Ficus Root Base Spread & Chop Project

Boise_Guy

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I've got myself another big ficus! Benjamina I believe. I've only just recently chopped my first one and now it's time to start messing with this one :)

Its 8 feet tall from bottom of pot to top of branches. Was potted just last year by previous owner, but he is using potting soil. I'm keeping it outside for now till it gets too cold.

First order of business I'm thinking will be to repot it in bonsai soil mix and to root prune any large tap roots underneath the soil line. Then leave it be the rest of the summer, perhaps pruning top branches a little to shorten it just a touch and then I can keep it inside over the winter. Then next summer, I can chop it when its in full growth.

* Question --> there is quite the root spread on this guy...what do I do about those bulbous roots? Can they actually be carved (like with a dremmel, almost as if it were deadwood...?). Do I need to just chop these bulbous parts off entirely? Also, while I'm at it, should I just remove overlapping roots in the root spread? And finally, if yes to any of the above, when do I do this pruning of the above ground root spread?

Comments, ideas, suggestions are always welcome.

Thanks.
Boise_Guy
 

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sorce

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I might have shared this with you for the other one....
But here is what could be done...
http://www.bonsainut.com/threads/purpose-of-the-past-post-giant-ficus.17047/

In hindsight...I would've enjoyed the whole tree better.
And yours is way nicer than mine!

If you must...I would go through and find some airlayers to take off the top.

Even if this base was salvageable, the straight trunk may never bud out for you.

I think it's right purty now!

Sorce
 

eferguson1974

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Funky roots! Be sure to leave some leaves on any branch you prune, and if you chop it leave the lowest branch with leaves. Idk about yours, but my benjis dont backbud from the trunk so far.
 

hemmy

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I would remove or split the bulbous roots that you can't hide. I personally don't mind some crossing roots if they fuse and braid in the right place. Here's some links to root splitting/carving. Keep in mind these guys are in South Africa and Florida, so they do some harsher things to their trees than you'll be able to do in Idaho. I'm planning some major ficus work next week, but I also have a long growing season. I would think should be able to still do your root work as it looks like your average lows stay above 50F until middle Sept. so you still have 2 months recovery time.

When do you take your tropicals indoors and do you put them under lights?

http://lennardsbonsaibeginnings.blogspot.com/2012/09/ficus-burkei-ficus-natalensis-ficus.html?m=1


https://adamaskwhy.com/2014/10/01/willow-leaf-ficus-one-of-my-winnings-from-the-auction/
 

Boise_Guy

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I would remove or split the bulbous roots that you can't hide. I personally don't mind some crossing roots if they fuse and braid in the right place. Here's some links to root splitting/carving. Keep in mind these guys are in South Africa and Florida, so they do some harsher things to their trees than you'll be able to do in Idaho. I'm planning some major ficus work next week, but I also have a long growing season. I would think should be able to still do your root work as it looks like your average lows stay above 50F until middle Sept. so you still have 2 months recovery time.

When do you take your tropicals indoors and do you put them under lights?

http://lennardsbonsaibeginnings.blogspot.com/2012/09/ficus-burkei-ficus-natalensis-ficus.html?m=1


https://adamaskwhy.com/2014/10/01/willow-leaf-ficus-one-of-my-winnings-from-the-auction/
Good stuff Hemmy, thanks for sharing. This is the sort of thing I was looking for. Your estimation was right on-- I typically would take my Ficus in sometime in September when lows start getting below 50. I use LED grow lights to supplement some nice window locations that are S/SE window facing.

If I try splitting the roots, whats the worst that could happen? Those roots would just start to rot or die off and so long as I keep an eye on them and cut them off completely if they are looking sickly --- no other adverse or long term harmful affects?

I'm considering this weekend doing a repot into bonsai soil and terra cotta, followed by some root work...although I can hold off or minimize the latter.

Thanks,
Boise_Guy
 

Nwaite

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Them there are some fuuuunky root brotha!
Killed both my ficus's the first time I replanted so I won't even try to give ya any advice. Good luck with the back budding and I can't wait to see what you do with her.
 

sorce

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Them there are some fuuuunky root brotha!
Killed both my ficus's the first time I replanted so I won't even try to give ya any advice. Good luck with the back budding and I can't wait to see what you do with her.

Not the ones we talked about!?

Everytime I look at the cutting I struck, dug via heavy rip, and stuck in DE and a basket growing well, I wonder about what went wrong with your tree...

Did it die? The one that was iffy?

Sorce
 

Nwaite

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Yep...
I have a cutting off it I'll try out when it gets bigger..

I think it was do to over watering. .. then under.... then who the f knows...
 

Boise_Guy

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Why the Tropicals?
I don't do just tropicals, although I do like them since as I'm starting out (1 year into crazy) and they are forgiving, grow fast, and give me something to do in winter.

Here's a brief list of my other trees, virtually all of them in terra cotta pots and in various stages of training. I can usually get good local advice from our Bonsai Society here for everything but tropicals....so I've used the forum for those trees. I figure if I put pictures and posts up for every tree I have then people will start to ignore me, so I'm focusing just on the ones I need the most help with!

6 Ficus
Fukien Tea
Elderberry Bush
2 Serissas
2 Chinese Elm
American Elm
2 Corkbark Elm
Maple
2 Japanese Maple
Redwood
Sargent Juniper
Shimpaku Juniper
Yamadori/common Juniper
2 Dwarf Garden Junipers
Spaan's Dwarf Pine

Thanks,
Boise_Guy
 

sorce

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F it....you gotta be really corn stupid to get ignored...you won't be...

Post a few!

Sorce
 

sorce

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Short story...

I work with a feller named Daryl, good guy...gave me all my garden vegetables...anyway...I start calling him Darrel, with an African American pronunciation, cuz he's really really white, then it went to Derail, cuz he messes any project up, then my buddy started calling him Corn Rail....anyway...

It's corn anything now!

Funny thing...We're sitting by the currency exchange up north, waiting for money, and we see this dude walk by and pick up a piece of corn...in the middle of the city, he looks at it, and just keeps it...like he never ever ever see corn in his life, a hipster dude...
It was Funny as Hell, and very very disturbing!

I do realize that was a waste of good reading time...
Apologies!

Sorce
 

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