Just a scant 3 1/2 months later the wire is cutting in nicely
I love saying that the wire has to cut in. It drives people nuts. But it has to on a ficus.
I’ll show you why later.
This was the tree in the last post
(Which is here if you are interested)
The growth is good
I’ve trimmed it once a few weeks ago.
And the one branch I needed
last post, has grown up tall
The next few steps in this trees development are: a ceramic pot, more wire and more trimming for ramification.
Rule of thumb:
If your thumb (or middle finger in this case) will fit under the tie down wire, it’s time to repot.
First, defoliate so we can see what’s happening (and to balance out the root work I’ll be doing)
The wire is cutting in on some branches
Which is what I need, but it’s not cutting on all.
Note this branch
And after removing all the wire
There are no wire marks
At least none like the one just above my index finger.
I think this proves my point. If you want to wire a ficus, you have to keep the wire on until it cuts in.
All the new tertiary branches need to be wired, as well as those that creep back up
But first a repot
Not too root bound.
Some chop sticking
I need new boots looks like.
New soil (in the approved cone shaped mound)
It’s not a fancy pot but its adequate.
And now for the magic: wire!
But, I’m running out of light.
I’ll be back tomorrow.
Did you have a good sleep?
Me too, back to work!
Lets start hither..
And to the top.
This is the one last main branch I needed.
I wire it, and bend it down and slightly to the left
And then I bend it to the right, at the secondary branch
And then to the left again
Which is really tough to see in photos so I sketched some step by step drawings
Is that helpful?
Wait, I left out the last step
That branch fills the hole well.
When you bend branches you should add up and down movement too.
And the 360 view:
Birds eye view
And the front-
I had a discussion with a friend about the roots on this ficus
And, if you’ve read my ficus posts before, you’ll know that I don’t usually like twisted, disarrayed roots.
On this tree
they don’t bother me. It’s weird.
The movement of the tree, the overall shape and the branch placement all complement the contorted nature of the roots. It gives a liveliness to the tree, as though its twirling and dancing.
I think that for me to do my usual butcher job would remove the character that this tree has.
It is a quest I’m on to find trees that are individuals, that have something that make them unique; anyone can take a perfect tree and turn it into the cookie cutter bonsai. I’m after the challenge of turning something that is quirky, or has an obvious “flaw”, into a natural looking tree.
When I got this tree it had a big trunk, but long, non tapered branches with foliage only on the tips.
I chopped it back and let it grow.
After the first wiring I had this
The second wiring was here
The third wiring was here
Now, with most of the primary and secondary branches set and the tertiary branches wired it’s time to focus on the fine branching and increasing the foliage mass.
Creating some shade, as I like to say.
I don’t think I’ll worry about leaf size until next year. I may show this at next years BSF convention.
I’ll be trimming and readjusting the wires weekly at this point. Look for the next update in the early autumn.