Ficus Burtt-davyi Update

Alex DeRuiter

Chumono
Messages
965
Reaction score
7
Location
Grand Rapids, MI
USDA Zone
5b
Can't find an original post for this, so I'll just start a new one. This is one of the first trees I ever purchased ($10) and while it's got major flaws, it holds sentimental value and I'll work with it. Not looking too terrible, considering. Also did a couple-three layers off this one, but all the daughters ended up as gifts.

Ryan and Tmmason might remember this one. ;)

Posted in chronological order (sorry for the terrible photos):

Winter, 2010 (Awful T12 lighting)


Summer, 2011 (Grossly Overpotted)


Winter, 2011 (Getting somewhere?)


Today (Ah, there we go)




 
Last edited:

tmmason10

Omono
Messages
1,836
Reaction score
74
Location
North Attleboro, MA
USDA Zone
6b
I've been working on my tropicals too. See them so much more because they are in the house, keep tweaking things. Anyway, it felt good to cut that down didn't it? Looks like its off and running again.

What fert cakes and pots are you using?
 

Alex DeRuiter

Chumono
Messages
965
Reaction score
7
Location
Grand Rapids, MI
USDA Zone
5b
Yeah, it's especially nice in my case because I get to keep a close eye (which is no longer necessary) on my Brazilian rain tree that was apparently mad at me all spring/summer. Looked like it was going to kick the bucket, but once I got it under my lights and with a humidifier, it pushed a TON of new growth. And yes, trying my best not to tweak too much at once on any trops right now. ;)

And yes, it was nice to finally get it chopped down to where it needed it. The leaves on that one branch are almost four inches!

The cakes are Gro-Power planting tablets (Smoke swears by them and it seems to be for a good reason -- most of my trees grew well this season). The pots are "Root Pots," which are basically just fabric pots. Tons of brand names out there (like these, which seem to be a little better) but these were cheapest at the hydro store.
 

KennedyMarx

Omono
Messages
1,706
Reaction score
408
Location
Indiana (Zone 6a)
USDA Zone
6a
Those are some big leaves. I'm guessing it's because of all the fertilization? I've got a couple burtt-davyi indoors under lights and my leaves are all pretty small (maybe a half an inch at the largest).

Do you have any specific design plan in mind or just letting it grow out?
 

Alex DeRuiter

Chumono
Messages
965
Reaction score
7
Location
Grand Rapids, MI
USDA Zone
5b
From what I've learned so far, it's probably due to fertilization (threw a ton of tablets on there and they're all now broken down into the substrate) and "lack" of light -- at least in comparison to sunlight. If a tree (I'm assuming this may apply to certain species) is in a lower-light area, the leaves will grow larger in order to capture a larger amount of light. That second part could be wrong, so I'd like someone else to give their two cents if they happen upon this.

As for this stage of the tree's design, I'm using that last picture as the main design of the tree. I've done nothing but cut and pinch this tree for the past two years, so now I'm going to give it some time to grow wild and get a ton of energy. This will help with healing that scar, too. I plan on keeping this as the overall height of the tree, but with a lot more ramification.

I'm also continuously pinching the fruit that keeps popping up (there's a ton!!) so I can push that energy elsewhere.
 
Messages
1,264
Reaction score
590
Location
MD/DC
USDA Zone
7a
If you don't mind my asking, what is going on with the container you have it growing in? Does it have a permiable top section?
Thanks,
David
 

Alex DeRuiter

Chumono
Messages
965
Reaction score
7
Location
Grand Rapids, MI
USDA Zone
5b
David,

It's a fabric "smart pot." I think that the weird substance on the outside/top part of the pot is either bacteria (somewhat unlikely that all that stuff is bacteria, though I'm positive that there's a ton on there) or some sort of...calcium deposit? Not sure, really. But yes, it's permeable. It's the same material all around, but the top is folded over.

