Green
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How do you tell how old a tree is?

I bought my new ficus at Wal-Mart about a week ago. I broke the rocks out and I have been following the care tips on this forum since. I have it sitting in my kitchen window with a southern exposure. It gets a lot of light during the day and it is doing really well. I can see new leaves sprouting out and it seems to have gotten much greener.

I've seen that people give the age of their tree a lot. How do I know how old it is. Also, it has multiple trunks, and the trunk on one side is close to the edge of the pot so how do I know when to re-pot it.

pd
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Can you post a picture of your Ficus including the container

kdodds
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Agreed, a picture is worth a thousand words. As far as age goes, I don't know where you've been reading about people posting the age of their trees, because I rarely see it online. At most, people offer the time in care and training. Either way, it doesn't really matter how old a tree IS, but rather how old it LOOKS.

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uzeyr
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lol :lol: i agree that is the purpose of bonsai a ypoung tree looking alot older than it really is and to be honest that is why i adore bonsai it amazing 8)

Green
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I did try to put a couple pictures on but was unsuccessful. Can anyone offer some help on how to do that on this sight?

Thank you

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Gnome
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Green

We do not host photos on-site, you must host them elsewhere and link to them. Here is a thread that outlines two options pick one.

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3724

Norm

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bonsaiboy
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Unless you know the exact year the ficus was planted in, telling age is impossible. However, you could take a guess, and use that. I think what you mean by people giving the age of there tree is how many years the tree has been in training. Seeing as its a Wal-Mart bonsai, I'd say it hasn't recieved any formal training, so when you start training, thats when you start keeping track.
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SaturnsPattern
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The only way to get a to-the-year age with "regular" trees is to count how many rings are within it's trunk. The trunk's girth increases during each growing season, and everytime growth stops (where the tree goes dormant), and begins again (where dormancy breaks), a new ring develops. There's a tool which allows you to burrow into the trunk, and what you pull out is a thin section of wood with differently shaded subsections - counting these subsections reveals exactly how old the tree is. (1 subsection = 1 year; you count from the center of the tree outward)

From my understanding, with bonsai it's a whole different situation. You actually WANT to keep the tree small, and you do this by continual pruning. Alot of trees used for bonsai are grown out to a certain point until it's decided the tree is now a suitable size, and regular maintenance sort of keeps it from really getting anywhere. At this point as time passes there is no gain for the tree, so age becomes impossible to keep track of.

Anything after that is entirely a guessing game. hth

Green
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Thanks for the help with posting these pictures. It really was quite easy.

[url=https://img502.imageshack.us/my.php?image=dsc00824.jpg][img]https://img502.imageshack.us/img502/4774/dsc00824.th.jpg[/img][/url]

[url=https://img4.imageshack.us/my.php?image=dsc00826o.jpg][img]https://img4.imageshack.us/img4/4229/dsc00826o.th.jpg[/img][/url]

kdodds
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Those aren't trunks, they're roots. It's a fairly typical example of what is offered. Guessing on the age, but probably somewhere between 5 and 10 years, probably grown in ground, then chopped off and potted. So, probably 0 years in training.

Green
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Should I repot it and have the roots buried in the soil? Also, I was wondering how much of the roots to prune.

kdodds
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Nope, those are aerial roots and perfectly normal to be the way they are. As far as repotting and root pruning go, you're probably a year or more away from root pruning since the tree is likely to have been repotted/pruned very recently. You can repot, and probably should, in a free draining soil and more aesthetically pleasing pot. But, I'd leave the root pruning for a year. Get your feet wet, read up a bit, learn how to care for the tree before doing anything that drastic.

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bonsaiboy
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I might also add that ficuses don't form rings the way normal trees do. The may form several rings a year. This means that it is not possible to tell the age of a ficus by counting its rings.
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moulman
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Guessing on the age, but probably somewhere between 5 and 10 years

Kdodds,

It's more likely 1-3 yrs. These things grow like weeds in tropical climates (where most of them come from)


If it took any longer than that, they would'nt sell for so cheap.

kdodds
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Thanks moulman... no experience here with wild Ficus, not with 8" of snow on the ground. ;)

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