Ficus wired

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Ficus wired

Post  Russell Coker on Mon Jul 18, 2011 4:07 am

I finished trimming and wiring my old ficus today. Next step is to fill in the gaps between the roots with sphagnum, and clean up the air roots.


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Re: Ficus wired

Post  Ravi Kiran on Mon Jul 18, 2011 5:51 am

Very nice tree Russel and very uniquely styled. I am not too sure if you'd want to fill in the roots with sphagnum moss. I'd say leave them as it is. Sure the purists would scoff but naturalists like me would give a thumbs up. Great tree overall...

Ravi

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Re: Ficus wired

Post  Russell Coker on Mon Jul 18, 2011 1:03 pm

Forgot to mention, it's 21 inches tall and 30 inches wide. I've had it for about 5 years, seriously working with it for the last 3.

Ravi, I know what you mean about the roots. That was suggested to me to create a heavy and soild trunk. It would also require removing the 2 on the front of the big tree. I've already removed 2 and I'm still not sure about these. One good about bonsai, there's no reason to rush into decisions!

Also, I like it in this pot and it already fills it front to back. It's a managable size so I don't want it to get any bigger.

Oh, and that's it in my avatar ------------------------------------------------------------>>>>

R

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Ficus

Post  Mitch Thomas on Mon Jul 18, 2011 1:45 pm

Hey Russell
Is that the same Ficus you showed a couple of years ago when Jim V. was on the BSF trail. If so that tree has come a long way! I like the structure and rooted nebari.
Mitch

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Re: Ficus wired

Post  Rob Kempinski on Mon Jul 18, 2011 2:14 pm

Very cool design. I like how the top slants over the bottom branch/trunk. It has the feel of a banyan, so I wouldn't remove any more roots -- in fact I'd try too encourage another one or two roots under the lower branch to enhance the banyan style. Trying to convert it now to a Taiwanese style F. Microcarpa (i.e. no aerial roots but solid trunk) would set the tree back several years if not a decade.

Can you move the back branch up a bit. It seems too low, is hurting the negative space and looks like a bar branch with the left branch.

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Re: Ficus wired

Post  Pavel Slovák on Mon Jul 18, 2011 2:31 pm

Hi Russell

WOW
Great. It is perhaps the first ficus tree in such a design that I see. Great composition, very dynamic and real. ThumbsUp

Gretings Pavel

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Re: Ficus wired

Post  Russell Coker on Mon Jul 18, 2011 2:52 pm

Hey Mitch, yes it's the same one. And congrats on placing second in the New Talent Competition at Bonsai in the Bluegrass 2011!!!!

Thanks Pavel, that's quite a compliment!

Rob, that was Enrique Castano's suggestion and I'm still undecided. There are 2 air roots that connect pretty high in the tree that are my main worry, I'll have to keep a eye on them. I've already removed 2. The main trunk has some nice movement behind them, and they'll ruin it if they get much fatter. All of those back branches come from the same place. The one in the middle of the tree needs to be higher, but for now there's nothing else there. For now Evil or Very Mad

I think this shows it...



I can't stand to see branches bent all around just to put a mass of foliage where one needs to be, that really drives me crazy. So I'll work it out the right way. And I'm trying to build a correct branch structure since so many ficus here seem to be clipped topiary in bonsai pots instead of real bonsai.

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Re: Ficus wired

Post  Rob Kempinski on Mon Jul 18, 2011 3:15 pm

Well as I heard Phil Tacktill say many years ago, "If you have a problem branch, cut it off. You won't have that problem (but maybe another problem)." Smile And it is a ficus - grafting or back budding are always options. Good luck with it.

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Re: Ficus wired

Post  Russell Coker on Mon Jul 18, 2011 5:07 pm

Here's the first wiring back in February, 2010. They do develop quickly!


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Ficus

Post  Mitch Thomas on Mon Jul 18, 2011 8:20 pm

Thanks Russell
The Bonsia in the Bluegreass event was a hoot.
I tought that was the tree, It sure has developed quickly. I like the design just as it is and will only get better with time. That was a huge tree when you started on it if I remember correctly.
Mitch

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ficus wired

Post  moyogijohn on Mon Jul 18, 2011 8:49 pm

Russell,,, you have a good looking tree there!! i like the trunk movement on this one.. is the first pic.. going to be the front?? is s the small root is all i would remove my opion..don,t take off anything else just let it fill in a little...good job working on it..take care john

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Re: Ficus wired

Post  Jerry Meislik on Mon Jul 18, 2011 9:15 pm

Russell,
Wonderful tree. I like it very much.
Jerry

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Re: Ficus wired

Post  Russell Coker on Mon Jul 18, 2011 9:57 pm

Jerry Meislik wrote:Russell,
Wonderful tree. I like it very much.
Jerry

Jerry, you are a man of few words!

Thanks!

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Re: Ficus wired

Post  Guest on Tue Jul 19, 2011 3:08 am

Rob Kempinski wrote:Very cool design. I like how the top slants over the bottom branch/trunk. It has the feel of a banyan, so I wouldn't remove any more roots -- in fact I'd try too encourage another one or two roots under the lower branch to enhance the banyan style. Trying to convert it now to a Taiwanese style F. Microcarpa (i.e. no aerial roots but solid trunk) would set the tree back several years if not a decade.

