rjj
Full Member
Posts: 58
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 3:59 pm
Location: Norman OK

Trunk Chop Ficus

Petra

This plant is a little further along in size, but you would end up doing about the same thing with yours.

This is a Golden Gate Ficus I grew from a tip cutting. It was about 4 foot tall and the trunk is about 1 3/4" in diameter right above where it flares at the nebari.
[url=https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v517/rjj/bonsai%20stuff/atcfa.jpg][img]https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v517/rjj/bonsai%20stuff/th_atcfa.jpg[/img][/url]
I took a pair of concave cutters and cut it off 5 1/2" above the new soil line.
[url=https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v517/rjj/bonsai%20stuff/atcfb.jpg][img]https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v517/rjj/bonsai%20stuff/th_atcfb.jpg[/img][/url]
Since it is no longer a big plant, it doesn't need a big root system. So I combed out and washed the root system.
[url=https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v517/rjj/bonsai%20stuff/atcfc.jpg][img]https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v517/rjj/bonsai%20stuff/th_atcfc.jpg[/img][/url]
Then I pruned off all the large roots growing down and trimmed back all the the finer roots closer to the trunk of the tree.
[url=https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v517/rjj/bonsai%20stuff/atcfd.jpg][img]https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v517/rjj/bonsai%20stuff/th_atcfd.jpg[/img][/url]
I wired the two remaining branches upright. I'm not real fond of the location of the lower or sacrifice branch, but it will get pruned off before to long. I'll allow the new apex to grow unrestricted for about three more years. You might notice it's planted at a very slight angle that is hardly noticeable. I might change the angle more when I need to repot as the plant outgrows this 12" bulb pan.
[url=https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v517/rjj/bonsai%20stuff/atcfe.jpg][img]https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v517/rjj/bonsai%20stuff/th_atcfe.jpg[/img][/url]
[url=https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v517/rjj/bonsai%20stuff/atcff.jpg][img]https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v517/rjj/bonsai%20stuff/th_atcff.jpg[/img][/url]
I had picked this plant out to grow out because I liked the root system on it.
[url=https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v517/rjj/bonsai%20stuff/atcfg.jpg][img]https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v517/rjj/bonsai%20stuff/th_atcfg.jpg[/img][/url]
randy

ynot
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1219
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2006 12:49 pm
Location: USDA Z:5a Sunset Z. 41 IL

Randy,

Excellent! [Although this is going to be a bit shocking for some folks ;) ]

I just want to point out to all readers to take note of your large particle soil and the resulting fibrous root system :D.
Also the fact that the wound from the chop is barely visible from the front.
[That is thinking ahead people. 8) ]

Great nebari Randy, I look forward to seeing the progress.

What is your final height for this expected to be?

Thanks so much for posting this!

ynot

User avatar
Gnome
Mod
Posts: 5122
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:17 am
Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

Randy,

Excellent photos, thanks for taking the time to assemble and post this sequence. I'm sure it will go a long way toward eliminating any jitters that Petra may have. One question though, is there some advantage to wiring the sacrifice or is that just for the sake of aesthetics until it is removed? Thanks again for the post.

Norm

ynot
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1219
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2006 12:49 pm
Location: USDA Z:5a Sunset Z. 41 IL

Gnome,

I am going to guess it is just a convenient way to secure the wire holding the leader, Or he is just keeping it out of the way.

ynot

rjj
Full Member
Posts: 58
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 3:59 pm
Location: Norman OK

Ynot

Thanks. Shocking? :D I tend to be a little drastic in approach, but when you look at it in terms of years instead of weeks or months, it really isn't. I think I now have a very good foundation for a nice tree down the road.

Final height is up in the air. Guess it will depend on how the tree responds and how patient I am with it. Hopefully in the 16" to 20" range with a 5" to 6" diameter trunk.

Norm

I wired the sacrifice branch up for a reason. Most things grow faster and thicker when more upright. It's slightly bigger than the apex, so hopefully it will keep up with the apex and give it a run for it's money for a period of time. I'll probably remove it once it's 3/4" to 1" in diameter. A scar that size should heal over fairly quick.


In about three years I'll do another chop a few inches higher up the trunk from this first one. Looking to end up with a short fat little monster.

randy

ynot
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1219
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2006 12:49 pm
Location: USDA Z:5a Sunset Z. 41 IL

Thanks. Shocking? :D I tend to be a little drastic in approach, but when you look at it in terms of years instead of weeks or months, it really isn't. I think I now have a very good foundation for a nice tree down the road.
I agree completely! I did not mean shocking to me by the way :P
Final height is up in the air. Guess it will depend on how the tree responds and how patient I am with it. Hopefully in the 16" to 20" range with a 5" to 6" diameter trunk.
Sweet! 8)

Good point about the upright growth also.

Thanks again

ynot

User avatar
Gnome
Mod
Posts: 5122
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:17 am
Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

Randy,
Most things grow faster and thicker when more upright.
Thanks for clearing that up. That is a very useful bit of information for me.

Norm

Petra26
Cool Member
Posts: 94
Joined: Thu Jun 22, 2006 2:23 pm
Location: Chicago, IL

wow randy! that is quite the cut! you basically cut off majority of the tree. i will try something like that with my healthy ficus. i think i will wait a little before i do so to gather some more information and find some time to do this. hopefully it will be warmer soon so i can move them outside :D

thank you for the wonderfully detailed step-by-step picture explanation. i will be using it for reference before i make the final cut. it sure did make things much much clearer. i think i am finally beginning to get an understanding of bonsai :D i will not be so hestitant now in taking that first cut :D

oh, what did u do with the top part of the tree?

rjj
Full Member
Posts: 58
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 3:59 pm
Location: Norman OK

Petra26 wrote: oh, what did u do with the top part of the tree?
Hi Petra

I tossed it. Right now I don't need anymore of this type of ficus. :D


Thanks. Glad it helped you some.

randy

suef
Newly Registered
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2008 8:44 am
Location: Brisbane

every one was saying how good the pics were. But I coiuldn't see any of them. :(

User avatar
Gnome
Mod
Posts: 5122
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:17 am
Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

Sue,

Unfortunately that is bound to happen with pictures hosted on a third party site. Eventually more will probably fall away.

Norm

Return to “Bonsai Photo Gallery”