Time for a trim! I’m sure you remember this one, it was in this post from the end of April. A ficus microcarpa “tiger bark”.
I promised to return to it, it’s a quirky, iconoclastic beauty. I removed all the wire, which was beginning to cut in, and now it’s just a matter of pruning.
Interestingly, the right side has grown more than the left. I think the reason is because where it sits in the nursery, the right side gets morning sun, but there’s a bigger bonsai on the left side, shading it in the afternoon. The Strategy, cut back to the first branch, for taper. Or if there’s only one branch, cut to the first leaf to encourage back budding; more branching .
I just had a student in my Ft. Myers studygroup yesterday complain that every time he leaves class, he ends up with half a tree (they call me “the Chopper) so I told him,
“Dave, you can’t deny that it’s safer this way, you can see out of the back window in the car now….” ….seriosly though, we had cut his tree, about 3 months ago, down to the trunk and some main branches. He brought it back yesterday and it looked like Cousin It (you young kings will have to google that reference).
We took it back to secondary branches. A willow leaf, it was totally full. Now it’ll develop much faster than if we just topiary trimmed it.
By concentrating the growth into developing individual branches, as opposed to general, unrestrained growth, some trees just develop faster.
It’s not until you’re going for ramification do you go for the “topiary trim” technique.
And that’ll be Dave’s, and my, next step with our respective trees.
And heavy ferts. Which in the case of ficus, means Harrel’s slow release with minors (the nitrogen is something obscene like 26…..I’m working on a fertilizer blog post, wait for it).
And that’s that for today’s update.
I love this tiger bark ficus. Tell me you don’t. I dare you…..
It won’t be long for the next update. Stay tuned!