General Category > Tropical Bonsai Discussion

Willow Leaf Fig - Ficus neriifolia regularis (salicifolia) or Ficus 'salicaria'

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Dear Forum members:
Attached picture is one of my favorite Ficus.  As you can tell by the subject line there are many names, but to any one of those names, I have to add, "89" since this is a tree I obtained from Jim Smith more than five years ago. Jim told me that in 1989 this is one of the trees that survived the freeze and has different characteristics than the normal Willow leaf.  In any event, I love this tree, in fact I painted it.

I have defoliated this tree two or three times a year.  My question is do I remove that horizontal root or wait for it to fuse to the trunk, which I think it is partially there already...  Thanks for your comments.

Larry Gockley:
Hi Carl. I see three options for that horizontal root. Leave it alone to fuse to the trunk and add more mass to the base. Cut it off and deal with the void it's removal  might leave. Or the most work intensive, cut it off and graft some roots in the void. If it were mine, I'd go with option one, and enjoy it as is. It's a very nice tree. Larry

Heather Coste:
This is a really sweet little tree.

I find it interesting that you painted it without the horizontal root. Maybe that's a sign and you should follow your painters intuition?

andy graham:
I'm with Heather on this one. In your area it might take years for the root to actually fuse to the trunk. And even then it would create a horizontal "stripe" across the front of the tree.


I agree that it is not a positive feature of the tree. You could cut it off leaving a stub and packing it with sphagnum moss. Kept moist new roots will grow from the stub into the sphagnum and eventually into the soil.
Or it looks like the root itself maybe is long enough to be cut off where it is fused to the trunk and move it into the soil more or less straight down from the trunk. It should root itself.


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