A size 12 plant into a size 4 bonsai pot? 

Today, I have for you, for your amazement and amusement, a  performance of an astounding feat of magic, the almost impossible sounding and superb act of placing a round peg into a square hole,

“Wait….” You say, “That sounds easy!” 

But! But…. Ahhh! My friends, my dear, dear friend, what if that proverbial round peg is eight sizes (give or take) too big for that allegorical square hole!?  Feast your skeptical eyes upon this improbable looking challenge! 

  Attend to exhibit “A” on the left! A ficus microcarpa “melon seed”. A spectacular varietal dwarf that is causing a mild stir in the tropical bonsai culture because it has such tiny leaves.  

 These leaves are as big as they get and, therefore and amazingly, will reduce smaller using the ancient and fantastical Far East techniques we call, lovingly, bonsai. 

As an aside, I believe, as a spinster does in the eternal love of her cats, that this variety is not a dwarf of the retusa or tiger bark variety but of the actual species (f. microcarpa “microcarpa”)  

  As evidenced by the tell-tale and ubiquitous “white dots” present on the bigger (but I’ll named “micro” carpa)  and the ready penchant for the throwing down of copious aerial rootage.  

 Now, brace thyselves, and prepare those who are faint of heart, I give you exhibit “B”! 

  The pot we are going to attempt to place our poor ficus into.   

 To present a metric, my thumb is exactly one inch wide, and therefore the perfect example of the so-called “Rule of thumb”, which isn’t so much a rule of life but a rule (hence why we call a “ruler” a ruler)…a unit of measurement. 

As another aside, the fact of my thumb being exactly one inch wide, is just another notch in my belt that points to my perfection. My foot is precisely twelve inches long too……..

Getting back to the task at hand (which from outstretched thumb tip to middle finger tip is eight inches), let’s address the roots.  

 Using my ingenious and self-fabricated root hook, I begin the task of, well, rook hooking.  

 Ficus are clever in the fact that they have big, fleshy roots used for energy storage (for getting through those long winter nights so common in the tropics……?) and we find a few that must be excised (not to worry, the trunk is, as well, an excellent container of energy for our intrepid and much (about to be) abused fig (for, as you know, dear reader, a ficus is a fig is a ficus the world over, and under as well, as they say in Hades, “A flight of figs ease fear for the fallen”).  

Our fig, sans soil, looking about like what my dear aunt Bertha looks, at our holiday familial open house, sitting in the corner after a few too many egg nogs and cordials, her skirt unfortunately hiked up above her unshaven knees, as she just needs, she says, a small rest. Poor uncle Fred. No wonder he’s been belting the scotch back like a boiler room private dick from the 20’s. Bertha is one mystery he’s had to solve way too many times. Have a shot on me Uncle, the good stuff.  

Roots….. 

Trimmed roots.    

 I bet that uncle Fred wished there were a service that would trim and wash the growth that lives under aunt Bertha’s orange, flower-print party dress as neatly as this.  

 Or at least comb out the hair, uh…I mean the roots. A jungle is hard to penetrate, so to say……. 

So now, ladies and gentlemen (and Bertha) the time has come for the magic to be revealed. For that astounding feat of ingenious plant craft we like to call, rather plainly, actually, the “put it in the pot to see if we need to cut any more roots” part of the demonstration.   Purrrrfecto!

By this point you’ll notice that I’ve performed a styling of our tree as well. Looks good, right? That’s why I’m a professional. We could put this tree into a show and it would at least get a participation award (if it’s a Progressive enough show, that is. Conservative shows don’t care if your self esteem is damaged by losing….). 

And, after offending both the rebublicrats and democrans with that last statement, it’s Miller time!

   Or at least beer-thirty. I’m a beer snob today it seems. It’s Fat Tire, amber ale, time! 

The tree has made an appearance in the blog alongside this other shohin, banyan style melon seed.   Which has filled in well, considering it fungus-ed out earlier in the year  (If you want to read the post  on the first apearance click here. I want to warn you though, there are references in that previous post that you may be offended by. Just a warning).

This variety gets so dense that, in my sub tropical paradise of Orlando Florida, fungus will attack the tree due to the decreased air flow that dense foliage creates. I must point out, to save myself some indemnity, that I am in Orlando and what I can do to this tree in September is not what you can do. Unless you are south of me on the Floridian peninsula. 
It does need a trim and some structural pruning.  

Nice base (and it’s all about that base)   It’s lacking some taper.   

Cha Cha Cha chop!  This will make a good cutting.   
I could probably do some wiring….. Nah! I think I need another beer. 

So, dear reader, we have accomplished the task set before us. 

The proverbial African folk tale of “How the elephant and the gnat get married.” 

(You haven’t heard that one? The moral of the story is “With a little patience, determination….and spit, even an elephant can deflower a gnat……)

Before: 

  And after 
And that, my friends, and with the elephant image now stuck in your heads forever, is that. 

So long and thanks for all the fish! Adieu!

About adamaskwhy

Visual artist specializing in bonsai, mostly.
This entry was posted in rare finds, roots, styling bonsai and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to A size 12 plant into a size 4 bonsai pot? 

  1. Lrrehman says:

    Nice Demo Adam

  2. Claudio says:

    You are a madman! And a genius! Nice to see that the Shohin renoverad so well 🙂

  3. Claudio says:

    Recovered! Not renoverad! Damn Swedish auto correct!

  4. Teschio63 says:

    Gran bel lavoro con il ficus micro carpa “seme di melone” mi piace la riduzione radicale per il nuovo pentola, buona anche la potatura aerea di impostazione.💀💪🏾💀💪🏾💀

  5. Alexandra says:

    Hello, Adam!
    You said : “I must point out, to save myself some indemnity, that I am in Orlando and what I can do to this tree in September is not what you can do”
    So this is a matter of the appropriate local temperatures, isn’t it?

  6. Poesy Liang 梁小詩 says:

    Ouch Bertha! Haha.

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