propagating Ficus - cuttings or air layer

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propagating Ficus - cuttings or air layer

Post  ADO on Tue Feb 14, 2012 4:58 am

Hi,
My in-laws have a very large fig tree with tonnes of foliage and thick branches. I am not sure what type it is but its super healthy and about 8 ft tall with multiple large and thick trunks.
I have permission (being favourite Son-in-law) to take as many cuttings as I need. The things is some of the branches are quite thick at certain points (>3in) and thicker. Can large fig cuttings strike ok or would air layering be the go. Cuttings would be more convenient as I wouldn't have to go back to check the layer all the time.






ADO
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Re: propagating Ficus - cuttings or air layer

Post  mbolos on Tue Feb 14, 2012 6:50 am

airlayering is definitely the best way to go, because the strength of the entire tree can be used to push out new roots. That said, I've had success taking thick cuttings and putting them in a vase of water (change the water every 2-3 days, keep covered with a bag, misting inside the bag when the condensation is no longer visible). The latter method is much more laborious, but a great way to make use of spare office time!

mbolos
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Re: propagating Ficus - cuttings or air layer

Post  ADO on Tue Feb 14, 2012 7:18 am

Thanks very much for your advice Very Happy

I might try a combination of airlayering larger branches and getting smaller cuttings. should be fun.

ADO
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Re: propagating Ficus - cuttings or air layer

Post  mbolos on Tue Feb 14, 2012 7:24 am

Be sure to give yourself a fairly sizable gap for the air-layer, ficus have a nasty habit of forming large calluses that can bridge a small gap. Good luck and keep us posted!

mbolos
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Re: propagating Ficus - cuttings or air layer

Post  ADO on Tue Feb 14, 2012 7:31 am

Hi, yes I have heard that. might give it 3 or so inches to be sure. Just another question - what do I look for when selecting branches/trunks to layer? this tree has no shortage of branches and foliage. how do I find the potential pre-bonsai within?

thanks again

Adrian

ADO
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Re: propagating Ficus - cuttings or air layer

Post  mbolos on Tue Feb 14, 2012 7:38 am

Ha, that is a question that plagues bonsai artists and serves as a healthy source of income for those men that lecture & write on the subject! In its most basic form, look for an interesting trunk line: Nice curves, good taper (i.e. starts thicker on bottom and thins as it goes up), and an all around pleasing aesthetic. From a trunk, you can grow any number of branches wherever you please--that's where the years of work come in. If you're looking for something easy & simple, I imagine the ends of the tree will make a decent "broom" style with just the airlayer.

mbolos
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Re: propagating Ficus - cuttings or air layer

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Tue Feb 14, 2012 10:53 am

Don't waste time on an airlayer, a three inch branch will have roots in 30 days during summer, with a Ficus pick a few sections of branch/trunk and put them all in good potting soil or vermiculite and let them go.

Billy M. Rhodes
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Re: propagating Ficus - cuttings or air layer

Post  ADO on Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:27 am

Billy M. Rhodes wrote:Don't waste time on an airlayer, a three inch branch will have roots in 30 days during summer, with a Ficus pick a few sections of branch/trunk and put them all in good potting soil or vermiculite and let them go.

Thanks Billy, I'll do that. Very Happy

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