Ficus nerifolia progress..........

agraham

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I've had this tree for quite a few years....I'd guess 25 or close to that.The first 20 years or so it was progressively moved to larger and larger pots.Finally after a few years in a 45 or 60 gallon nursery container(i really can't remember which),I took a chainsaw to the rootball,reduced it by probably 70% until I could fit it into a large mica pot.I chopped the trunks at the same time.After a year of recovery I carved the chops trying to make use of the large branches that had sprouted at the chops.

That's the history.The last 3 1/2 years have been spent developing the canopy.

#1 February '04
#2 February '06
#3 August '06
#4 May '07

It now sits in a 24" wide cement mixing tray.It's appx 36" tall and maybe a little wider.I have worse trees in bonsai pots...and think this one deserves a nice one.

I'm posting this because I would appreciate a serious discussion and suggestions on how to proceed.I have my own ideas ofcourse:D .But any and all opinions and ideas(even questions)are welcomed.

I want to make it clear that I am serious about my bonsai and my development as an artist.But, I do not consider myself a master of anything.You will not hurt my feelings if you don't like how the tree has developed or my previous styling methods.

For those of you loathe to discuss tropicals.......consider it a deciduous broadleaved tree...a maple perhaps:) .

And please...let's be specific.Too wide?,not wide enough?Foliage starts to high?What the hell is that little tuft of green at the base?No taper?bad carving?...whatever.

This is my offering to get this site further along than discussions about personalities and "general discussion".There are other threads here about trees too.Let's bonsai!

Thanks,

andy
 

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irene_b

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Dammmm, what you want for this pertty?
I'll take it off your hands and you won't have to worry about it ;) ........
Irene
 

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When I look at this tree, here is what I think:

First, it has a triple trunk, so I think to really bring out the power in this tree you will need to emphasize the three trunks as separate parts. I would eliminate the front branch, which in my opinion hides the trunk and de-emphasizes the design. Then I would pull down the branches on the second and third trunk to give them a slight weeping effect, and separate the two foilage masses. The apex of the main trunk would be developed separately and would need to be asymmetrical - probably heavy to the left. In the case of my design, I also cut a break into the canopy on the left.

The branch to the left is very important and needs to be developed further to balance the tree. It is a little low in my opinion, but not bad. Perhaps you can still bend it up closer to the trunk so that it comes up and out instead of looking like it comes straight out.

At any rate, I did a quick virtual of what I was thinking...

 

agraham

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Thanks Nut.That's what I'm talking about!your idea is completely opposite to what I was thinking And I still like it.Very much as a matter of fact.

I was going for the wide tropical spreading tree look and your idea and virt is more of an ancient mountain style(to me)tree.I'm not opposed to tropicals being styled this way.Especially nerifolias whose leaves are very narrow and could almost...almost...be portrayed as "needles".

I guess either style would demand a different style pot?

Oh yeah...it actually has 4 trunks...one is hidden behind the main one.It provides some of the back branches though and I don't want to lose it.

andy
 

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I was going for the wide tropical spreading tree look and your idea and virt is more of an ancient mountain style(to me)tree.
I have a hard time making my eye think in non-traditional ways. I guess I have spent too much time looking at Japanese bonsai. :) Your tree has such a strong nebari it would be a shame (in my opinion) to start to hide it behind foilage pads and arial roots.

I'm not opposed to tropicals being styled this way.Especially nerifolias whose leaves are very narrow and could almost...almost...be portrayed as "needles".
Have you ever defoliated this tree? Ficus nerifolia defoliates nicely and the second sprout of leaves is greatly reduced in size. Defoliating also causes a lot of back-budding so you can create a lot of ramification in your design quickly.

I guess either style would demand a different style pot?
With my style you would want to go with something semi-formal. A squarish pot with dark green / almost black semi-gloss glaze would be nice. You would want to change the planting position so the main trunk was close to being center. You could still stay with a deepish pot because the nebari and trunk are wide enough to warrant it. With a spreading tropical style you would want to go informal and shallower. You might even consider an oval pot with curved sides and cloud feet.

