Sending another large ficus Microcarpa on its way

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Sending another large ficus Microcarpa on its way

Post  Rob Kempinski on Wed Apr 11, 2012 3:22 am

A couple of years ago I did a club demo of a medium size Ficus Microcarpa. Our club raffled the tree after the demo. The winner felt the tree was too large for his collection so he traded me some pine seedlings for it. Alas, I can't find any photos from that period. It was at least 4 years ago but I don't recall exactly.
Since I had made some rather heavy chops, I placed the tree in this large pot (48 inches/121 cm across ) and left it alone with only maybe one major trimming in four years.
This weekend I decided it was big enough and needed to be reigned in.

Here is a photo of the tree where it resides along the deep jungle side of my garden. It's an easy spot to just leave it alone.

Another before the work shot using the camera flash.


After whacking back the long branches.


Next I did a bit of grafting to get branches where I really want them. A view looking down from the top.


Also did some root work, chopping fat roots close to the trunk. This is a photo before cleaning the cuts with a sharp knife.


This is an approach graft I did along the back to improve the nebari there. I also cut most of the surface roots close to the trunk to improve the root spread. However no repotting this go round.


In the last two shots you can see some grey stuff in holes from old chops. These holes were not filling in as well as I would like so I placed a glob of plumbers putty inside the opening. The ficus will heal over better if it can roll over the plumbers putty - it also makes it less of a hole to fill.
Next I dusted the cut root ends with rooting hormone and covered them with sphagnum moss and then a layer of soil to make sure they stay moist.



I will probably change the front when I repot it by rotating the tree counterclockwise a few degrees as in this photo.



Now it needs to grow but it will require more regular work to develop taper in the new branches.

Rob Kempinski
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Re: Sending another large ficus Microcarpa on its way

Post  JMcCoy on Wed Apr 11, 2012 5:44 am

Whew!! I thought "Sending another large ficus Microcarpa on its way" was saying it went to the great bonsai graveyard!

I love the shape of that trunk, and it tells me I need to let my Ficus run wild for a lot longer! Very Happy Thanks for the step by step on taking it to the next level!

JMcCoy
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Re: Sending another large ficus Microcarpa on its way

Post  bontailo on Wed Apr 11, 2012 7:46 am

Well done! Rob.
From the bark & leaf, this ficus seems like KING MEN Ficus or Tiger bark ficus Smile !
See you in Malaysia this June!
Lo

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Re: Sending another large ficus Microcarpa on its way

Post  Jerry Meislik on Wed Apr 11, 2012 9:57 am

Rob,
Great progression.
Sometimes letting things grow for a while really does help in getting the tree to make major advances in its styling.
Great work and excited to see the next steps in its progression.
Jerry

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Re: Sending another large ficus Microcarpa on its way

Post  Rob Kempinski on Wed Apr 11, 2012 5:59 pm

JMcCoy wrote:Whew!! I thought "Sending another large ficus Microcarpa on its way" was saying it went to the great bonsai graveyard!

I love the shape of that trunk, and it tells me I need to let my Ficus run wild for a lot longer! Very Happy Thanks for the step by step on taking it to the next level!

Sorry to cause you a moment there. Embarassed

I'll try to keep the progress posted.

Rob Kempinski
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Re: Sending another large ficus Microcarpa on its way

Post  Rob Kempinski on Wed Apr 11, 2012 6:02 pm

bontailo wrote:Well done! Rob.
From the bark & leaf, this ficus seems like KING MEN Ficus or Tiger bark ficus Smile !
See you in Malaysia this June!
Lo

Thanks Lo, you know you are my inspiration for making these ficus trees.

Looking forward to the trip to Malaysia, glad to hear you will be there too. More fun coming!

Rob Kempinski
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Re: Sending another large ficus Microcarpa on its way

Post  Rob Kempinski on Wed Apr 11, 2012 9:23 pm

Jerry Meislik wrote:Rob,
Great progression.
Sometimes letting things grow for a while really does help in getting the tree to make major advances in its styling.
Great work and excited to see the next steps in its progression.
Jerry

Hey Jerry, as you know one can't be afraid to chop a ficus. The main reason I let it grow was the initial chops (several years ago) were pretty hard and the tree needed some time to grow over the holes and to also develop a thicker trunk. The aerial roots are filling in nicely to make a very wide base.

Rob Kempinski
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Re: Sending another large ficus Microcarpa on its way

Post  Sam Ogranaja on Sat Apr 14, 2012 4:01 am

Rob, fantastic work!!!! That's exactly the type of ficus I'd love to have and have actually been looking for. Wanna get rid of it? Smile Let me know. We have got to bring you up here. I hope to meet you in Rochester.

Have a great weekend!!!
Sam

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Re: Sending another large ficus Microcarpa on its way

Post  AdamJonas on Sun Jan 27, 2013 1:35 pm

Rob, what's up with your ficus? Smile

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Re: Sending another large ficus Microcarpa on its way

Post  Todd Ellis on Sun Jan 27, 2013 2:57 pm

Rob,
Thanks for sharing your progress on this tree. Very informative and good photos to show your progress. Very Happy
Todd

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