Thanks vdeschamps ;-p
 

Alex DeRuiter

Chumono
Messages
965
Reaction score
7
Location
Grand Rapids, MI
USDA Zone
5b
It's almost the end of winter, so I did some slight pruning to induce the popping of some new buds. The first branch appears to be at a good spot, and it's got what looks to be some potential for multiple secondary branches right at the base of the branch (picture below). The height right now is where I'll keep it, but I'm going to wire and cut to get some movement up top. It's very straight right now.

This is one of two of my own tropical trees. Not sure how I feel about that. I started with all trops and now I'm growing maples almost exclusively. Anyway. . . .

Update:


 

Alex DeRuiter

Chumono
Messages
965
Reaction score
7
Location
Grand Rapids, MI
USDA Zone
5b
I figured it was about time to repot this feller into something shallow so I can get shorter internodes and increase ramification. The pot seems to be slightly oversized for the tree, but I'm considering keeping it. . . . Thoughts?

Obviously not an ideal shot for angle/position, but you can get an idea of how it sits currently.

 

tmmason10

Omono
Messages
1,836
Reaction score
74
Location
North Attleboro, MA
USDA Zone
6b
I like the new pot. Any reason why you didn't wait to repot until the summer? I have a new pot for my ficus but I'm waiting to repot it.

What is the other tree in the picture. That one looks really nice is there a thread for that?
 

Alex DeRuiter

Chumono
Messages
965
Reaction score
7
Location
Grand Rapids, MI
USDA Zone
5b
I wanted to get a head start on ramification for this season, so I figured now was the best time for it. I'm able to maintain a light, humid environment for it indoors, so there's not too much risk as long as I don't make any dumb decisions (like cutting off 90% of the root mass. lol).

If it weren't as far along in styling I would've just kept it growing as it was, but I feel like now's a good time to start working on branch structure since the trunk and nebari are relatively set. I'm getting sick of seeing loooooong internodes. ;-p

As for the other tree, that's a Trident maple I got from a very good friend. I haven't started a post about it yet since I just bought it in late fall, but I just took some pictures this morning to make a small post about it. More on that there. ;-D
 

tmmason10

Omono
Messages
1,836
Reaction score
74
Location
North Attleboro, MA
USDA Zone
6b
I know what you mean about getting the ramification started. I defoliated my ficus a few weeks ago under my lights so so I could get some buds to pop. The plan is to do it again this summer and wire it. Two defoliations in one year up in the northeast, I'll take it.
 

Alex DeRuiter

Chumono
Messages
965
Reaction score
7
Location
Grand Rapids, MI
USDA Zone
5b
I remember hearing something about how it's unnecessary to defoliate to induce backbudding, but I can't remember exactly what it was. . . . Let me get back to you on that. ;-p

But yes, as far as defoliation goes in the northeast, twice in a season is great. I've never defoliated before, so I couldn't tell you first hand, but I know some areas you can do up to three or even four times in a season -- depending on the species, of course.
 

tmmason10

Omono
Messages
1,836
Reaction score
74
Location
North Attleboro, MA
USDA Zone
6b
I think that defoliating isn't considered necessary to produce buds, but it does work. I know in Florida they can defoliate 3-4 times a year if necessary. I assume that cutting the growing tips back, proper amounts of light and fertilizer would produce buds as well but these leaves on my green island were rather large so defoliating I thought was in order to bag light hit the inner branches. Maybe someone can chime in with more experience, as I'm really just a complete beginner.
 

mat

Chumono
Messages
728
Reaction score
68
Location
Central Florida
I have no experience with these indoors, but as you say, we can defoliate healthy Ficus a few times a year here. Four times seems like a lot to me personally, but I'm sure there are those who do that with no problems, especially further South.

Make sure you also trim the terminal buds when you defoliate. That should help with the backbudding. Good luck!
 

Alex DeRuiter

Chumono
Messages
965
Reaction score
7
Location
Grand Rapids, MI
USDA Zone
5b
Yeah, I'll have to spend a while taking pictures of stuff in the garden as I've been doing a lot lately. I updated my photobucket to make it more organized and I'm pretty sure like 98% of my pictures I posted here are dead links now...so that's fun. lol -- I'll post some soon, though. ;-D
 

Similar threads


Top Bottom