Author Topic: First and only ficus so far...  (Read 2713 times)

jtucker

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First and only ficus so far...
« on: August 21, 2011, 09:18 PM »
This nerifolia grows soooo fast I can't believe it! Got it at a club raffle about a year ago I think. It was in a two-inch pot and one of my mentors said, "Get that one and throw it in a big pot. It'll thicken up like crazy before you know it!"

First pic was after one San Diego "winter" in the 2.5 gal. pot and an initial styling in March 2011. Second pic was taken end of April after it started growing back again. Third pic was early August. I pulled the left branch down and out with some big wire, and it started biting in after only a couple months... DOH!!!

After hearing Ted Matson's ideas on ficus brooms at a recent club meeting/workshop, I'm hoping to spread the canopy out wider as the tree develops. Ted mentioned that, because of the generally directly overhead angle of the sun in tropical climates, broom-form trees tend to have much wider, spread out canopies in order to maximize photosynthesis.

It's kind of ugly, but I feel I've made decent progress with this tree in a year. I'm just starting to think about future pots, so maybe you all have some suggestions on what type of pot you envision for this little guy? I haven't really gone digging in the roots but you can see in the last pic that the front has some funky crossing going on.  I'd love to hear any stylistic/development ideas you all have.

Thanks!

Jason
 

Treebeard55

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Re: First and only ficus so far...
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2011, 12:51 AM »
Looking good so far, Jason. How big do you envision the finished tree?
 

jtucker

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Re: First and only ficus so far...
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2011, 11:22 AM »
Thanks, Treebeard. I don't think I want to let it get too much taller. As of right now it's about 8 inches tall from the soil line with about a 12-inch spread on the crown. I was hoping the trunk would thicken a bit, but really the base has ballooned and the trunk hasn't.  :-\
 

Treebeard55

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Re: First and only ficus so far...
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2011, 12:03 AM »
Ficus salicaria tends to do that. I don't know why -- maybe someone else does. Anyone?
 

jtucker

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Re: First and only ficus so far...
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2011, 10:59 AM »
Ah.. sorry for my misidentification? Any tips for distinguishing nerifolia from salicaria?
 

Mike Pollock

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Re: First and only ficus so far...
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2011, 11:11 AM »
Same tree, new botanical name.
 

Treebeard55

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Re: First and only ficus so far...
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2011, 12:11 PM »
This species has gone thru over a dozen botanical names, I believe! A year or so ago a man named C.C. Berg did a rigorous examination and determined that the tree we bonsaicritters call willow-leaf fig did not fit the scientific descriptions of Ficus salicifolia, F. neriifolia, F. subulata, or any other Ficus that has been scientifically described. So a new name was called for, and is now officially "Ficus salicaria CC Berg."

The odd thing is that this species has yet to be found in the wild! Because of similarities to certain Ficus from northeastern South America, it is thought most likely that its native range is somewhere there.

(Thanks to Jerry Meislik for putting me on the trail of this information.)
 

jtucker

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Re: First and only ficus so far...
« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2011, 12:50 AM »
That's pretty fantastic taxonomy :-) It seems we bonsai-ists have created a new variety! It would be interesting to see how the bona-fide Ficus nerifolia actually differs from our CC Berg.

Thanks for the info!
 

Sorce

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Re: First and only ficus so far...
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2012, 06:33 AM »
Jtucker,
  Good grab. One year later, Id like to see a new picture. Some thoughts........
Directly after the first split, to the right, it looks like the first to branches are coming out at the same place. "looks like" it could get a ugly swelling there. Depending on what is really going on there, here are the thoughts.....
1. Cut one of those branches, or....
2. Cut directly after those 2 branches,
3. Lop after that third branch that splits right away.
4. Air layer that entire right side as it has a fat little 3 trunk spread. Literati the rest.

 Novice thoughts,
  Sorce



 

Charles Willis

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Re: First and only ficus so far...
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2012, 12:19 PM »
I'd also like to see an updated picture, Jason. I love seeing how fast this species grows. I have a couple of my own and need to remember to take pictures every few months.
 

jtucker

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Re: First and only ficus so far...
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2012, 06:16 PM »
I'll work on getting a picture or two up... I actually planted this one in a nursery flat and am letting it grow out. Hopefully it should get some real nice taper and a fat base. I'm following a tip that was mentioned for maples http://bonsaistudygroup.com/japanese-maple-discussion/building-maples-attention-boonboon-students/msg15085/#msg15085, and fertilizing a lot right up and the base of the tree. I'm thinking it should work out ok for ficus as well.

Additionally I've cut a few bar branches to discourage any unwanted swelling.

In my yard, cuttings from this bad boy almost seem to grow just by looking at them, so I'll wait till late spring to do any real trimming and fill another tray with next years babies.
 

bigDave

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Re: First and only ficus so far...
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2012, 07:10 PM »
I'll work on getting a picture or two up...

Hey JT, looking forward to seeing what you are up to
 

jtucker

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Re: First and only ficus so far...
« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2012, 02:55 PM »
Hey Big D!

Haven't been doing too much lately, just sneaking out to complete one task at a time when life allows... trying to move more stuff out of my yard than in to it. Don't really like that hassle of selling stuff so a lot is going to the raffle table :) I feel like my George M. Pine is moving forward quite well finally, and that Tecate Cypress is looking good after I pulled the wire off yesterday and gave it a little trim.

I have a lot of stuff in junk soil (usually happens when I'm repotting a ton and running out of good stuff), so I'm looking to get my soil situation set up for the spring. They'll be some wiring to do over the next month or so, but I don't think too much major stuff.

Hope to talk to you soon!

JT
 

bigDave

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Re: First and only ficus so far...
« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2012, 04:16 PM »


Haven't been doing too much lately, just sneaking out to complete one task at a time when life allows...

Cool, Have a good holiday break,

Are you up to a "sit and Trim" Session?

Here is JT carving an Elm

wow what a mess we can make !