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  1. mat

    ficus in the dark

    You might worry about the roots rotting if they've been sitting in the same wet, wrapped ball for two weeks.
  2. mat

    Just a few of my favorite trees on the bench...

    If you're in Orlando towards the end of May, you'll want to stop by the vendor area at the annual state convention. There's always tons of good stuff there (& free admission). Locally, Adam Lavigne has trees for sale. Jason Schley is about an hour North. Ft Myers has Wigert's of course -...
  3. mat

    Schefflera Chop?

    I think 60 is way too high a temp to start worrying. 40 would be fine. I bring my nicer ones in when 40 or lower is forecast for the night. I leave many of mine out even down to freezing and they've never had an issue. They're very tough, sub-tropical plants - tougher than most books or...
  4. mat

    Ficus Retusa Bonsai Pruning (new to bonsai)

    I think you did a pretty good pruning job. It's challenging material, but you've taken a step towards it looking better in the future. It could use a good hard pruning, but I understand the desire to take it slow. Especially since it'll be getting cold there soon. Maybe next Spring cut those...
  5. mat

    Ficus Retusa Bonsai Pruning (new to bonsai)

    In my opinion, this tree isn't ready for you to start reducing the leaf size - need to get the structure in order first. I'd get in there and clean it out where you have multiple branches coming out of the same point. That's why you have some bulges that will only get worse. Leave two...
  6. mat

    What species of tree is this?

    This picture has been floating around the internet for a while. I've never seen a credit (or species) given, so I'm definitely interested to see if anyone else has. Looks like a Ficus to me too (not sure what a "plain old" ficus is).
  7. mat

    Soil EVERYBODY will love!

    so, it's Claytite plus organic components? What's Calytite?
  8. mat

    Doomsday Bonsai!

    How are you shipping Ficus to Vin in this scenario? Probably just want to compost those guys. I doubt FedEx is making stops to deliver your $15 package. Maybe you could pay MadMax to deliver it, but Vin is probably having problems of his own and doesn't need any more liabilities. Now is when...
  9. mat

    Any Scapers Out There?

    That's what I thought the original post was referring to also.
  10. mat

    My not so little Serissa

    D&L Nursery's tree at EPCOT this year (photo by Adam Lavigne) EDIT - They have some other nice big ones at their nursery, but I don't have photos of any of those on hand.
  11. mat

    Pinching Vance Wood: the challenge

    Wasn't that the first one I attached in my post?
  12. mat

    Pinching Vance Wood: the challenge

    Haruyosi posted this today: "I removed leaves of Shinpaku. I usually do this work with scissors. And at last I arrange the figure with fingers a little."
  13. mat

    pre shimpaku bonsai

    What are you talking about?
  14. mat

    Pinching Vance Wood: the challenge

    Now that's funny.
  15. mat

    My Tiger Bark Ficus

    It looks healthy to me. If it were mine, I'd cut back every branch hard, leaving no foliage (as Giga suggested). I think buds will pop on each one.
  16. mat

    Ficus species advice

    Jerry's book is okay. There aren't many, so I can't suggest a better one. It will probably be useful for you since you're so far North. Here in Florida, Ficus are generally potted in fast draining, mostly inorganic mix. lava/turface/pine bark is the classic mix here. Some crazy folks use...
  17. mat

    Bottle brush bonsai material

    Is that the same species?
  18. mat

    Topsy Turvy

    I'm with you. Well put. Don't stress trees un-necessarily. I like this quote "Ideally the goal of any action we preform on a tree is to try and do the least amount of damage possible we can do to the tree in order to get the job done".
  19. mat

    Bottle brush bonsai material

    Is your goal to get a bigger overall trunk? If so, then slip-pot into a bigger pot with quick-draining soil, water & fertilize heavily. Or put it in the ground. If it were mine, I'd probably dig down a bit to see what the roots/nebari look like under the top couple inches of dirt. I'd...
  20. mat

    Bottle brush bonsai material

    If you want the base to get bigger faster, you should let the whole thing grow. The more leaves, the faster everything under the leaves grows. Alternatively, you can also chop above the bottom, left-leaning branch in the second photo. That should cause all growth to head that way, giving you...
  21. mat

    Topsy Turvy

    Stacy - thanks for sharing your thoughts. The point quoted above is well made. For me, defoliating some tropical trees is a necessary part of the styling process, as they can quickly become bushes. I do try to leave some branch tips/terminal buds where i can, but I often have to do a lot of...
  22. mat


    David VanBuskirk wrote that article, the same guy that grew the tree in the first pic. He & Linda have some other awesome ones as well at their nursery in Ocala. I do notice some heat stress here. It's not generally an all summer thing, usually just a few days of...
  23. mat


    Here are a couple of mine. (front & back shots of 2 different trees)
  24. mat


    I use Milorganite. It's 5-2-0 and also has 4% Nitrogen. Available at Lowe's & Home Depot around here.
  25. mat

    Started Work on Ficus

    I always just defoliate, once I've decided to defoliate. 'Getting the show on the road', as Seth has described it. Healthy Ficus don't need the photosynthesis that the partial leaves provide. What good is it doing? You want that plant to blast out new leaves. Delaying that process while...
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