Twin Trunk in a forest

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Twin Trunk in a forest

Post  jon hultgren on Fri Jun 25, 2010 12:07 am

Last year I was given a bunch of ficus from a member of the local bonsai club. I had a few ficus of my own and I was running low on space with all of these different trees planted in separate containers So I decided to make a forest out of these trees to reduce the amount of space and time I would have to devote to developing these young trees. My question is that one of these trees had two trunks, so would this tree count as 1 or 2 when determining the number of trees in the forest?

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Twin Trunk in a forest

Post  Guest on Fri Jun 25, 2010 12:51 am

Hello John. Haven't seen you posting here for a while. I think there is far too much importance placed on number of trees in a forest group and often at the expence of the composition. Mike Pollock posted a group planting recently and I think it was A Spruce. Four trees in the pot and it worked extremely well. How far down do the trees separate?

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Re: Twin Trunk in a forest

Post  jon hultgren on Fri Jun 25, 2010 2:47 am

Yep it has been a while, I've been busy with the whole graduation/finding a job thing.

As for the tree the two trunks split very near to ground level as I have it planted right now which is probably about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch above the roots.

I'll try potting the forest up and seeing how it looks. With the material I have it will be a 5 tree 6 trunk affair. If it doesn't look right I can always add another tree in.

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Twin Trunk in a Forest

Post  bonsaisr on Fri Jun 25, 2010 2:56 am

It will probably count as two trees. Since the distance between the trees has to vary, that automatically gives you the two closest together.
Are these all the same species & variety?
Iris

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Re: Twin Trunk in a forest

Post  jon hultgren on Fri Jun 25, 2010 3:08 am

Thanks Iris.

As for the trees they are all ficus but I don't really know if they are the same species or variety but they all do have a similar bark texture and leaf size.

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Re: Twin Trunk in a forest

Post  jon hultgren on Sat Jun 26, 2010 10:11 pm

Well here are the results after attempting to make this forest. Well actually this is a second attempt, the first try ended up looking horrible to me so I decided to fix it now rather then live with it for a year. I think it worked out pretty good this time. I do notice now after looking at the images that the outer most trees could stand to lean out a bit more from the center. The top needs a bunch of work but I'll probably leave it alone until the trees establish themselves in this new pot.


Here is the whole thing.


Closeup of the layout. Sorry if the image seems a bit off, the picture came out really dark so I had to mess with the settings to get it to come out better.

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Re: Twin Trunk in a forest

Post  Guest on Sat Jun 26, 2010 11:14 pm

Hello John. It is always a good idea to position the cuts on the inside of the planting so that movement moves outwards. The majority of your trunks start by moving out and because of the pruning, then move in.

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Twin Trunk in a Forest

Post  bonsaisr on Sun Jun 27, 2010 2:12 am

You have the basic idea. The group all appear to be the same variety of Ficus benjamina, which is fine for an indoor forest group. Some suggestions:
Move the whole shebang closer to one end of the tray. They (or center of interest) should not be in the middle.
Keep pinching & pruning so the upper branches are shorter than the lower ones. F. benjamina has strong apical dominance.
Do not let any of the trunks cross each other. As Will suggested, you may have to turn some of them around.
They could stand to be shortened. The thinnest trunk is the shortest and has the lowest bottom branch; the tallest one is the fattest and has the branches starting the highest.
In my experience, F. benjamina responds well to leaf reduction. Once your trees are settled in, you can work on this.
It will survive winter in low light, but your design will suffer. Plan on keeping it in a south window or under fluorescent lights.
For the summer, put it out gradually in full sun. Don't worry if it gets a little sunburn.
Iris


Last edited by bonsaisr on Sun Jun 27, 2010 2:18 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : To add another suggestion)

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Re: Twin Trunk in a forest

Post  jon hultgren on Sun Jun 27, 2010 7:49 pm

I should have thought of putting the cuts to the inside.

I had ment to not have the center be so close to the center but even after cutting back the roots it was a bit of a challenge to fit these into this pot. In the future I'll get a better placement.

I also know these need to be shortened quite a bit. When the club member I had gotten these from first got these they had been a bit neglected. He managed to get them healthy again but all the growth was at the very top. Since I have had them I have been trying to force the growth lower down.

I am also pretty familiar with ficus care and already have a decent setup for winter care.

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Re: Twin Trunk in a forest

Post  bonsaistud on Mon Jun 28, 2010 8:40 am

G'Day John...

IMAFMHO (InMyAncientFeebleMindedHumbleOpinion)…

I get the feeling of all trees being the same age...you should have more variation in trunk size.

The composition appears to be too symetrical.

Also, there should be more space between trees...with the number of trees you are using, you should
be able too clearly see each tree

But you have plenty of time to sort these things out.

Please remember that I said...IMAFMHO.

Pat…mounted on my trusty stead, riding off wildly in all directions…

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Twin Trees in a Forest

Post  bonsaisr on Tue Jun 29, 2010 3:18 am

bonsaistud wrote:.you should have more variation in trunk size.
Since he received the whole group, he didn't have any choice. My suggestion is to vary the height, which will give you the desired result.

bonsaistud wrote:The composition appears to be too symmetrical.
Moving the group toward one end will help. Also, the center tree should be moved a little to one side or the other. As Jon said, the first time you put a group together, you are limited by the root balls. The next time you repot, you can move the trees around more.

bonsaistud wrote:Also, there should be more space between trees...with the number of trees you are using, you should be able to clearly see each tree
Not necessarily. There has to be varying space between trees. You should clearly see the trees in front. The trees in back can be partly obscured.
Iris

But you have plenty of time to sort these things out.

Please remember that I said...IMAFMHO.

Pat…mounted on my trusty stead, riding off wildly in all directions…[/quote]

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Re: Twin Trunk in a forest

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