Ficus burtt-davyi

markyscott

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A couple problems. First the trunk and key branch point left, but there are some huge branches pointing right. There are also some big branches at the top of the tree. Goals today were to remove these large branches and to do some directional wiring. Here’s the tree after work.

625E1A88-4C6C-4F79-9001-707103B5BE10.jpeg

As you can see, after reducing the branches on the right, it accentuates the leftward lean.

S
 

Milly

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Are they cultivated very often for bonsai there? Anything else you can share with me about their care?

Looks like they have a pretty restricted range. I’m also curious to know more about their native habitat. Full sun? Low elevation along the coast? Anything else?

S
Ficus Burtt Davii are used extensively for bonsai in the Western Cape but I believe not so much in the rest of South Africa. I've heard there are 3 types used but I've only used 2 of them, the small leafed and the large leafed. A grower, deceased now, found these really old trees at the Cango Caves near Oudtshoorn. A dry hot area.
They do best in full sun.

248764
This one has the smallest leaves. Its midwinter here and they've lost a lot of leaves so looking pretty scrappy now.
When growing a trunk you have to do trunk chops to build taper and give movement, otherwise you'll end up with an uninteresting pole. The roots also grow very thick.

For some reason I'm unable to upload the photo of the large leaf tree.
 

markyscott

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Ficus Burtt Davii are used extensively for bonsai in the Western Cape but I believe not so much in the rest of South Africa. I've heard there are 3 types used but I've only used 2 of them, the small leafed and the large leafed. A grower, deceased now, found these really old trees at the Cango Caves near Oudtshoorn. A dry hot area.
They do best in full sun.

View attachment 248764
This one has the smallest leaves. Its midwinter here and they've lost a lot of leaves so looking pretty scrappy now.
When growing a trunk you have to do trunk chops to build taper and give movement, otherwise you'll end up with an uninteresting pole. The roots also grow very thick.

For some reason I'm unable to upload the photo of the large leaf tree.
@Milly - I wonder if you have any pictures of mature ones in their natural setting? I’d love to see what an old FBD looks like. Given it’s lateral dominance, I’d guess it’s more shrub-like than tree-like, but I’d love to see what one looks like in its natural habit.

S
 

amcoffeegirl

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Mine did really well under lights this winter. I just cut mine back also and waiting for a new push of growth.
I am sure yours will be happier now that the sun can reach the inside.
Thank you very much for sharing your cuttings. :)
I will try my best to get some roots.
 

hemmy

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pictures of mature ones in their natural setting? I’d love to see what an old FBD looks like.
Here’s some from a neat website. Mostly creeping, strangling, shrub-like as suggested. But the first image is much more upright than I would have guessed.
4FBA8730-9799-4B86-94A5-3F721D5AD4EB.jpeg

Photo 28626470, (c) Sandra Falanga, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC)



246FA43E-E462-4D71-A260-C72E3D428CB2.jpeg
Photo 15416447, (c) Sandra Falanga, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC)


 

markyscott

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Here’s some from a neat website. Mostly creeping, strangling, shrub-like as suggested. But the first image is much more upright than I would have guessed.
View attachment 249947

Photo 28626470, (c) Sandra Falanga, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC)



View attachment 249948
Photo 15416447, (c) Sandra Falanga, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC)


Really interesting- thank you hemmy.

S
 
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penumbra

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I have a burtt davyii comming in the mail today. Gotta love ficus and this is likely to be my favorite.
 

hemmy

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This is not burtt davyii, this is Ficus ingens
What characteristics of that specimen lead to the F. ingens ID? That is a crowd-sourced ID site, so certainly susceptible to mis-identifications. I also chose that image as it what an outlier in terms of trunk diameter and upright form. As you are about 16,000km closer than me to this species habitat, any additional info is appreciated!
 
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Ficus ingens' common name is red leaved rock fig, it grows like that and has that color bark. Grows in mountains and rocky outcrops in my whole area, Ive also grown them as bonsai. The second image in that post is correct, Burt davyii comes from the eastern cape province and a mate of mine has collected one from the beach like in the photo. Burt davyii as a tree in nature is a sprawling climber with long droopy growth
 

markyscott

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Today I thinned out shoots that would not be used and cut back old branches to strong young shoots wherever possible. I removed downward growing shoots and thinned all branch junctions to two shoots. I then did a bit of wiring to start putting the main branch structure into place. Looking at this picture, there are some strongly horizontal lines that will have to be addressed.

415E22E6-BD75-42F7-87D0-1E28F94F175B.jpeg
 

markyscott

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How do you get all those aerial roots?
Do you have a greenhouse?
😂 yes, but the aerial roots grow outdoors where it’s only LIKE a greenhouse. 95 degrees and 80% humidity + lots of growth will do it every time. You can probably do it there too - just let it grow strong in the summer and they will probably drop roots for you.

S
 

amcoffeegirl

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😂 yes, but the aerial roots grow outdoors where it’s only LIKE a greenhouse. 95 degrees and 80% humidity + lots of growth will do it every time. You can probably do it there too - just let it grow strong in the summer and they will probably drop roots for you.

S
Thanks- I know the schefflera houseplants do it like crazy. But my ficus are stubborn.
My pots are not rootbound- does that make a difference?
The humidity here is very high all summer so it should be happening. Lol
 

amcoffeegirl

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I’m sure I have said it before but this is such a great variety of ficus to work with.
I need more of them! I have about 25 Salicaria. I need an equal number of these.
😁
 

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