A vist to Wigert's Bonsai and a new Ficus Salicaria...

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A vist to Wigert's Bonsai and a new Ficus Salicaria...

Post  DreadyKGB on Thu May 05, 2011 3:43 am

Hey all,
This past weekend I was down in the Fort Meyers, FL area and headed over to stop at Wigert's Bonsai nursery. It was a good time and they were very nice and helpful. My old lady really enjoyed it as well and is now moderately interested in what I'm doing with all my "half dead looking" trees. I hadn't planned to buy anything but ended up with a new ficus and a few new pots. Here's the tree.





It needs to be thinned out and wired as well as working on ramification. I also am thinking about cutting it down to the lower canopy to create a much shorter tree, but the old lady would gripe about chopping up a pretty tree, so maybe next season. I plan to repot and trim out anything unnecessary this weekend. I would appreciate design suggestions as well as growing tips from those more experienced with the finer aspects of Ficus Salicaria. Thanks

Todd

p.s. I'll post pics of the nursery and pots later.

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Re: A vist to Wigert's Bonsai and a new Ficus Salicaria...

Post  Guest on Thu May 05, 2011 3:50 am

Thats a great tree, tons of possibilities, and If youve never had a willow leaf Welcome to the brotherhood, I know wigerts website nice to hear they're good folks. By the way I'm no expert but if you cut back to the lover foliage group there is probably a way you can just stick the top you cut of into sand and root it..then you have two trees...and so it begins...

Billy is in florida he will hopefully chime in with some advice..

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Re: A vist to Wigert's Bonsai and a new Ficus Salicaria...

Post  DreadyKGB on Thu May 05, 2011 4:49 am

MOTM,
Yeah I liked it when I saw it and the price was right. I have a couple other ficus varieties and am pretty comfortable with getting them to root, so I definitely plan to turn it into two trees in the future. I highly recommend Wigert's either through their website or in person is even better. They really have a great variety and selection of trees, although they are geared toward the warmer climate species. They also have a great pot selection at reasonable prices as well. I'm hoping Billy will help me out with some tips also. Thanks

Todd

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Re: A vist to Wigert's Bonsai and a new Ficus Salicaria...

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Thu May 05, 2011 8:35 am

Billy here.

First remove all the leaves, yes all.

Remove that small aerial root in front.

take another picture.

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Re: A vist to Wigert's Bonsai and a new Ficus Salicaria...

Post  FrankP999 on Thu May 05, 2011 12:03 pm

I just bought a couple of ficus from Eric Wigert, a Green Island and a willow leaf. The trees were great with nice thick trunks. Eric will be conducting a workshop this summer for the Atlanta Bonsai group and I have already signed up for that.

These are my first two "indoor" bonsai and I am looking forward to working with Eric Wigert in July.

When I transplant these this summer, how much of the rootball can I take off? They currently are in what appears to be a regular "dirt" type soil - not a traditional bonsai mix. There are some bugs or gnats in the soil I wanna get rid of. Should I use a soil drench insecticide?


Frank

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Re: A vist to Wigert's Bonsai and a new Ficus Salicaria...

Post  DreadyKGB on Thu May 05, 2011 12:50 pm

Billy,
Those are my weekend tasks. Although I may not defoliate the lower section, as I want this area to strengthen, I will remove unneeded branches though. I post more pic later.

Frank,
The gnats are from over watering. A repot into free draining soil should cure this. If you keep the humidity up around the trees you could remove all the roots and they will regrow.

Todd

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Re: A vist to Wigert's Bonsai and a new Ficus Salicaria...

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Thu May 05, 2011 2:44 pm

DreadyKGB wrote:Billy,
Those are my weekend tasks. Although I may not defoliate the lower section, as I want this area to strengthen, I will remove unneeded branches though. I post more pic later.

Frank,
The gnats are from over watering. A repot into free draining soil should cure this. If you keep the humidity up around the trees you could remove all the roots and they will regrow.

Todd

I agree on the gnats. I am doing a workshop with Eric on June 10 at 8 AM on Campeche as part of Bonsai Societies of Florida convention in the Orlando area.

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Re: A vist to Wigert's Bonsai and a new Ficus Salicaria...

Post  AK_Panama on Thu May 05, 2011 3:36 pm

Hello all!

Congratulations on a good purchase!

This specie is one of my preferred ones and am currently training nine trees to then select for a seven tree composition (which will happen to be my first forest ever).

I do have a question though..what is the tree´s real name and where does it originate from? Down here there has been constant debate about the name´s constant changes: Ficus salicaria, Ficus salicifolia, Ficus Nerifolia, Willow leaf ficus, black willow. It is all pretty confusing...I´d appreciate if anyone can shed some light on this.


Best Regards,
AK_Panama



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Re: A vist to Wigert's Bonsai and a new Ficus Salicaria...

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Thu May 05, 2011 5:00 pm

Congratulations on a good purchase!

This specie is one of my preferred ones and am currently training nine trees to then select for a seven tree composition (which will happen to be my first forest ever).

I do have a question though..what is the tree´s real name and where does it originate from? Down here there has been constant debate about the name´s constant changes: Ficus salicaria, Ficus salicifolia, Ficus Nerifolia, Willow leaf ficus, black willow. It is all pretty confusing...I´d appreciate if anyone can shed some light on this.


