Advice on my banyan

Mainely Jazz

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Okay, I've shown this tree before, but I'm now looking for advice as to how I can make this tree thrive again. It's about 30 years old and has lived through at least one drought. The bottom picture (white background) is from two years ago, and the top picture (gray background) is from yesterday.

It needs:
  1. A slightly larger pot
  2. Root trimming
  3. Better soil
However, the big thing is that the tree is very leggy, and I can't get it to fill out. I'm terrified of doing something too drastic with it--I love the old guy--but I feel it's never going to improve unless I take serious action.

I'm considering cutting it at the red line and possibly seeing if I can replant the top part for a second tree. Am I going to kill it if I do that? Should I do the three things above and wait until spring to cut it? And if I cut it, should I seal the cut?

Any advice would be appreciated!


bonsai-cut.jpg


IMG_3304.JPG
 

Mainely Jazz

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You'll need to forgive my naïvety, Anthony, but I'm not following your response. Bump?
 

Mainely Jazz

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I would get it growing strong, and chop it back as hard as you showed.

It looks a bit weak right now, so you might reconsider where you overwinter it, and site it outside now. Be sure it gets enough sun. The condition could be the soil, and you could repot into good soil now, and chop it back to the red line, and feed it heavily. If you have 6 more weeks of outside weather where you are, that could kickstart it.

Thanks, Brian. About five months out of the year, it sits outside, where it gets good, strong sun for five or six hours a day. It could get more if I moved it around during the day. For the other seven months, it sits inside next to a window and does not get direct sunlight. I could change that, but the sun stays pretty low in Maine in the winter.

Are you suggesting I repot, trim the roots if needed, and cut at the same time? That wouldn't over-stress it? Should I seal the cut? Or will that prevent budding? I'd love to try to replan the top part after it's been cut off, but I don't know if it will take.

Thanks again.

Tim
 

sorce

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It kinda looks to have been surviving only on what new roots it can throw into the top Moss each year.

My guess is underneath you got a mess.

It needs:
  1. A slightly larger pot
  2. Root trimming
  3. Better soil

You don't have to, and shouldn't trim any roots if going into a bigger pot.
Which with this new info....
You may not even need!

Definitely soil....

But if you pull it out and the roots haven't filled the pot,
It'll be happy right back in there.

However, I was able to recharge mine in a basket in the ground.
That could help with the vigor you seek.



20170721_061107.jpg

It's in the foreground there.

20170718_060610.jpg

Didn't realize blur sorry..but you can see the roots escaped into the ground.

I have had this for 6-7 years! My tuber Walmart joint!

I shit you not it hasn't grown that much foliage in 6 years inside!
One year outside and in the ground....
And I finally see why they call em tigerbark!

Pretty!

It's growing mad aerials too! Just as Nigel Saunders said it would!

Sorce
 

hemmy

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My 2 cents:

I'll repeat this advice because it is the most important. Keep it in the location that gets the longest duration of full sun. Get an indoor grow light for the over half a year that it can't live outside.

Repot to larger container with minimal or no root trimming and let roots escape as suggested.

However, I would be more conservative on chopping the trunk, but Brian certainly has way more experience and knowledge than I. If it was mine, I'd hold off on chop until it growing vigorously next year summer. I've had poor results with back budding when trunk chopping weakly growing F. microcarpas.
 

Mainely Jazz

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So how do you get it back into a standard pot after you've let the roots grow wild? Just prune them before repotting?

Tim
 

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