Where to go with this grafted Ficus microcarpa "Figgy"?

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Where to go with this grafted Ficus microcarpa "Figgy"?

Post  Todd Ellis on Sun Aug 01, 2010 4:12 pm

I have had this ficus for approx four years. I grow it outside on a covered deck in the Summer and Fall (receives afternoon full sun, and Winter Spring indoors by sliding glass doors; bright light, but only some morning sun) It has grown well and is ramifiying. I have repotted it three times since I purchased it online. I put it in this pot because I had thoughts of selling it, and wanted to keep the other pot. This tree "just" fits in this Chinese pot. I am limited in pot choices to what fits in the cart, I can only move Figgy around (by myself) on the cart. It makes it easier to move her around, plus, I can water directly in the cart to avoid spilling on the floor, etc. I am trying to decide where to go with her. She use to sit lower in the previous pot, but I like the visible roots in her new potting angle. The top is giving me fits! She now seems too upright and pulling down the main branches doesn't seem to work. Also, the right side is growing weaker and I'm not sure how to increase the vigor. I thought about defoliating the stronger areas with hopes this would generate growth on the weaker side. Any thoughts here? All thoughts are welcome!

The first photo is what I think the front "should be". I will show at least four sides and some close-ups. The black "face" is a mask (skulpy clay) I made with hopes that the bark will eventually surround it; something different to provide interest (Nick Lentz-esque).

Front? 1


Right Side? 2


Back? 3


Left Side? 4


Close-up of front roots


Another root photo


Mask/Face


A look inside the middle trunk area


Another front angle


Another angle






Last edited by Todd Ellis on Wed Aug 04, 2010 1:16 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : adding numbers to the pictures)

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Re: Where to go with this grafted Ficus microcarpa "Figgy"?

Post  Jerry Meislik on Sun Aug 01, 2010 4:57 pm

Todd,
I like your tree very much.
I can see that one side is getting very weak. I would definitely trim back the other side and apex to force vigor to the weak areas. Keep the most light/sun exposure on the weak side. Try doing some foliar feeding to the weak side. Do not trim or wire the weak side until it is very strong.
Consider potting it into a slightly larger pot for now to get the growth improving.
Keep us posted.
Jerry
www.bonsaihunk.us

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Re: Where to go with this grafted Ficus microcarpa "Figgy"?

Post  Todd Ellis on Mon Aug 02, 2010 12:16 am

Jerry Meislik wrote:Todd,
I like your tree very much.
I can see that one side is getting very weak. I would definitely trim back the other side and apex to force vigor to the weak areas. Keep the most light/sun exposure on the weak side. Try doing some foliar feeding to the weak side. Do not trim or wire the weak side until it is very strong.
Consider potting it into a slightly larger pot for now to get the growth improving.
Keep us posted.
Jerry
www.bonsaihunk.us

Thank you Jerry. I appreciate your help!
Todd

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Re: Where to go with this grafted Ficus microcarpa "Figgy"?

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Mon Aug 02, 2010 12:22 am

It maybe too late for you this year, but I would defoliate (remove every leaf) and then work the branches, this is a very strong grower and will replace the leaves in a few weeks.

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Re: Where to go with this grafted Ficus microcarpa "Figgy"?

Post  Hawaiian77 on Mon Aug 02, 2010 1:26 am

Howzit Todd,

I'm with Jerry about the bonsai pot.... just a bit larger would be nice. But over all nice tree. ThumbsUp

A Hui Hou,
-Tim Cool

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Re: Where to go with this grafted Ficus microcarpa "Figgy"?

Post  jrodriguez on Tue Aug 03, 2010 3:03 pm

Mr. Todd Ellis,

I would use pic #2 as the front. It has the best root structure. Unfortunately there is a problem. This tree has quick taper and it visually seems that the bottom swallowed the top side (no ofense intended). To solve this problem, placing the treee in a large tub will not suffice. By only switching containers, the tree will swell even further in the base and the top portion will seem even skinnier. To solve this, you can choose one of these methods:

1) Partially cut deep grooves in pin-point locations of the trunk, put some root hormone and moss to develop air roots. Once the air roots form, let the grow freely. After the harden, place them (the roots) in plastic containers). By doing this, you will feed the weak/thin area directly, thus promoting its girth. After some time, gradual taper will be achieved and you can remove the air roots.

2) Grafting your branches: This method is faster. Make several layers of the parent tree. After, graft them onto the weak area (keeping the roots and binds them with twine or cloth to the trunk. Place the remaining root in a pot with sand/gravel. Periodically check the to see if they have fused. With time the grafted trees will fuse to the main trunk and the thin top will not be as obvious.

*promoting roots on weak branches and planting them in individual pots will promote their healt and vigor**

Kind regards,

Jose

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Grafted ficus

Post  moyogijohn on Tue Aug 03, 2010 7:08 pm

MY opion would be picture #4 for the front..maybe you could thin out the heavy side.then shorten the branches to mack it more compact.. really what i would like you to do is send it to me!!!! good luck john

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Re: Where to go with this grafted Ficus microcarpa "Figgy"?

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Tue Aug 03, 2010 7:18 pm

Although interesting from an artistic sense I find the "face" in the trunk distracting.

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Re: Where to go with this grafted Ficus microcarpa "Figgy"?

Post  Todd Ellis on Wed Aug 04, 2010 1:20 am

Billy M. Rhodes wrote:Although interesting from an artistic sense I find the "face" in the trunk distracting.
I'm not sure about the mask either. I'm hoping when the bark enclosed around it, the face will be a surprise when people look the tree over. Now it looks like a "face glued to a large cut".

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Re: Where to go with this grafted Ficus microcarpa "Figgy"?

Post  Todd Ellis on Wed Aug 04, 2010 1:22 am

Thank you all for your remarks. I defoliated the tree, except for the weak side. I also wired and trimmed some branches. I will post a picture soon. Salute, Todd

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ficus remodel

Post  kauaibonsai on Wed Aug 04, 2010 2:06 am

Hi Todd: I like Jose's front . Temper my suggestion with the knowledge that we have the luxury of an endless summer. If this tree were mine, I'd straight away reduce the height to about where the wire crosses the trunk. Basically start all over building a new top to create a short powerful tree. Make several cuttings with the old top and end up with 4 trees instead of one.

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Re: Where to go with this grafted Ficus microcarpa "Figgy"?

Post  Todd Ellis on Wed Aug 04, 2010 2:18 am

kauaibonsai wrote:Hi Todd: I like Jose's front . Temper my suggestion with the knowledge that we have the luxury of an endless summer. If this tree were mine, I'd straight away reduce the height to about where the wire crosses the trunk. Basically start all over building a new top to create a short powerful tree. Make several cuttings with the old top and end up with 4 trees instead of one.

I have rooted ficus cuttings this large before, when I had access to a greenhouse. I don't have a warm greenhouse and would hesitate to do this now. But, an option for the future when and if I get a greenhouse. Thanks for your suggestion.

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Re: Where to go with this grafted Ficus microcarpa "Figgy"?

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