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Trunk Chop Ficus

Posted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 6:14 pm
by rjj
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

Posted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 7:04 pm
by ynot
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

Posted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 7:09 pm
by Gnome
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

Posted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 7:13 pm
by ynot
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

Posted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 7:52 pm
by rjj
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

Posted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 7:59 pm
by 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.
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

Posted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 11:28 pm
by Gnome
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

Posted: Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:42 pm
by Petra26
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?

Posted: Wed Feb 28, 2007 12:03 pm
by rjj
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

Posted: Sat May 17, 2008 5:27 am
by suef
every one was saying how good the pics were. But I coiuldn't see any of them. :(

Posted: Sat May 17, 2008 5:58 am
by Gnome
Sue,

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

Norm