Identify bonsai, and assistance please...??!!

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Identify bonsai, and assistance please...??!!

Post  arlio on Sat Mar 20, 2010 12:12 am

Hey guys,
As you can no doubt gather i am a new user on this forum.
I have been given a bonsai from a friend, as a thank you gift.(according to the packaging it came in, it is 4 years old ??)
I have always wanted a bonsai, since i was around 15 years old (currently 37), and i am now looking for some specific help...

a) Could someone please identify this bonsai tree, please ??!! (Photo attached to posting)
b) Any characteristics would be useful, although once i have the type i could probably source some info.
c) I am aware that there are many different techniques, and shapes to choose from. I am just wondering whether the tree that i have is suited to a specific style.
d) As i have only had this tree for a week, some direction on what to feed the tree, where to put it, and so on.

As you can see i am relatively clueless in this realm, and judging by the questions/requests that i have laid out above, it seems that i need just about everything !!!

Any help that other users could provide would be very greatly appreciated, Hopefully someone can offer some assistance.

Thanks,
Arlo Dudden.


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Re: Identify bonsai, and assistance please...??!!

Post  jon hultgren on Sat Mar 20, 2010 12:32 am

Looks like you got a kind of ficus to me. Ficus are a tropical species so you need to protect them from cool temps and give them as much sun as you can. It's hard to see from the image but the bottom of your tree looks like it might be being kept to wet, so make sure you let the soil dry out some between waterings or else you might get root rot.

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Re: Identify bonsai, and assistance please...??!!

Post  Joe Hatfield on Mon Mar 22, 2010 3:17 pm

Yes that is a Ficus. A fun type to start out with. They are forgiving and bud back well (for me at least) They like warm weather so as Jon said, protect it from the cold.
If you repot it in something a little bigger with good soil (I use 50% coarse grit 50% soil) It can explode with new growth. If you do a Google search for "Ficus bonsai care" you will get many hits. Have fun!

Regards,

Joe

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Identify Bonsai & Assistance

Post  bonsaisr on Mon Mar 22, 2010 3:28 pm

You have a tiger bark fig, Ficus microcarpa 'Kinmen.' Keep it on a sunny windowsill or under fluorescent lights until night temperatures go above 7.2 deg. Repot it in April in a very well draining bonsai soil in a slightly larger pot (for development). You need to wire down the branches. Join the nearest bonsai club & have them show you how, or get some books out of the library with bonsai wiring diagrams. You may also find information on the Web. Try to get hold of Ficus, the Exotic Bonsai, by Jerry Meislik, & look under Chinese banyan.
Iris


Last edited by bonsaisr on Mon Mar 22, 2010 3:31 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : convert temp to Celsius)

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Re: Identify bonsai, and assistance please...??!!

Post  arlio on Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:54 pm

Thanks for help guys and gals. looks like you know your stuff. will take all advice given.
Thanks again.
Arlo.

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IDENTIFY BONSAI

Post  moyogijohn on Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:38 am

Please tell me how you can post the picture of this tree from the url=http that was posted... thank you john

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Re: Identify bonsai, and assistance please...??!!

Post  Kev Bailey on Fri Mar 26, 2010 8:42 am

Take a look at your Test again, I added the img tags.

For detailed picture posting advice please read the Tutorial on Posting Pics here

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Re: Identify bonsai, and assistance please...??!!

Post  fiona on Fri Mar 26, 2010 9:29 am

Kev, it's not John's pic, it's Arlo's, so I doubt there's anything John can do to see the picture as he doesn't have edit control over someone else's post. At least I'm guessing that's what is at the root of John's question because I can't see the picture either. What I'm seeing is an image url with one [img] tag at the end of it.

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Re: Identify bonsai, and assistance please...??!!

Post  Kev Bailey on Fri Mar 26, 2010 9:36 am

Oops, sorry John Embarassed

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Re: Identify bonsai, and assistance please...??!!

Post  Guest on Fri Mar 26, 2010 11:11 am

Hi Arlo, yep Ficus - possibly Benjamina variety - the white speckles on the trunk gives it away, also it seems that this variety is the main one used for imported bonsai. Really easy for beginners and quite rewarding - the only issue I remember is that they are quite slow growing - so take a time to get any real girth, so if you are going to go for this type of tree then IMO buy as big and butch as you can get, and if they get a chill or dry out too much they tend to get a bit mardy and drop their leaves (they soon regrow if watered well and sprayed) but apart from these two main issues they quite easy to grow. Very much an indoor species - but like to be put outside on a warm summers day to get the breeze between their leaves - they like plenty of sunsine so hear a window is good (they can scorch if they get wet and then put in direct sunshine).

If you bought it as an imported tree then I would suspect that it has been planted in that awful river clay for transportation - IMO get it out of that stuff as soon as possible - I used to gro them in a mixture of vermiculite, grit and houseplant compost (but everyone will have their own choice). For information then read up on growing tropical bonsai or indoor bonsai - you could also read up on how to grow houseplants - which effectively this species is usually grown as.

As for style? well, informal is usually the way forward, also root over rock, exposed root, or raft styles - although I did see a formal upright version yonks ago - very impressive.

cheers

Windswept

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Re: Identify bonsai, and assistance please...??!!

Post  bonsaisr on Sat Mar 27, 2010 2:03 pm

I don't have a camera with close-up capabilities yet, or I would post my own pictures. Google & you will find plenty of examples. There seems to be some confusion about the identity of Ficus species. Find Jerry Meislik's book.
Ficus benjamina is often grown as a houseplant, but it can be used for bonsai. The standard variety has plain smooth light gray bark and thin oval leaves with a prominent point. The dwarf varieties have the same bark, sometimes curly leaves.
Standard Ficus microcarpa, the Chinese banyan, also has plain gray bark, but the leaves are thicker, with a blunt point. Tiger bark fig, the subject of this thread, is a distinctive cultivar, with patterned bark. All tiger barks may not be a single clone, but they are treated as the cultivar 'Kinmen.' The bark pattern varies widely, and may be affected by climate, growing conditions, or the age of the tree.
Ficus bonsai should be grown in a loose, gravelly, well drained soil. Too much moisture or organic matter in a damp climate may cause excessive production of storage roots. To get the best results, all bonsai should go outdoors for the summer.
Iris

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