Ficus Benjamina “wiandi”

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I like your front. But I like the back as the front, personal taste and flow. I feel weird about it because I think I'd normally go with your front as my front...
I think it’s the canopy, it seems like it flows better because the back has the first branch moving back and the branch above it moves towards you bringing the canopy forward so in this view the first branch adds depth. In the front everything is reversed, so the first branch, comes forward as it “should,” but then the branch above it moves away creating a negative space. At least this is what I can take from the picture. Either way it’s a nice tree. I like the chosen front but would let the new growth grow upwards a bit on that first branch to fill in some of the “space.”
 

Hartinez

Omono
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I think it’s the canopy, it seems like it flows better because the back has the first branch moving back and the branch above it moves towards you bringing the canopy forward so in this view the first branch adds depth. In the front everything is reversed, so the first branch, comes forward as it “should,” but then the branch above it moves away creating a negative space. At least this is what I can take from the picture. Either way it’s a nice tree. I like the chosen front but would let the new growth grow upwards a bit on that first branch to fill in some of the “space.”
thanks guys. Yeah it’s a trick tree to“train” in general because of its growth patterns and brittle branches, but I really feel I dialed in the basic structure and just plan on letting the tree fill in and the trunk thicken up, hence the oversized pot. It’s amazing how much thickening the tree does when multiple branches are present. That trunk section between the first branch and second is beginning to show inverse taper signs and I fear it’ll only get worse. But it’scertainly thicker, even from just winter growth.
 

DBPooper

Sapling
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thanks guys. Yeah it’s a trick tree to“train” in general because of its growth patterns and brittle branches, but I really feel I dialed in the basic structure and just plan on letting the tree fill in and the trunk thicken up, hence the oversized pot. It’s amazing how much thickening the tree does when multiple branches are present. That trunk section between the first branch and second is beginning to show inverse taper signs and I fear it’ll only get worse. But it’scertainly thicker, even from just winter growth.
I think it’s the canopy, it seems like it flows better because the back has the first branch moving back and the branch above it moves towards you bringing the canopy forward so in this view the first branch adds depth. In the front everything is reversed, so the first branch, comes forward as it “should,” but then the branch above it moves away creating a negative space. At least this is what I can take from the picture. Either way it’s a nice tree. I like the chosen front but would let the new growth grow upwards a bit on that first branch to fill in some of the “space.”
I think that's right. After looking at the pictures again. The negative space and the added depth with the first branch moving back.
I initially posted because of that tic I had inside...not so much as a critique.
I like the tree and appreciate the work done. Very nice.
 

Hartinez

Omono
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Attempted an approach graft of another root about a month ago. This variety is so brittle that the top portion of the cutting with leaves snapped right off When I was placing it against the trunk. None the less I still had good contact between the cutting and the cambium I exposed on the trunk. It appears that the cutting with roots is still alive and potentially fusing well. 4F0AA3A6-F555-4449-9E52-85995B73C16B.jpeg
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penumbra

Masterpiece
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I can't wait till my can stay outside for the summer. Probably another 2 weeks. I have decided to train one of mine in a true cascade style. It will take awhile, but hell, I'm only 70. I will post pictures soon.
 

Hartinez

Omono
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I can't wait till my can stay outside for the summer. Probably another 2 weeks. I have decided to train one of mine in a true cascade style. It will take awhile, but hell, I'm only 70. I will post pictures soon.
70 yrs young Penumbra! Would love to see a pic of it!
 
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Location
Hildale, UT, USA
USDA Zone
7a
What a great pot for this tree.

I may need to take your advice on setting direction early. I have a wiandi potted in a pond basket sitting on my kitchen table right now, to be worked on tomorrow. I was just going to work the roots and leave the top to grow and add girth to the trunk. It's only about 0.75in right now.

Any tips for rooting the cuttings? You seem to have had great luck getting them to take.
 

IABonsai

Yamadori
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I love this tree great job!

I have a soft spot for Benjamin Ficus because they are all over Vietnam my second home.
 

Hartinez

Omono
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Since going outside this tree has really shagged up. Needs a trim. Though the nebari also needs work. Rather than trim too many leaves out, I may leave it shaggy and start a few approach grafted roots. The apex has also visually shifted right, which I don’t want. Would prefer to keep it moving left.
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Hartinez

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Went ahead and gave it a bit of a trim. Also applied an approach graft in a gap between 2 surface roots. 9CBD2771-822F-4999-84EB-D4242FFAAD59.jpeg
when these things go outside I like to defoliate the leaves that had grown in the soft light indoors. They tend to fry out in the sunlight. By doing this I get an abundance of back budding pretty much everywhere. Allowing me to keep pads and branches full while simultaneously growing out the overall profile.

this little bud pushed on a part of the trunk that needed thickening. I’m going to let it extend for sometime to reduce the inverse taper in the middle of that straight section.
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I also found this little hunter hanging on the tree. There’s another somewhere in there. Almost everyone of my trees has a baby mantis waiting for it’s next meal.
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Hartinez

Omono
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What a great pot for this tree.

I may need to take your advice on setting direction early. I have a wiandi potted in a pond basket sitting on my kitchen table right now, to be worked on tomorrow. I was just going to work the roots and leave the top to grow and add girth to the trunk. It's only about 0.75in right now.

Any tips for rooting the cuttings? You seem to have had great luck getting them to take.
Thank you! Yes set the direction early. Only wire if you feel you have to, and do it before the branch has gotten woody. These snap so very easy. The cuttings this time of year require little more than a consistently moist substrate. Out of the growing season I like to put them in a glass of water first to grow roots, then pot up.
 

Hartinez

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@Hartinez do you keep this in full sun on your bench?
not full on, but mostly. It def gets some shady parts of the day. It probably could though. They seem to grow leaves based on their light situation. It’s interesting when I transition them to outdoors. The leaves that had been growing for the last few months of winter and early spring inside fry out very quickly. I started just cutting those off shortly after being put outside.
 
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Over half my cuttings took, so I am looking at possibilities for grafting. Did that approach grafted root survive? I am debating between grafting roots and maybe even grafting some secondary trunks to low branches, to try and create a banyan look.

It has been great watching your progress on this one. Beautiful so far!
 

Hartinez

Omono
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Over half my cuttings took, so I am looking at possibilities for grafting. Did that approach grafted root survive? I am debating between grafting roots and maybe even grafting some secondary trunks to low branches, to try and create a banyan look.

It has been great watching your progress on this one. Beautiful so far!
Hi and thanks! The original graft attempt did not work. Breaking off the top section of the graft did not help it and the roots eventually died. I’m confident and hopeful this next attempt will be successful. Better contact With the mother plant and the entire cutting is intact this time.
 
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