Best Regards,
AK_Panama

The tree was first found in South Florida in the early 1950's and labeled Ficus nerifolia, Jim Smith of Vero Beach, Florida the largest grower of the variety labeled it Ficus salicaria, however, recently a botanist did a genetic profile of the tree and identified it as an unknown variety. He labeled it Ficus salicifolia, meaning it has a willow like leaf. The other two names nerifolia and salicaria were already taken by existing varieties of Ficus.
Some believe that it is sport or mutation of a larger leafed variety. In 1989 a cold snap damaged the trees in Jim Smith's Vero Beach, Florida nursery, some that survived developed larger leaves and even more vigorous growth, these are referred to as Ficus salicifolia "89." Some believe that the "89" variety is the original form and the smaller leaf the mutation.
As to the "real" name, we tend to use them interchangeably.


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Re: A vist to Wigert's Bonsai and a new Ficus Salicaria...

Post  AK_Panama on Thu May 05, 2011 7:38 pm

Hello Billy,

Many thanks for the explanation! It is very helpful. From which reliable source can I obtain pictures which can help me distinguish the differences between nerifolia, salicaria and the one in question?

Best Regards,
AK_Panama


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Re: A vist to Wigert's Bonsai and a new Ficus Salicaria...

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Thu May 05, 2011 7:43 pm

Try this http://www.figweb.org

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Re: A vist to Wigert's Bonsai and a new Ficus Salicaria...

Post  AK_Panama on Thu May 05, 2011 7:56 pm

Awesome, I´ll check it out!

Also, I read an interested article by Harry Harrington about "Willow Water" (http://www.bonsai4me.com/AdvTech/ATwillow%20water.html) which uses a technique of extracting the sap out of cuttings to prepare a liquid which in turn can be used to reduce stress or promote rooting in other plants.

Have you heard any such technique and is it this specie the one he refers to?

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Re: A vist to Wigert's Bonsai and a new Ficus Salicaria...

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Thu May 05, 2011 8:12 pm

NO, the true willow tree, I'll have to look up the scientific name, is the source of Aspirin and the Native Americans would chew the twigs for toothache.

The true willow, such as weeping willow, is a deciduous tree. Not tropical.

Salix, around 400 species of deciduous trees and shrubs, found primarily on moist soils in cold and temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere

Aspirin also known as acetylsalicylic acid


Last edited by Billy M. Rhodes on Thu May 05, 2011 8:18 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : corrected spelling and added information)

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Re: A vist to Wigert's Bonsai and a new Ficus Salicaria...

Post  AK_Panama on Thu May 05, 2011 8:19 pm

Oh! Sad

I think that is Salix Babylonica or Alba.

Those are sometimes difficult to find down here and tend to be slow growers as far as I understand. I´ll try to get some to try this technique out.

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Re: A vist to Wigert's Bonsai and a new Ficus Salicaria...

Post  bonsaisr on Thu May 05, 2011 8:38 pm

Billy M. Rhodes wrote: recently a botanist did a genetic profile of the tree and identified it as an unknown variety.
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Where did you get that information?
Ficus salicifolia is from Africa.
http://www.figweb.org/Ficus/Subgenus_Urostigma/Section_Urostigma/Subsection_Urostigma/Ficus_salicifolia.htm
It doesn't look anything like the tree in question.
Based on genetic information, Dr. Berg postulated that Ficus salicaria is from Guyana. It has never been seen in the wild anywhere.
True willows belong to the genus Salix. An extract of willow sap, or water from willow cuttings, is said to promote rooting. Many different willow species can be used. Other extracts, called salicylates, are used in medicine, but irritate the stomach. It was a big breakthrough when a German chemist combined acetic acid - vinegar- with salicylic acid to get aspirin.

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Re: A vist to Wigert's Bonsai and a new Ficus Salicaria...

Post  Guest on Fri May 06, 2011 12:24 am

the efficacy or inefficacy of Willow water in rooting has the potential to be an entire thread on its own!

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Re: A vist to Wigert's Bonsai and a new Ficus Salicaria...

Post  AK_Panama on Fri May 06, 2011 2:31 pm

man on the mountain wrote:the efficacy or inefficacy of Willow water in rooting has the potential to be an entire thread on its own!

Done! Smile

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Re: A vist to Wigert's Bonsai and a new Ficus Salicaria...

Post  DreadyKGB on Sat May 07, 2011 7:56 pm

Hey,
This thread seems to have gone off the topic, but anyway here are some photos of the ficus repotted and defoliated. I have only remove some obviously unnecessary branches thus far. I plan to study the tree for a bit and get some input before I decide on its direction.

Most likely front.


side 1


Back(or possible front)


side 2


What I see as the future size for this tree, but as I said the old lady wants me too keep it tall for now. I also want these lower branches to grow and thicken for a season or two before the chop.


Thanks,

Todd

P.S. Maybe you guys (or moderators) could delete the posts about willow(salix) in order to keep this thread more linear and to the point.

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Re: A vist to Wigert's Bonsai and a new Ficus Salicaria...

Post  AK_Panama on Mon May 09, 2011 4:22 pm

My apologies for sidetracking on your topic KGB.

Very nice tree. I would personally use a different pot (not collored) as this is more of a masculine tree with no flowering.

I´d be careful with those middle branches as these grow quickly and can rapidly deform the tree´s taper. How tall is it and how thick?

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Re: A vist to Wigert's Bonsai and a new Ficus Salicaria...

Post  DreadyKGB on Wed May 11, 2011 12:45 pm

AK,
No worries. The tree is about 11 inches tall with a close to a 1 inch trunk base. The pot is just a cheap Chinese pot for training purposes. It is definitely to deep and I agree about the color. Right now I just wanted to give it some rooting space to allow it to grow. It still has a ways to go. I plan to thin out the lower branches more as they thicken up but for now I'd like to keep my options open. Thanks.

Todd

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Re: A vist to Wigert's Bonsai and a new Ficus Salicaria...

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