linlaoboo
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ficus bonsai improvement

Hi I've had this one for years and years and was wondering what you would do to improve its looks???

Here's some changes I made.

[img]https://i529.photobucket.com/albums/dd340/malagabee/CIMG1815.jpg[/img]

Just relocated a branch today.

[img]https://i529.photobucket.com/albums/dd340/malagabee/branchrelocation.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i529.photobucket.com/albums/dd340/malagabee/branchrelocated.jpg[/img]

Suggestions welcome . . .
ficus, maple, elm, juniper, pine

linlaoboo
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bump
ficus, maple, elm, juniper, pine

JTred
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It looks much better in the last pic, I think it just needs a bit more growth on top and it needs to fill in. I think it will look good with a nice broad canopy. I imagine the canopy looking like a "D" rotated counter-clockwise. Not sure how I feel about the thread graft though.

-Jack

linlaoboo
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Jack,

Thanks for your comment. I find it pretty easy to wire it into the different designs such as the rotated D as u suggested. I also wanted to get some growth down lower by doing the thread graft. If the branch survives I think about bending it downwards to stick it in the soil to get the air-root look. I think they look better than just a plan fat trunk. I agree it needs to fill in much more and I'm looking forward to this growing season =)

Peter
ficus, maple, elm, juniper, pine

JTred
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linlaoboo wrote: I also wanted to get some growth down lower by doing the thread graft. If the branch survives I think about bending it downwards to stick it in the soil to get the air-root look.
Peter
I'm actually doing something similar, except not with a graft.

[img]https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v144/JTsoccer59/4-6-11004.jpg[/img]


Over a year of growth and I'm almost there!

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JustinBoi
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Nice tree JTred. I see a Pearson book next to your tree :).
Anyways, tree looks very nice (:
"It's not just a 'hobby', it's a type of lifestyle."

linlaoboo
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Jtred,

I remember your tree, Its definately gotten more leaves on the downward branches now and you added spaghnum moss. Are there any air-roots already?

I don't live in a tropical climate so to provide it with constant humidity is a challenge. If your method works, I will try it.

Couple years ago I tried air layering with spaghnum moss on the lower trunk without getting any results after a few months =(
ficus, maple, elm, juniper, pine

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manofthetrees
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nice tree looks like my trees little sibling

[img]https://i1090.photobucket.com/albums/i377/kdavidl/F2.jpg[/img]

i bought this one and it had air roots already so i don't know what makes them grow... I wish i did tho
as for the suggestion u may need to chop all the branches down to the trunk after the lower threaded branch takes so they are proportioned again. its kinda drastic but the final result will be more pleasing

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JustinBoi
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I like your tree manofthetrees.
Very jealous.
"It's not just a 'hobby', it's a type of lifestyle."

JTred
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manofthetrees wrote:
i bought this one and it had air roots already so i don't know what makes them grow... I wish i did tho
Humidity and/or wet sphagnum moss. You can also just cover the trunk with potting medium and slowly take it away from the top
manofthetrees wrote: as for the suggestion u may need to chop all the branches down to the trunk after the lower threaded branch takes so they are proportioned again. its kinda drastic but the final result will be more pleasing
A few years of defoliating the entire tree, except for the grafted branch should even everything up, but I wouldn't do that until the graft has definitely taken. You want as much growth as possible for now.
linlaoboo wrote: I remember your tree, Its definately gotten more leaves on the downward branches now and you added spaghnum moss. Are there any air-roots already?

I don't live in a tropical climate so to provide it with constant humidity is a challenge. If your method works, I will try it.

Couple years ago I tried air layering with spaghnum moss on the lower trunk without getting any results after a few months =(
No aerial roots yet, it's only been there about a week. I noticed what looked like it might be a root bud so I covered it in the hopes it will swell. If it does I'll put it in a straw.

linlaoboo
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@ Manofthetrees, the nabari and air-roots on your tree is what I'm striving for on my younger trees too if not on this one. Thanks for sharing. I see it can use finer branch network for better ramification. I like that your air roots start from the trunk and not from a branch as the ones from the branch often exibits revers taper for branch thickness.

