31 year old Ficus burkei progression.

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31 year old Ficus burkei progression.

Post  lennard on Sat Nov 09, 2013 7:02 pm

I have bought this Ficus from one of our Kai's members in 2009. He sold some of his trees because he moved to a colder area in Johannesburg.

This Ficus is 31 years old and I have paid R500,00 ($50) for it. The tree stands about 60cm high.

(Ficus thonningii is a species of Ficus. It is native to Africa. Recent phylogenetic analysis suggests several distinct species may be classified as F. thonningii. This is probably Ficus burkei:

http://www.figweb.or...icus_burkei.htm )

The tree in 2009:



From that time I planted it deeper into a bigger pot and cut back and defoliate it yearly.

This tree seems to take forever - Ficus is easy to keep alive and build a nebari but not so easy building a crown with a nice branch structure and twiggy growth!

The tree today before defoliation:



After:



From above:



I think I should thin out the "branches" a bit?

Any comments or advice welcome.

Lennard

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Re: 31 year old Ficus burkei progression.

Post  Jerry Meislik on Sun Nov 10, 2013 3:04 am

Lennard,
You have developed a lot of density of branches. Have you buried the trunk deeper into the ground?
Jerry

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Re: 31 year old Ficus burkei progression.

Post  lennard on Sun Nov 10, 2013 4:50 pm

Jerry Meislik wrote:Lennard,
You have developed a lot of density of branches. Have you buried the trunk deeper into the ground?
Jerry
Jerry, thanks for replying.

The trunk is buried to encourage more roots lower down - will expose them again over this summer time.

I am thinking of fusing twigs branches that originate close to each other on the trunks.

To cut out growth seems liking taking a step backwards.

To thicken up branches/twigs I will have to let certain twigs grow out and that will lead to finer twiggy growth dying back.

I still have a few days to think about this - will have to do this before the new buds show.

Lennard

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Re: 31 year old Ficus burkei progression.

Post  Andre Beaurain on Mon Nov 11, 2013 9:15 am

Lennard that is awesome. Have never came across a burkei before...well not that I know of..

You should have used this for the progression competition! Actually no, then you would have won! hihihihihihihhi

Very nice, looks like a baobab in the making, is that your plan?

I would cut the twigs a little shorter still. So that the ramification starts even lower down.

Love and light

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Ficus cut back.

Post  lennard on Mon Nov 11, 2013 5:03 pm

Andre Beaurain wrote:

Very nice, looks like a baobab in the making, is that your plan?

I would cut the twigs a little shorter still.  So that the ramification starts even lower down.

Ficus burkei and Ficus petersi are well known Ficus species here in Rustenburg. There are majestic examples of them on the Johannesburg road.

I am not planning for it to look like a Baobab, but if it wants to be one I will not stand in its way!

Have cut the twigs shorter and opened up the trunk. I also rearranged some roots below ground level - love how they fuse to each other.

This is how it looks now:



Looking better?

Lennard


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Re: 31 year old Ficus burkei progression.

Post  Jerry Meislik on Mon Nov 11, 2013 5:15 pm

Lennard,
That works very well.
Jerry
PS I saw some huge Burkei when I was in SAfrica.

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Re: 31 year old Ficus burkei progression.

Post  AlainK on Mon Nov 11, 2013 8:29 pm

It's funny, it really reminds me of a Ficus 'Natasha' I bought as a house plant that I've been trying to keep more or less as a bonsai, or at least give it a "bonsai feel":

June 2007, rescued from inside the house. It had stayed in this pot for about 5 years, and since there was no mesh at the hole in the bottom of the pot, the soil gradually escaped and the tangle roots from several cuttings showed all the more:



Repotted and tied with raffia a few days later:



August 2011:





Almost died in the winter 23011 although it was kept indoors.

11 November 2013: recovering now.





NB: watching the photos, I can see I must put it back into cultivation, in a much wider and slightly deeper pot so it can thrive again and maybehave the different trunks and roots blend as in J. Meislik's tree.


Last edited by AlainK on Mon Nov 11, 2013 8:33 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: 31 year old Ficus burkei progression.

