Author Topic: First Tree Post  (Read 4199 times)

Sorce

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First Tree Post
« on: December 04, 2012, 12:43 AM »
  It's not Japanese, but here goes my cherry. After hovering, noticing the quality of artists active on this forum, I decided to "go public", and post my pride for you folks to critique.

 Late winter 2011. I found this braided 7ft ficus at my work. While Googling care specifics I ran across some as Bonsai. So into Bonsai my world went. I killed that ficus, but not before rooting no less than 30 cuttings and 4 air-layers. Here, is one of those air-layers. At the time (first pic) I had no intention of making this a Bonsai. After depleting the internet of useful information, I decided to use this "material" to attempt drastic changes and learn old Ben's limits. I was rather impressed with what nothing became, and after finally getting 2 pictures side by side, figured it was at least cool enough to share.
 

   Yes, that is clearance rack Walmart pruning seal. If those wounds don't start healing, I may "connect the dots" and wound the entire length of the tree.

   I'm looking for blunt, honest comments. And would like to know if this design fits into the literati style? 
   

 
 

Sorce

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Re: First Tree Post
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2012, 12:45 AM »
The before pic.
 

Sorce

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Re: First Tree Post
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2012, 12:52 AM »
And the other front, undecided, I'm leaning towards deadwooding the other side and using it as a front because all the branches come out of one side and I feel it looks better if they all come from the back.
 

Jay

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Re: First Tree Post
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2012, 09:50 AM »
Sorce, this is a young tree..... a very young tree. One of the main things you should strive for is age. Not real age (which of course is wonderful) but the perception of age. You want the tree to look OLD. This tree looks very young, more like a seedling than a tree, it needs to grow and thicken... it needs to develop. Ficus will not keep deadwood. Please read all you can and please join a club if you can.

My advise for this tree is to leave it for a few years and let it GROW....


my two cents
Jay
 

Nigel Parke

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Re: First Tree Post
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2012, 02:28 PM »
Sorce,
Jay is right, your tree is quite young and will not give the impression of age unless it has grown some more. Look at the mature trees that are in your neighborhood or park and then compare that to the image your tree imparts. In order to achieve that aged look, the bark of the tree must mature beyond how it looks now, which is like that of a young tree. Also the branches need work or rather you would need more branches distributed throughout the tree...IMO.

Your tree looks like a Ficus Benjamina, if it is then you will be pleased to know that it is a fast growing ficus, so your best bet is to slip-pot it in a larger pot and let it grow for a year or two uninterrupted and at that point re-assess the tree.

Like Jay suggested, join a bonsai club or group which will help to develop your knowledge and also keep your mind to some extent off the tree. You could also try to find other species which could fill that  yearning to have a bonsai right now. Perhaps a Desert Rose (Adenium) which usually has a good sized trunk (swollen caudex) and interesting roots/nebari with the bonus that it flowers as well could fill that gap for now.

I can relate with wanting to have a bonsai right away but your ficus still has a little way to go. As for it being suited for a literati style, not sure if I see it where the tree is now, but a tree speaks to each person differently, but if that's your interpretation of what the tree should be....go for it.

Keep posting progress photos...All the best.
Nigel
 

Sorce

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Re: First Tree Post
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2012, 04:31 PM »
Jay and Nigel,

    Thanks, it's nice to get feedback right away!  I understand the age concept, of my three sons, its likely my daughter will see any of my trees into actual Bonsai pots!  I appreciate the input on literati Nigel, well said.

 Bus coming.
 

bwaynef

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Re: First Tree Post
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2012, 08:58 PM »
I doubt you'll ever be able to maintain this tree as a literati while maintaining it at optimum health.  Ficus just don't do sparse when they are healthy.

I agree with the comments regarding letting this one grow.  Don't be afraid to let it grow WAY out ...to the point that it is getting in the way when you walk past it.  Then cut it back and start it again.  Fertilize it regularly ...and pretty heavy too.  The final tree will be significantly shorter than it is now, with significantly more girth and taper as well.

Welcome aboard!
 

Sorce

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Re: First Tree Post
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2012, 07:25 AM »
I get what you mean about ficus ben not doing sparse. Good point.

  I do apologize for not clarifying, I just twisted this twig for practice. Everything I might post is at least 5 yrs from a Bonsai pot, mostly 20.

I have learned Everything it takes. Just beginning to apply. With cheap pruners and a crappy alloy floral wire, and no "time machine"!

I'll put a bit more of a "bio" before my next post,  this way I don't have you good folks reminding me of how long this takes!

Every comment is educational though so please continue!

Speaking of clubs, I am here to meet some folks around Chicago......

Thanks again. Please come critique my next couple trees in flowering and conifers.



 

John Kirby

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Re: First Tree Post
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2012, 08:07 AM »
Good to see you posting. Lot's of good bonsai folks in the Chicago area. Big thing is to get tropicals what they seem to do best- growing strongly! Jerry Meislik in Montana (www.bonsaihunk.us/ , great place for tropicals huh?) and Suthin in Stoughton, Mass ( new site:http://www.suthinbonsaistudio.com and his old site:  www.Royalbonsaigarden.com, the old site currently has some of his tropicals in the workshop and gallery sections) have great sites for demonstrating growing tropicals in cold places (as does our very own Dale Cochoy). Good luck!
 

bwaynef

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Re: First Tree Post
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2012, 09:58 AM »
Also, Matt Ouwinga of Kaede Bonsai is in the Chicago area if I'm remembering correctly.  He specializes in Tridents but I don't think he limits himself to just that species.  (I seem to recall him working with Satsuki Azalea and JBP as well, specifically.)

Look him up.  (Then remind him that he's a member here!)
 

Sorce

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Re: First Tree Post
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2012, 11:01 AM »
Lol Bwayne,,

  I will! I'm familiar with Jerry, on my third go reading all the columns. Thanks for the others, I will check on em.

 Far as this ficus, I'm trying to prove a theory that without humidity, though a bit slower growing, tended deadwood might keep....
Mostly because I can't afford a humid setup yet, and till spring, when I hope to sterilize everything that might hold the mold that killed the original ficus.

 That said, I hope to repot everything in the spring, hardy and tropical, into clean more uniform soils. I intend to buy a bag of turface from my little league, and am looking for local sources for other materials. Possibly fish tank planting medium, cuz I know a wholesaler, and I need to make an educated decision on a place to get a bark like material that will retain moisture longer. Every particle size I've seen is to large considering my windowsill " bench" future shohin. After using on hand materials, fish tank rocks, reptile bedding bark, and other "unmentionables", (potting soil) I have a good idea of what I can use to balance optimum growth, which after these initial structure settings, I'm letting them go, just maintaining good balance so nothing gets out of hand.

Sorry for the tangent on mostly other trees. Excited to put more out there, the feedback is like a bite the from the bug all over again!

  It's nice to know the community is as supportive.

  FYI It's 60-70 degrees in Chicago in Dec.   This is why my hardiness zone is 6.3, please understand!
 

Sorce

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Re: First Tree Post
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2014, 02:13 PM »
Interesting. These first threads.

Updizate.

This is still one of my favorite trees just because!  :P

Just removed some trunk wire. Hoping the apex straightens out a little.

Sorce
 

Sorce

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Re: First Tree Post
« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2014, 02:16 PM »
Photo.
 

Sorce

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Re: First Tree Post
« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2014, 02:18 PM »
That top one is pre prune.
 

BonsaiEngineer1493

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Re: First Tree Post
« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2014, 07:42 PM »
I like it sorce. Keep us updated!