Can you move the back branch up a bit. It seems too low, is hurting the negative space and looks like a bar branch with the left branch.


Hi Russell.

This tree reminds me of one of the best ficus posted here. Its in the "Indonesia national bonsai show 2010" by Rudi juliant. It's Ficus ampelas. the one that gets a "WOW" from you. with Rob's suggestion with the aerial roots, it would look even better.

regards,
jun Smile

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Re: Ficus wired

Post  kauaibonsai on Tue Jul 19, 2011 8:16 am

good job russell. nice start.

best wishes, sam

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Re: Ficus wired

Post  Damienindesert on Tue Jul 19, 2011 4:56 pm

Russel, that Ficus is lovely.

I loved the comment made about 'topiary bushes', and couldn't agree more. Haha, when I got that big ficus of mine, I pulled a branch off it about twice the diameter of a match stick that must have been 18 inches long. It grew from one of the lower branches, but somehow ended up as part of the apex foliage!! It's tempting to bend stuff back into the foliage pads through and admittedly, I've done it with a young juniper. On reflection though, that juniper is starting to look very bunched up, almost as if it badly needs a pee Embarassed

One thing I've noticed with the Chinese commercial ficus, is that they've been heavily pruned at some point, but closer to the time of selling, a rough shape is chosen for the tree and it seems that the branches are allowed to grow any which way they like and are only ever snipped if they exceed the intended shape. In other words, at a distance they look sort of ok, but close up they are a mess of branches, twigs, leaves growing straight off of the trunk and all sorts.

I can't wait to see that fig of yours in another year os so. Thanks for sharing.

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Re: Ficus wired

Post  Ed Trout on Tue Jul 19, 2011 5:33 pm

Russell,

I really like where you are taking this tree ! And I am even more amazed to see a deciduous/azalea Master like you working with tropicals !! Just proves that a good eye for bonsai has no zone limitations ! Now if I could only grow azaleas.............!!

Ed Trout

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Re: Ficus wired

Post  Guest on Tue Jul 19, 2011 6:03 pm

Hi Russel Coker

Your tree looks very, very nice.

Kind regards Yvonne

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Re: Ficus wired

Post  Russell Coker on Wed Jul 20, 2011 2:04 am

Hey Jun, I went back and found that ficus. It really is something, isn't it. I said WOW again when I saw it.

Thanks Damien. I know what you mean about those ficus. The poodle cut just isn't bonsai.

Thanks Ed, that means a lot coming from you. Master? Who me? No way, I've just been lucky.

And thanks Yvonne, too!

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Re: Ficus wired

Post  xuan le on Wed Jul 20, 2011 12:34 pm

Very nice looking Ficus, and good wirinh work too

Xuan

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Re: Ficus wired

Post  Russell Coker on Thu Jul 21, 2011 7:33 pm

Just realized that I forgot to mention this as I was adding it to WOG's ficus post.

When Enrique Castano was here we were talking about how difficult it is to get Ficus branches to stay put with wire. He suggested making a cut along the bottoms of the branches to be wired, so when that cut heals the branch holds that shape better. It makes good sense, but I have no idea how well it works. I did it so we'll see what happens.

Anyone else tried this with a Ficus or anything else???

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Re: Ficus wired

Post  Ed Trout on Thu Jul 21, 2011 8:17 pm


Russell,

I have never tried that technique, but it sounds reasonable. One thing I do a lot, with Ficus nerifoila and retusa varieties, on branches up to about 1/2 inch thick, is to hold your index finger under the branch at the point you want it to start bending, and apply downward pressure against your finger until you see white sap appear on the top of the branch. Hold it in this position for a minute or so, and usually the branch will stay where you want it. Of course it works better if the tree is a little dry, and it works progressively better the smaller the branch. If you do this several days in a row, you'd be surprised how well it works longterm. This works great on trees you are trying to get show ready, and don't want to apply wire to that one renegade branch !! You have to be much more careful when trying this technique on Ficus benjimina, or too-little, because their branches can be very brittle.

Ed

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Re: Ficus wired

Post  Jerry Meislik on Thu Jul 21, 2011 11:43 pm

I undercut branches frequently to get a better hold on wired limbs.
Jerry

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Re: Ficus wired

Post  DreadyKGB on Fri Jul 22, 2011 1:19 am

Although I am much less experienced than you guys, I have found a technique that works for me. Similar to what Ed mentions except I hold the branch and twist it between my fingers(gently) with the other twisting the opposite direction. This works for me on small to medium sized branches. Like Ed mentions it creates fine cracking in the bark and some sap come out but as it heals it holds its position well. I actually like the way that the bark looks after it heals up, with a natural looking roughness. I works on my Bejamina as well and makes the branches much more pliable as I position them.

Todd

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Re: Ficus wired

Post  WOG on Sat Jul 23, 2011 3:48 pm

Hi Russell. I like your plant

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