Ficus benjamina, an old friend

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Ficus benjamina, an old friend - Page 2 Empty Re: Ficus benjamina, an old friend

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Sun Dec 12, 2010 11:49 am

Hiya Folks,

some Ficus historicals,

I left Louisiana with one benjamina [1980 ], and Firenze [ 1985] with a non glossy leaf [ benjamina ?]. The one from the US was a potted plant and the one from Italia was a 3 leaf rooted cutting. The cutting was a child of our school mascot, a large thing in a huge pot.

First the one from Italy. presently 31 high x 36 wide x 6 inch trunk [ 79 x 91 x 15 cm ]

As of last year in a mica bonsai pot, and I damaged the tree by carelessly underwatering for a few weeks. The first pot used to stay wet for at least a week. This tree was never meant to be a bonsai, just a memory.

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Today - actually May 2010 or so and to be repaired.

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Now an example of what happens when a friend begs for a tree to grow. This is the one from the US some 5 and 1/2 feet tall [ 168 cm ]. He brought it back and I just shook my head. I re-started from the first branch and returned it to him --- he killed it. Enough said.

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Fortunately, I took 3 cuttings from the mother and the one ficus I posted before is one, here is the other and the last is a double trunk at another friend's house, no image of that one sadly.

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Yvonne, I find ficus to be too labour intensive and not quite the finely branching tree I had hoped for. Still I have quite a few, and many in just pots. You see there was this beginner's class I sat on in about 2 years ago, and so many came in with ficus types. After the class I went around and asked for permission to collect left over cuttings. I keep trying.

Anyhow here is a visual of what I am trying for. A small ficus with dense fine branching. Ever the optimist. Big trunks are no problems. 2nd image is a natasha I had from the UK in either 94 or 96 as a small plant.

1st image - what I am working to. Note the branches. With leaves how it began, then defoliated 2 or 3 years later or so. Trunk already coming in.

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Natasha and friends on the stands. Natasha has a decayed trunk, which I will allow the tree to repair and those are weeping willow leaves.

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Lastly someone commented that I had placed this willow leaf type ficus too soon in a bonsai pot. What you are really seeing here is how I reform a core. The tree will bind the mostly brick soil and when lifted I can cut around the sides and underneath for a root mass close to the trunk. Then I can place into a larger pot for growing on. The core allows me to guarantee no damage to the tree when transplanting and placement in full sun immediately if I need to, but normally it is one week in the light shade.
Secondly, the core, allows spaces to be retained for more compost to filter down through as the organic part of the soil turns to dust and is dissolved out. Later on after 15 years or so I do have to do the pie separations, but the core remains with spaces. Seen by observation over the years.

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Khaimraj Seepersad
Khaimraj Seepersad
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