when is the best time to defoliate a ficus

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when is the best time to defoliate a ficus

Post  Tarek (from Lebanon) on Wed Apr 10, 2013 3:08 pm

Dear Guys,
This is my first time here and I am glad to be a member of this club.
I have a Ficus (Retusa) Bonsai that I wanted to totally defoliate in order to decrease the size of its leaves. I have tried to do this on one branch to see how it goes, but no new leaves have grown on that branch yet even though I have done this about three months ago. My bonsai is really healthy and growing well.
My question is the following: when is the best time of the year to totally defoliate it?
Thanks in advance

Tarek

Tarek (from Lebanon)
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when is the best time to defoliate a ficus

Post  ortizdhs on Wed Apr 10, 2013 4:14 pm

Tarek:

I assume that temperatures in your area are in the 65 to 70 degrees and humidity in the 60,s. If it is so, then you are safe to defoliate a Ficus. If you only defoliate a branch on a tree all the strength goes to the rest of the tree. I personally do the opposite. I will explain, I leave a branch that needs thickening without being defoliated when I remove all the leaves in the rest of the tree. This will help develop the thickness of the branch as the "strength" of the tree goes to that branch. If it was my tree, I will defoliate completely as soon as you see a new bud in the defoliated area.

Regards

Ortiz

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Re: when is the best time to defoliate a ficus

Post  Tarek (from Lebanon) on Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:06 pm

Thank you Ortiz,
I will try to do that even though I am very hesitant (I am new to Bonsai world). However I have another question, when I defoliate, do I take off the little fruits?

Tarek (from Lebanon)
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when is the best time to defoliate a ficus

Post  ortizdhs on Sat Apr 13, 2013 1:56 am

yes, remove the fruits. just leave the buds on the tips of each branch. Do this all the way to the last twig.

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Re: when is the best time to defoliate a ficus

Post  akhater on Sat Apr 13, 2013 9:59 am

Hi Tarek

I'm glad to see someone else from Lebanon around

a pic of your ficus perhaps?

akhater
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Another Lebanese

Post  Tarek (from Lebanon) on Mon Apr 15, 2013 7:25 am

Dear Khater,
Do you know how long I been looking to find another Bonsai enthusiast from Lebanon? Smile R u in Beirut Area?
I will take pics of my bonsai and post it soon (note I am new so it is not a great looking bonsai.

Tarek

Tarek (from Lebanon)
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Re: when is the best time to defoliate a ficus

Post  akhater on Mon Apr 15, 2013 3:28 pm

Hi Tarek

I allowed myself to copy the image of your ficus from the other thread http://ibonsaiclub.forumotion.com/t13206-when-is-the-best-time-to-defoliate-a-ficus-picture I hope you don't mind.



why defoliate it? it still has a lot to progress before defoliation. Defoliation is done one nearly achieved trees to reduce leave size.

Instead get a big container and plant it in it next month, fertilize/water and sun for this season let it grow and grow, next season either layer it to start working the Nebari or cut it down to the first branch and use that one as leader

akhater
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Re: when is the best time to defoliate a ficus

Post  Tarek (from Lebanon) on Mon Apr 15, 2013 4:31 pm

Thank you for your feedback Khater,
As I am new to the Bonsai world, I thought that the nebari for my ficus is in good form and shape, so I really don't understand why do I have to wait longer on it.
more feedback from anyone will be appreciated.

Tarek

Tarek (from Lebanon)
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Re: when is the best time to defoliate a ficus

Post  akhater on Mon Apr 15, 2013 6:06 pm

We are both new so take my comments with a grain of salt Smile


Your ficus has some taper but it is far too long for its trunk size, the good thing is that ficus are fast growing in our climate. I love ficuses as they are very easy plants to work with.

So when I told you I'd cut it on the first branch it is mainly to create more taper, as for the Nebari I would also cut those big roots. if you like your Nebari the way it is that's what counts by all means.

Also is your ficus inside all the time or just for the pic ?

akhater
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Re: when is the best time to defoliate a ficus

Post  lennard on Mon Apr 15, 2013 6:42 pm

Tarek (from Lebanon) wrote:
As I am new to the Bonsai world, I thought that the nebari for my ficus is in good form and shape, so I really don't understand why do I have to wait longer on it.
more feedback from anyone will be appreciated.

Hi Tarek

Your tree still needs a lot of work/growth to make it a convincing tree. The tree would look better if ....

it have roots radiating from the trunk in all directions
the lower branches are much thicker than the higher ones
the primary branches sprouted secondary, tertiary and twiggy growth
the branches were not on top of each other
the trunk had some taper and movement etc.

The best would be to do some research- a good place to start is here:
http://www.bonsaihunk.us/

Defoliation will normally be done when the tree is actively growing in summer - and only when your tree has achieved the above. To defoliate your tree now will not lead to smaller leaves.

Be patient and enjoy the development of your tree.

Good luck.

Lennard

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Re: when is the best time to defoliate a ficus

Post  nickalpin on Mon Apr 15, 2013 7:26 pm

Tarek, all that counts is that you're happy with your tree and that it's healthy. If you feel that it's finished, then it's finished. There are 'rules' that are sometimes mentioned, but not everyone lives by them.

Btw, this tree may be a ficus microcarpa 'green mound'. They very willingly drop aerial roots should you be interested in adding them to the design.

nickalpin
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Re: when is the best time to defoliate a ficus

Post  Tarek (from Lebanon) on Tue Apr 16, 2013 6:13 am

Thank you guys for your input. I will take all your comments into consideration before deciding what to do with my tree
my first born Smile

Tarek

Tarek (from Lebanon)
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Re: when is the best time to defoliate a ficus

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