Oh yeah...it actually has 4 trunks...one is hidden behind the main one.It provides some of the back branches though and I don't want to lose it.
It's tough to work in 2D. I had hoped there was something back there to give the design depth. I would not remove it either - you want something to add interest and mystery to the design.
 

bonsai barry

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No question that it is a beauty! Far more so than any tree I have, so take my comments lightly.
1) Great trunks!
2) The tree has an oak look to me. If it were mine, I'd flatten the top somewhat for more of a banyan tree look
3) The tree would exude more power if the lower branches were stronger. Have you thought about letting them grow wild for a season or two?

My two-cents.
 

agraham

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Thanks Barry.Your ideas are right along what I have been aiming for.The lower branches were sort of an afterthought.I had left them on "just in case" I decided to use them.Nerifolias seem to be very apically dominant and they have been slow to develop.This year's plan(unless someone talks me out of it)is to defoliate and trim the top and let the lower branches develop in strength.I'm also looking to develop the top right branches to extend further..hopefully broadening and "flattening" the crown.

I have to say though,that I am tempted to head in Bnut's proposed direction,I really like that look.Even though it may be pooh poohed by the "modern masters",bonsai can sometimes look like bonsai.Representative of an ideal artful form,not necessarily tied to it's natural growth habit.

andy
 
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irene_b

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Dang it Andy!!!!
Think outside the box!
I love what Craig did in the virt and think it would look fantastic!
Irene
 
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Only a few.....

Very nice nerfolia Andy, I like the powerful trunks very much. I also like the direction Bnut took in his virt. I don't particularly care for the new pot, maybe it is the color....brings to mind water and I can't envision this tree growing on the shore. With such a massive, masculine trunk and Nebari, the pot should also accentuate this feature.

Best member bonsai I've seem posted here in a while!



Will
 
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irene_b

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Update.

I potted it in this 40"-42" wide pot.Comments?

andy
Yup, it looks gooooood!
But please work it a lot closer to the virt that the BNut suggested.
Myself I would get it a little closer to the center of the pot, it has the canopy to handle it.
Irene

On first cup of coffee! I hope it makes sense.
 

agraham

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Will,

Thanks.....yeah the pot is not the best.But it is the size I needed for my vision of the tree.The color can be changed....it has already been spray painted a couple of times I'm ashamed to say.I liked the shape,but the glaze was a terrible splotchy blue.It was relatively affordable though.I can't even imagine what a really nice pot this size would cost.

Irene,

As much as I like Bnut's Virtual and suggestion,it's going to be difficult for me to change directions with the tree.I guess I've been seeing it as a banyan style.....or at least headed in that direction for too long.Time will tell though.

As far as the placement of the tree in the pot...it is too far to the left.I agree.I placed it there intending to extend the foliage on the right and trying to get some aerial roots.We'll see how that works out.I have some skinny neris I might try to graft as roots as the season progresses.

andy
 
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irene_b

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Will,

Thanks.

Irene,

As much as I like Bnut's Virtual and suggestion,it's going to be difficult for me to change directions with the tree.I guess I've been seeing it as a banyan style.....or at least headed in that direction for too long.Time will tell though.

As far as the placement of the tree in the pot...it is too far to the left.I agree.I placed it there intending to extend the foliage on the right and trying to get some aerial roots.We'll see how that works out.I have some skinny neris I might try to graft as roots as the season progresses.

andy

Dang it Andy!!!!
Think outside that Box that you are keeping yourself in!!!!
OCD...Stuck in a rut!
Andy you are a very fine Artist and I do admire your work!
But sometimes we all need to get out of the forest so we can see the tree :D
I will bring my tools when I come down for a visit and I will work on this one for you :cool:
Irene
 

irene_b

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Maybe something like this? Kinda cookie-cutter tropical, but...
Ummmm Nope!
I still like Bnuts...open that thing up and show it off!
 

Bonsai Nut

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Any update on this tree?
 

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