Post  Jerry Meislik on Mon Nov 11, 2013 8:32 pm

AlainK.
The fusion process looks good. A larger pot and more growth would help complete the process.
Jerry

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Re: 31 year old Ficus burkei progression.

Post  Andre Beaurain on Tue Nov 12, 2013 5:59 am

lennard wrote:



Looking better?

Lennard

Yes absolutely, IMO much much better, its is already a stunning bonsai. Well done!

Love and light

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Re: 31 year old Ficus burkei progression.

Post  GerhardGerber on Tue Nov 12, 2013 11:42 am

Hi Lennard

Same thing I asked Andre.....how many more nice trees are you hiding??? Very Happy 

Your transformation is incredible, and that last image is the icing on the cake, well done.

You mentioned something about the species and recent work done in this regard, guess it will always be tough with these wild figs...

I searched Ficus cordata recently, identified it with the Namibian Tree Atlas after taking cuttings from trees on the river road (Orange), and according to Wiki it's the same as the Wonderboom fiicus.....?
We have "wild figs" all over town with leaves like your tree.

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Natasha

Post  lennard on Tue Nov 12, 2013 12:07 pm

AlainK wrote:It's funny, it really reminds me of a Ficus 'Natasha' I bought as a house plant that I've been trying to keep more or less as a bonsai, or at least give it a "bonsai feel":

The base of your tree looks a lot like the base of my tree.

"Natasha" makes excellent bonsai - but I would not grow it too small because the leaves do not reduce so much and the nodes are a bit long.

When the roots fuse the base of your tree is going to look good! I would encourage more roots to form right from where you have chopped the tree.

Keep us updated

Lennard

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Wonderboom

Post  lennard on Tue Nov 12, 2013 12:14 pm

GerhardGerber wrote:
I searched Ficus cordata recently, identified it with the Namibian Tree Atlas after taking cuttings from trees on the river road (Orange), and according to Wiki it's the same as the Wonderboom fiicus.....?
Thanks for the encouraging words....I do have a few others in the making.

The Wonderboom Ficus is Ficus salicifolia.

Ficus cordata has smaller and harder leaves than Salicifolia and the veins on the leaves are more pronounced. When it comes to culture Salicifolia is an easier tree to grow - it seems that "Cordata" comes from dryer regions.

Lennard

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Re: 31 year old Ficus burkei progression.

Post  Torbjörn on Tue Nov 12, 2013 3:36 pm

Im a big fan of ficus species and premna.

I have Always wanted to get my hands on a nerifolia cutting, prefferably from within the EU, but cant seem to find any at all outside of US Sad

Now, with that comparison you made me feel that Cordata whould be a better specimen, especially when considering the dry (often) conditions when growing Indoors.

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Re: 31 year old Ficus burkei progression.

Post  lennard on Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:07 pm

Torbjörn wrote:

Now, with that comparison you made me feel that Cordata whould be a better specimen, especially when considering the dry (often) conditions when growing Indoors.
Cordata do grow in very dry conditions, but with that will come very high light requirements. I don't think it will be very successful indoors.

When it comes to Ficus I do believe Ficus benjamina and the varieties are proven species for growing indoors - but they would prefer to grow outside if the temperatures would allow that.

Interesting enough I do have a few Ficus nerifolia trees, but here they grow very slow!

Lennard




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Re: 31 year old Ficus burkei progression.

Post  Torbjörn on Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:37 pm

i am growing ficus and premna, with artificial light. A "must" in sweden. Grown in a Bright, hot and slightly moist seperate room.

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Re: 31 year old Ficus burkei progression.

Post  Jerry Meislik on Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:41 pm

I am working with cordata, salicifolia(some botanists consider this as a cordata clone), thonningii and burkei. All are doing very well growing under metal halide lights.
Not sure how they would work under less intense light.
None of my plants are bonsai yet but being raised indoors in my plant room to see how they will succeed.
Jerry

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Re: 31 year old Ficus burkei progression.

Post  Andre Beaurain on Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:50 pm

lennard wrote:
Torbjörn wrote:



When it comes to Ficus I do believe Ficus benjamina and the varieties are proven species for growing indoors - but they would prefer to grow outside if the temperatures would allow that.

