Poor tree. Poor Dave.
If you know me, you’ll know how this will end.
I know this technique is taught as a standard procedure and I know that some of you even do it, which is excellent because you should. But if the potting angle you choose destroys the widest point of your root spread, you’ve not really learned the lesson; choose another angle. As an extreme example,I once saw this demo where the tree base had to be 12 inches across. Using upended pots and ties and bungee cords, the artist had propped the tree at a 49 degree angle. It gave a dynamic movement to the tree that was cool. The thing of it was though, if it were potted at that angle, half of the nebari would be buried. 12 inches to 6. Insert joke here.
Beautiful styling and great wiring technique but the artist let the top dictate the bottom. It went from “massive” to “meh…”. If you’re working on a tree (like a juniper or such) which doesn’t have much of a nebari, this “all angles” approach is valid. It’s the movement that would dictate the potting angle. But a maple or a cypress (or any tree similar) with a nebari should be potted to show off that massive base.
With this ficus I will be able to go from “meh..” to, well, a little bigger. 4 inches to 6 inches. Not bad.
The trunk and branches will be shorter of course (taper, taper,taper) but I left them longer to give me more choices when this buds back.
And bud back it will. Being as its a willow leaf ficus there will be at least 50 new buds to choose from. There will be so many that Dave won’t know what to do. He’ll be all,
“Yo’ bro, what do I do?”. And I’ll be like
” Dude, choose one”
Here’s the after: