2012 7:11 pm

I'd either wire in some movement into that straight lower branch, or cut it back.

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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: Willow Leaf Ficus #2

Post  MrFancyPlants on Thu Dec 20, 2012 8:00 pm

I almost hate to suggest sumo, but there is not a ton of taper after the first major branch, and the base is so nice. Barring that, I would suggest selecting one of the multiple trunk at the 2/3rds up point, but maybe that is to pine oriented. Don't listen to me and get a more advanced opinion, because I'm sure there could be a better image to be found in such nice material.

Thanks,
David

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Re: Willow Leaf Ficus #2

Post  coh on Fri Dec 21, 2012 4:42 am

MrFancyPlants wrote:I almost hate to suggest sumo, but there is not a ton of taper after the first major branch, and the base is so nice. Barring that, I would suggest selecting one of the multiple trunk at the 2/3rds up point, but maybe that is to pine oriented. Don't listen to me and get a more advanced opinion, because I'm sure there could be a better image to be found in such nice material.

Thanks,
David
Someone locally suggested cutting the tree way back, but that idea doesn't appeal to me. You're right, though, there isn't much taper in the main part of the trunk. My tentative plan is to allow the lower branches to grow strongly and keep the top pruned back, to try to encourage thickening of the lower trunk. In addition to the large branches you can see, there are other smaller branches and buds on the trunk, so I should be able to build in some taper.

I don't want to style this like a pine with a single trunk all the way up...I'd like to take advantage of the multiple trunks higher up in the tree. I'm wondering if that means the lower branches would need to come up a bit instead of being so horizontal (particularly the straight one Jim referred to)...

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Re: Willow Leaf Ficus #2

Post  coh on Fri Dec 21, 2012 4:44 am

JimLewis wrote:I'd either wire in some movement into that straight lower branch, or cut it back.
Yes...maybe wire it now, and/or cut back in the future. I want to let it grow for a while to try and build some trunk taper. Thinking maybe the branch needs to come upward a bit (see comments to Dave above)?

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Re: Willow Leaf Ficus #2

Post  JimLewis on Fri Dec 21, 2012 12:55 pm

I dunno about upward. Lower branches usually are oldest branches and are weighed down with age.

Those upper "trunks" are a bit large to fit into a design too well.

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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: Willow Leaf Ficus #2

Post  coh on Fri Dec 21, 2012 3:33 pm

JimLewis wrote:I dunno about upward. Lower branches usually are oldest branches and are weighed down with age.

Those upper "trunks" are a bit large to fit into a design too well.
You might be right, though the photo makes them appear larger because there are branches behind the sub trunks. Thinning out some of the excess branches might help in that regard. I'm hoping to be able to keep the top under control and get the lower trunk to thicken, though that may take forever in this climate.

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Re: Willow Leaf Ficus #2

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