Deia
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Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2008 11:24 am
Location: Sofia

Can I save a branch after defoliation (ficus benjamina)

Hello,
I am another new joiner to the bonsai owners. I recently picked up a dying bonsai from the office and I managed to revive it decently in 6-7 weeks. It is a ficus benjamina. When I picked it up it was almost completely defoliated. Now it is growing a lot of leaves but two branches stay dry and it doesn't seem they will ever grow leaves again.

The branches are shaped with wire and part of the general look of the tree so I am trying to find out whether I can save them somehow. Can I try to graft a shoot into the branch for instance? Please help if you could. Thanks in advance!

I can attach a picture as soon as I find out how to do that.

kdodds
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Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 12:07 am
Location: Airmont, NY Zone 6/7

If the branches are not brittle, it is likely they can be saved. If you scratch a bit of bark off a tip of one of the branches, is it green underneath?

Deia
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Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2008 11:24 am
Location: Sofia

As I tried to do this the tip fell apart. I tried to make a scratch at the very start if the branch and it shows light brown color underneath. The beginning is not brittle but the end seems to be. The other branch is split to two in the end for 2-3 cm - as if it is cut in the middle. It doesn't look good I guess :(

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Gnome
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Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:17 am
Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

Deia,

It sounds as if the branches are dead. I don't know if you're an optimist or a pessimist but look at the situation as a 'design opportunity' :wink: Sometimes if you prune such a branch to within, say a 1/4 to 1/2 inch of the trunk a new shoot will arise from the branch collar.

Look here for two options for posting pictures here, choose one.
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3724

Norm

Deia
Newly Registered
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2008 11:24 am
Location: Sofia

Thanks for that! I will try with the design work then.
Here is a picture :)

[url=https://img357.imageshack.us/my.php?image=dsc05938dg0.gif][img]https://img357.imageshack.us/img357/9763/dsc05938dg0.th.gif[/img][/url]

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