Fig on a rock.

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Fig on a rock.

Postby Undergrounder » Sun Dec 28, 2008 11:19 pm

Hi

I got this bonsai for Christmas, it's a fig as you can see. It's my first real bonsai (i have another bonsai-in-waiting fig), and I'm totally new to bonsai and need someone to tell me what i should do with it? Should i just let it grow or keep shaping it as it grows? I was thinking of trying to stimulate more roots around the rock, and wire out the branches to give it more width for a start. Not sure if i should be trimming or cutting new growth, or whether i should be letting it grow? help me out!

It's hard to see the main branches but they're kind of running parallel to the trunk, should i wire them more perpendicular?

thanks, Nick.

Image Image Image
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Re: Fig on a rock.

Postby lmrk » Mon Dec 29, 2008 2:44 pm

AND SO IT BEGINS!!!!!!!!!!!!! * grins and waves wildly to Nick* . Glad to see you have jumped on the bonsai bandwagon Nick!!!! You will soon feel the addiction (Y) (Y) (Y) Will let Sensei's Taffyman and Eric give you advice. Know nothing about things over rocks!! :oops:
Does a watched bonsai ever grow?
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Re: Fig on a rock.

Postby Undergrounder » Mon Dec 29, 2008 9:41 pm

No this is my ONLY bonsai Leah (apart from the other one), i will NEVER get another one! I was able to resist getting more than one orchid, more than one cactus, more than one bulb, i'm sure i won't need to get any more bonsai..

i know it...

I think i might go to the bonsai nursery next week just to have a look at them though.. just so i know how to handle this one better. Really.
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Re: Fig on a rock.

Postby taffyman » Mon Dec 29, 2008 11:31 pm

Hi Nick. Do you know what sort of fig you have? It appears by the photos it may be either Queensland Small Leaf or Port Jackson. The new shoots look way to long for Benjamina.

Anyway, to the tree. Figs would have to be the easiest trees to work with in Bonsai. If you want a larger tree then yes, let it grow but you can also start shaping it now. If you allow the branches to get too thick before trying to do anything with them they won't be so easy to work with.
Wiring out the branches now is a good idea.
1. It gives you width and
2. It can help with creating new roots - more foliage = more roots.

Starting from the (left) lowest branch in the first photo, try and get the branches in steps up the tree. What I mean is:
Left branch - up a bit to a right branch - up a bit to a back branch and so on up the tree. Wire them out as close to horizontal as you can but try not to make them dead straight. A gentle wavy curve along the length of the branch is the way to go - and also the same looking down from the top - a gentle wavy curve from front to back. If you're not sure what I mean, let me know and I'll do a rough sketch.
Right now, you can pinch out all those growing tips - that will help new growth to emerge from where you've taken them off.

Promoting new roots isn't an easy job in Sydney. Up here with our humidity it happens naturally. If you want to try, the best way is to nick the bark around the base of the trunk a few times (very small horizontal slits right through the bark), then cover the base with soil. Above the soil level the nicks will most likely just callous over.

Nick, is your tree actually clasping the rock now or is it just leaning against it? A proper Root over Rock has the roots firmly clasping the rock.

Hope this has given you some idea on what to do with your tree, but if you have any more questions don't hesitate to ask (Y)
Taffy
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Re: Fig on a rock.

Postby Undergrounder » Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:33 pm

Yes it has thankyou very much Taffy!

It's a PJ fig.

I'll have a good look when i have time tomorrow and do a bit of a study and see if i can translate your advice onto the tree. I might wire the branches, i think i do understand what you mean, see how i go. I'll post pic when it's done.

Humidity isn't a major problem for me, i have a few 'humidity tanks' that i use for growing orchids anyway so i can give it a humidity treatment to stimulate roots. I can also wrap the knicks in sphag or with cling-wrap, and its humid here in summer anyway.

At the moment it is half grabbing the rock, half leaning against it. What i'd like to do is stimulate roots from the point where the trunk touches the rock, so the roots spill over the front and back faces so it's properly gripping in.

P.S. By pinching the growing points do you mean literally pinching off every growing point? Or should i leave some where i want branches to get longer or whatnot? There are a couple of dozen growing points, mostly around the crown, and i think the main branches are still growing out.
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Re: Fig on a rock.

Postby Undergrounder » Thu Jan 01, 2009 10:17 pm

OK i did some wiring, also cut out two annoying small branches that were just in the way. Didn't do much pinching as not sure exactly what i need to pinch.

I turned it around because there was a major branch coming out the 'front', so i made it the 'back'. You can see the major branches now. Unfortunately there's a real lack of branches on two faces of the trunk...
Image

Top:
Image

Looking down the trunk from the rock:
Image

And this is the very crown of the fig. Heaps of growth points, i don't know what to do with it. It'll be very top heavy if i let them all grow. What should i do?
Image

So what do i still need to do? Which growing points do i pick out, and should i do a couple of nicks to the lower trunk and then pack it in sphag and some rooting hormone? Also, looking from the 'front', is it OK to have that small lower branch coming out towards you?

thanks!
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Re: Fig on a rock.

Postby Pam » Fri Jan 02, 2009 5:33 am

What's the substance between the tree and the rock?
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Re: Fig on a rock.

Postby imonetwo » Fri Jan 02, 2009 9:54 am

Gday Nick

From a shaping point of view,the trunk and branches need more movement. In other words try to avoid straight lines,bend them and shape them into the tree you really want. Pinching back is easy, allow each shoot to grow 2-3 leaves and pinch back to first leaf, I know this is difficult for most people as it seems to go against the norm or trying to grow more foliage, but by doing this you force the plant to reshoot lower on the branch and trunk, allowing you more material to work with.

Regards
Eric
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Re: Fig on a rock.

Postby Undergrounder » Sun Jan 04, 2009 10:51 pm

thanks everyone, i pinched back a lot of growth and angled the branches a bit more with a more natural bend. It's starting to look good, ill post it later.

P.S. The substance between the tree and the rock, frankly i have no idea. It could be bush moss, but i'm not sure. It's certainly bush moss around the bottom of the trunk.

thanks!

Nick
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Re: Fig on a rock.

Postby imonetwo » Tue Jan 06, 2009 3:39 pm

Good stuff Nick, your gonna have a very nice tree in a year or so :)

Regards
Eric
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