Wire mark repairs

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Wire mark repairs

Postby taffyman » Mon Jun 14, 2010 9:10 pm

This is a Ficus Retusa (also known as Ficus Nitidia), commonly called a Banyan Fig or Indian Laurel. It originates from China and Malaysia but has been introduced to a number of other countries where it has quickly naturalized. I have no idea why, but for some strange reason America calls it the Cuban Laural (not even native to Cuba).

The origin of this one of mine was from when I lived in Sydney (Penrith). On the opposite side of the road to our place was a thicket of trees planted by the council on a very wide flood-way. This tree was in that thicket and stood about 2 metres tall. I didn't take the whole tree (although I would have loved to), I put an aerial-layer on the top in about 1998. A couple of months later, I was able to remove it. I then put it into a black plastic pot, and about 2 years later, I was able to put an aerial-layer on this original layer. This tree is that second layer. Strangely, this one has grown quicker than the original layer :shock:

Anyway, I decided to do some pruning on it last week, and when I cut some of the foliage away, I had a bit of a surprise. I had put some wire on the trunk back in November last year and had forgotten that it was there. That'll teach me to look at my database more regularly! With the rapid growth of foliage since it was defoliated in November, it had hidden the wire. You can see in the first photo how far I'd got with the pruning and what was revealed:


Photos 2 and 3 show just how much the wire had cut in - or more specifically, how much the trunk had grown. Also visible are old wire marks going in the opposite direction up the trunk - I've really caused this one some grief over the time I've had it:

Image Image

I was thinking about cutting that part of the trunk off and re-growing it - perhaps by thread-grafting another shoot through it very low down. Luckily, I hadn't cut all the long shoots off the one side, and bending the longest one around, I found it fitted almost perfectly into the wire groove and it actually went round the trunk two complete turns (Red arrow - photo 4). Using another shoot from the left side further up, I was able to wind that once around the upper part of the groove as well (Blue arrows). I very lightly scraped the grey bark off the inside of the shoots and in the bottom of the wire groove until it showed light green tissue. I then taped both shoots tightly against the trunk. The orange arrows show two leaves on the lower shoot that will hopefully develop into branches themselves. There are more leaves but they aren't visible in the photo. If these leaves do develop into branches, they should dramatically help the healing of those bad wire marks.

Photo 5 shows the job completed, the tree pruned and some branches wired. The main one on the left is wired down to a very thick root, so no, the tree isn't going to fall over. Because the wire (high tensile fencing wire) is so thin, it would cut into the branch and the root in no time, so I've threaded the ends through some plastic tubing. I've done the same with the branch above that one, and that is wired to the lower branch.


It's going to be interesting to see the results of this 'surgery' in a few months time. Hopefully, the scars will heal over nicely (yn) (yn) Oh, and I'll be watching that other wire very closely from now on as well!

There you go - that's the result of not looking close enough and paying attention to your trees :oops: :evil:
Have fun, life is way too short for anything else
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