@Jtred, on this tree I have been chopping the branches to start new trees over the last couple years so I have plenty of baby trees for ongoing projects with different approaches like trunk fusion or exposed roots. Being that this mother tree is set in its final pot, I won't do any major chopping other than clipping each sub-brach down to 2 or 3 leaves. I agree with the approach to even the branch thickness out as in thicker on the lower ones and thinner as u move up.

I've since rewired it to lower the major side branches and I'll post new pics this summer once the whole tree is filled in more . ..

Thanks for all your feedbacks and I'll keep them in mind.[/quote]
ficus, maple, elm, juniper, pine

linlaoboo
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Here's some update folks. I've heard of the one insult a year rule to bonsai but so far it's growing good eventhough I'm doing mutiple things to it, adding an approach graft, sphagnum moss to induce air-roots, air layer up top for the branch with a reverse taper problem and more. . .
[img]https://i529.photobucket.com/albums/dd340/malagabee/007.jpg[/img]

The thread graft has taken with new leaves and buds. I won't cut off the back end until next year when the branch fattens up. I hope it does :)
Hopefully I can get some roots inside the S.M.
[img]https://i529.photobucket.com/albums/dd340/malagabee/009.jpg[/img]

Here's the approach graft with a seedling. Its roots can't quit make it to the mix so I've added some soil over them. The goal is to expose the seedling's roots slowly once they've gone into the pot. Also the elevated/ exposed roots will help hide the drastic change in the taper from the base of the trunk upwards as I'm not too fond of the ginseng ficus look. Top of the seedling can stay and be bent outward to become a branch depend on how things look.

There are some nebari on this tree but the ginseng part is covering it up so I've carved into the ginseng for fake roots to help things show better. The zip tie around it will hopefully help even out the taper too.
[img]https://i529.photobucket.com/albums/dd340/malagabee/008.jpg[/img]

Perhaps I may have to chop the trunk to get the short and stocky look.
[img]https://i529.photobucket.com/albums/dd340/malagabee/96_8_14.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i529.photobucket.com/albums/dd340/malagabee/970601-068.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i529.photobucket.com/albums/dd340/malagabee/InternetExplorerWallpaper.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i529.photobucket.com/albums/dd340/malagabee/2.jpg[/img]

Not this one, it's too fat.
[img]https://i529.photobucket.com/albums/dd340/malagabee/01-01.jpg[/img]
ficus, maple, elm, juniper, pine

linlaoboo
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ficus improvement progress

I cut off the spaghnum moss ball uptop since the air layer took and I have repotted this thing that's too thick for this tree to eventually become a shohin bonsai on its own. There's a clear scar where the cut is. The thread graft is growing more leaves.
[img]https://i529.photobucket.com/albums/dd340/malagabee/CIMG1543.jpg[/img]

The future aero roots have grown out of the lower SM ball and I'm trying to make them grow into the bonsai mix by covering them with a 2" pot and using straw on 1 of them.
[img]https://i529.photobucket.com/albums/dd340/malagabee/CIMG1534.jpg[/img]

Here's what it looks like inside.
[img]https://i529.photobucket.com/albums/dd340/malagabee/CIMG1536.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i529.photobucket.com/albums/dd340/malagabee/CIMG1541.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i529.photobucket.com/albums/dd340/malagabee/CIMG1538.jpg[/img]

What I learned out of this 1 month experiment is the method works best for a location that's not subject to direct sun light such as a downward side of a branch in this case. Removing some bark, apply rooting powder and SM does the trick real well and the roots came in 3 weeks.
ficus, maple, elm, juniper, pine

JTred
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I'm amazed you got so much rooting in just one month. That makes me more hopeful for my rooting experiment. Mine will be coming up on one month in a couple of days. I will most likely leave mine alone for several months before I begin removing anything. Any tips on getting roots started this way to lignify?

kdodds
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Um... well, just let them grow, really. That's the peril of removing any "packing" too early. New roots that haven't grown well into the soil proper are more likely to just dry up and shrivel up.

linlaoboo
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So I'll try not to disturb them until they've grown into ground and start to lignify. Then it'll be tricky to pull them out and position them to the position I want. Right now they're fragile and break upon any manipulation.

I should add that I was able to accelerate root formation by removing 1/2" x 1/4" sized bark to expose the softwood, added rooting powder and SM. As mentioned before the location I picked was great because it's shaded and roots don't grow when exposed to direct sunlight.

Happy aero-rooting!
ficus, maple, elm, juniper, pine

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