Beginner with ficus-- guidance needed (lots of pics!)

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This is a long post, so please bear with me.

I went to a beginner's workshop this weekend, and this is the ficus I styled. I need some guidance.

1.) First of all, I think I have 2 possibilities for the front. The first front was the one that my helper and I had picked out at the workshop:

Here, I have highlighted the trunk in yellow, as the camera flash kinda makes the curvature become lost with the branch in red behind it:

The second possibility for the front came about after I took it home, and noticed a bare area slightly to the left of what had been the front. The problem is that it doesn't have as much curvature of the trunk as the first option.

And here, with the trunk highlighted:

2.) I was planning to repot this into its bonsai pot in May. When I do so, I was planning to plant it in a slanting style. What do you think?:

My concern is this: It is my understanding that trees in the "slanting" style have all of their branches on the "up" side of the tree (the side that would be facing the sun). Should I remove or re-wire the branches on the left side of the picture to be on the "sunny" side?

3.) FYI, the 2 branches with the brown leaves had previously broken.

I have since removed those broken branches.

4.) As you may have noticed, I have a big wound in my tree from where we had to remove a big branch:

I know the wound is unsightly to be at the front of the tree, but the branch that WAS there was worse than the resulting wound, trust me! Had I kept that branch, the trunk would have no taper or flow. So, I am stuck with it. (But I kind of like it). The area is still a little jagged, so I was thinking of cleaning it up/rounding it out with a dremel. Any tips?

Thank you for your help.


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Virginia Beach, Va
Good start, I like the first view best as the truck has good movement and the cut is somewhat hidden. I think with good care and perhaps more work on the cut later down the road it will be fit in just fine. Slanted would look good and perhaps you could level off the branches to flow off the slant. Good luck and stick with it sometimes the vision takes awhile to see and your left looking at a chopped up tree for a feew years.

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