Ficus natalensis - literati

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Ficus natalensis - literati

Post  Hank Miller on Fri Dec 30, 2011 11:16 pm

I have been working on this ficus literati for some time. In the spring it will be re-potted into a more appropriate pot. Enjoy. Hank




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Re: Ficus natalensis - literati

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Sat Dec 31, 2011 12:26 am

Interesting, I have a large one. You know it is a strangler.

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Re: Ficus natalensis - literati

Post  Hank Miller on Mon Jan 02, 2012 12:17 am

Thank you for your comment. I realize that ficus natalensis is a strangler fig. For this reason I think it is excellent material for root-over-rock plantings as well as any type of grafting as well as fusing. I would be very interested in seeing your large ficus natalensis if you have photo available.

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Re: Ficus natalensis - literati

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Mon Jan 02, 2012 12:27 am

My large tree is in the greenhouse for the winter and I don't seem to have a photo in my computer, so we will have to wait for March to get a photo.

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Ficus natalensis

Post  bonsaisr on Mon Jan 02, 2012 1:05 am

I believe many of our favorite Ficus species are stranglers, including F. microcarpa and burtt-davyi. Just as many of our most successful bonsai from other families, including Scots pine, are considered noxious invasive weeds. It stands to reason as those are the most vigorous.
Iris

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Re: Ficus natalensis - literati

Post  Hank Miller on Mon Jan 02, 2012 1:20 am

I do not think F burtt-davyi iare stranglers. I have a number of F natalensis and burtt-davyi root over-rocks. It is relatively easy to get natalensis figs to adhere to rocks or any thing for that matter. After a few years one almost needs a chisel to remove them from the rock. Such is not the case with burtt-davyi figs. They require considerably more time to adhere to a rock and are much more difficult to fuse together. Hank


Last edited by Hank Miller on Tue Jan 03, 2012 12:42 pm; edited 1 time in total

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ficus natalensis

Post  moyogijohn on Tue Jan 03, 2012 12:18 am

Your tree is very interesting !! i like the way you are training it because it is so different.. you don,t see ficus like this so it is a great change.. i need to find one to try this !! good job take care john

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Re: Ficus natalensis - literati

Post  Todd Ellis on Tue Jan 03, 2012 12:47 am

Hi Billy et all,

Your remark about "Interesting, ... You know it is a strangler." Was this just informational or were you warning Hank about something particular to growing strangler figs as bonsai?
Thanks,
Todd

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Re: Ficus natalensis - literati

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Tue Jan 03, 2012 9:11 am

Todd Ellis wrote:Hi Billy et all,Your remark about "Interesting, ... You know it is a strangler." Was this just informational or were you warning Hank about something particular to growing strangler figs as bonsai? Thanks, Todd

Well, in my experience strangler figs tend to drop more aerial roots than some of the others and his tree is quite bare going up, I think over time he will need to be mindful of the aerial roots if he wants to maintain that style.

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Re: Ficus natalensis - literati

Post  Hank Miller on Tue Jan 03, 2012 12:41 pm

Thanks for the comments. F natalensis is a strangler fig . It does produce aerial roots as does F burtt-davyi given the right climatic conditions. If not desired they can easily be removed. Hank


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Re: Ficus natalensis - literati

Post  Rob Kempinski on Tue Jan 03, 2012 3:55 pm

Hank Miller wrote:I have been working on this ficus literati for some time. In the spring it will be re-potted into a more appropriate pot. Enjoy. Hank

Nice line, Like how you have reduced the leaf size.
How about deleting the first branch?

A smaller diameter pot would be more appropriate to my eye.

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Re: Ficus natalensis - literati

Post  coh on Wed Jan 04, 2012 3:12 am

Beautiful trunk line on this tree! It's kind of a cross between an informal upright and literati. The one thing that stands out to me is the angle at which the second branch comes off the trunk...strongly upward, then bending sharply down. That's a little strong to me, doesn't appear consistent with the other branches - and almost makes me think the tree might work better without that branch. Don't know if these will be useful, just some ideas I was playing around with:



Or even without both of the lower branches



Chris

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Re: Ficus natalensis - literati

Post  Hank Miller on Wed Jan 04, 2012 12:14 pm

Thanks for the comments and suggestions.

With regard to the tree here are my thoughts. There is an ambiguity in
the styling of the tree. The flow of the tree is either to the left or
to the right. At present the crown is consistent with either choice.
There are 3 ways to resolve this; remove the branch on the right, remove
the branch on the left and/or reshape the crown.
The problem is, at least presently, I rather like the ambiguity because
the viewer can make the choice. It is simply what one sees in the
design and this subtlety is one of the things I find interesting.
Hopefully I can keep the apex roughly the way it is. If not a choice
will have to be made.

In the coming months I plan to do some work on the right hand branch and to encourage
more ramification and work on further reducing the size of the foliage. Also
when I re-pot I think I would like to tilt the tree very slightly to the
left.
Hank

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Re: Ficus natalensis - literati

Post  coh on Wed Jan 04, 2012 4:50 pm

Hank,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts about the styling of your tree. It's always useful to hear directly from the artist, and I look forward to seeing future developments with this interesting tree.

I know that you are located nearby in western NY and I'm curious about how you manage your tropical trees (particularly ficus) during the winter. Do you use fluorescents or HID lighting, or do you have some kind of greenhouse/conservatory? Do they grow well during the winter, or pretty much wait around for summer?

Chris

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Re: Ficus natalensis - literati

Post  Hank Miller on Wed Jan 04, 2012 8:41 pm

Thanks for your comments.

I have a heated green house where I keep my tropicals. During the winter months (in particular like in the last few days) the inside temperature stays above 50 degrees F. My figs do not go completely dormant but because of the reduced amount of light their growth rates definitely slow down. Some of the trees drop some of their leaves. I suspect this is due to the reduced watering . Within a week or two they begin budding - even now. In the late spring and early summer when they are outdoors they grow like weeds. The long days which are a bit humid seems to suit them just fine.
Hank

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Re: Ficus natalensis - literati

Post  Hank Miller on Wed Nov 20, 2013 2:41 am

More than a year has passed since my original post.  The tree has been re-potted in a shallow container and allowed to grow.  Recently I have cut it back.  The foliage is denser and larger. I have been considering some major changes.






Even  if the foliage is reduced  I think the lower branches take away from the beautiful trunk line and to some extent the nebari.  Below is a vitual of what I am considering.




Any suggestions?

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Re: Ficus natalensis - literati

Post  appalachianOwl on Wed Nov 20, 2013 3:28 am

A smaller image, similar of ur version.....


this image caught my mind aswell...


I like your foliated freind either ways it goes...

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Re: Ficus natalensis - literati

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