Interesting enough I do have a few Ficus nerifolia trees, but here they grow very slow!

Lennard

O thank god, I thought I was doing the wrong thing, my ficus nerifolias is still without any leaves... can you believe it!  I find them extremely slow!  Is that the norm all over the world, or is it just the heat in Africa?

Love and light

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Re: 31 year old Ficus burkei progression.

Post  Andre Beaurain on Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:52 pm

Now why did that happen?

Why is what I wrote under a quote?

O look a rime!

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Re: 31 year old Ficus burkei progression.

Post  GerhardGerber on Wed Nov 13, 2013 5:28 am

Calm down Dr Seuss! jocolor  Very Happy  Very Happy 

I am working with cordata, salicifolia(some botanists consider this as a cordata clone)
That's what I was talking about.......
Thing is, as far as I can see there is a considerable difference between the trees.....

I have a few cuttings that have taken and I'm growing out, I'm actually surprised at how little roots they put out, seems like developing the nebari will take forever.
I recently took some more cuttings, biggest about 2-3", think I had a thrips attack so I don't know how successful they will be.

Here's some pics of the tree in it's natural state, right next to the Orange River, feet in water and head in hell situation.







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Re: 31 year old Ficus burkei progression.

Post  Jerry Meislik on Wed Nov 13, 2013 3:16 pm

Nice pictures Gerhard. Great to see the trees in habitat.
Jerry

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Re: 31 year old Ficus burkei progression.

Post  AlainK on Wed Nov 13, 2013 3:52 pm

Jerry Meislik wrote:Nice pictures Gerhard. Great to see the trees in habitat.
Jerry
Yes, thanks for posting.

Interesting to see the different habit in a drier climate, I'm pretty sure that in a more humid place, they would look more similar to South-East Asian ficus species.

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Info.

Post  lennard on Wed Nov 13, 2013 4:22 pm

Thanks for all the info - nice to see the species in its natural habitat.

Here is three leaf examples of species I have in the Subsection: UROSTIGMA, with also the leaf reduction possibilities of each species:



The one I am thinking is Salicifolia may be Verruculosa?

Lennard


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Re: 31 year old Ficus burkei progression.

Post  Jerry Meislik on Wed Nov 13, 2013 4:29 pm

Lennard, beautiful leaf reductions.
Jerry
PS can you post the overall shot of the salicifolia?

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Re: 31 year old Ficus burkei progression.

Post  Leo Schordje on Wed Nov 13, 2013 4:35 pm

I spent a little time browsing http://www.figweb.org
There are a tremendous number of species of Ficus, where descriptions are available, maybe half have leaves too large to even begin to consider for bonsai. BUT, the other half seem to have leaves or other traits that would make them potential for bonsai. I intrigued by the species that are noted as "stone breakers". Quite a number are described as "stranglers" too.

Unfortunately, the weakest area for the Figweb is information on the Neotropical Ficus species. I am still trying to figure out the identity of a Ficus I have that came to me from Chiapas region of Mexico. Does anyone know of someone expert in Neotropical Ficus taxonomy?

Jerry, I look forward to your reports on the newer species you are trying.

Under the subject of "Eat your Bonsai", if space allows next summer, I may pick up a Ficus carica, the common edible fig, just to have another bonsai, that I can eat the fruit of. Twisted Evil 

I do agree that Ficus benjamina is one of the best of the genus for general bonsai use, though certainly microcarpa and the others that are common in the USA are pretty good too. It is always fun to experiment with the more unusual and uncommon figs, maybe a really great discovery is waiting to be found.

@ Lennard, that is incredible leaf reduction. WOW, nicely done.

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Re: 31 year old Ficus burkei progression.

Post  GerhardGerber on Thu Nov 14, 2013 6:13 am

WOW Lennard!

Best news ever, I wondered about leaf reduction!

So.....how do you do that? Shocked

My pleasure posting the pics, pity I didn't get pictures of the tree I took the cuttings from, looked great with the light-green new growth!

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Re: 31 year old Ficus burkei progression.

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