Ficus 'Too Little' ror progressioin

ericN

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Just want to share my ror project that i started planing and building since july 2007. this project is grown indoors all year round for 3 years now.

first photo is the poor tree when i started the project and the plan i have in mind (which is obviously a long shot if not impossible:D)

eric
 

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ericN

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These photos were taken december 2007 after a chop, febuary 2008 after an airlayer, and the last two around may 2009 after growing the roots in a tall pot after the airlayer for more than a year. It sprouted at the base just above the airlayer and was let grown wildly to encourage trunk girth.

eric
 

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RyanFrye

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Hi Eric,

You seem to have a good handle on the fact that the tree in its current state isn't much of a bonsai. That's a good thing! I also think that by air layering it (as it seems by the drawing you have planned for it) you will get a great learning experience if nothing else. So go for it!

I'm in FL so the tropicals that I have layered have all been outdoors....

The only thing I could think of that would be a problem for you would be heat...or the lack of. I'm not sure how the lack of heat will effect the success of the layer. I know of Jerry Mieslik, who has extensive experience with growing tropicals indoors in a northern climate. You might want to look him up.

Thanks for sharing,

Ryan

Edit: I wrote my reply before you posted your second set of pics and info. Looks like the layer was a success!
 

ericN

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The last piece of the project, i found this about 2 months ago at an aquarium store, and i'm not even looking for a rock ;):D

eric
 

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ericN

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I know of Jerry Mieslik, who has extensive experience with growing tropicals indoors in a northern climate. You might want to look him up.

Hi ryan,

I am using his book intensively as my ficus growing guide, and when i need some expert advice, i always drop him an e-mail and he is always there for his expertise and guidance. a really awesome guy.

eric
 
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Jerry knows his ficus and he is always willing to help. When I first started with ficus, he not only clued me in on the perfect soil mikx, but also where to find it, he used to live near me in Michigan.

From my own experiences in Michigan's climate, ficus airlayer well indoors during the cold season or outdoors during the growing season. However, this is based only on Retusa, I have never tried layering a 'too little.'



Good plan.



Will
 

ericN

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I did some work on this ongoing project last weekend, july of 2009. I have used the pot that i was suppose to use for this ror, this pot is on hand and size is good for root development. Peat muck is spread to the bottom half of the rock for roots to grow on.

eric
 

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ericN

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The tree is placed on the rock and it had grown long sturdy fibrous roots that clasp the rock nicely and a lot of fibrous roots that reached the potting media in the pot. It was arranged in a way that it actually went into the crevices of the rock. Then it was covered with a thin layer of muck, warped in plastic and secured by grafting tape. Then the sacrifice branches was cut off and covered with cut paste. (yes i use cut paste;) lol)

eric
 

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ericN

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The Last step was wrapping the whole rock above the soil line with a hard plastic container and filled it with river sand, in between the grafting tape and the container to make sure that the roots will grow and flatten to that rock instead of bulging outwards. In my experience, Ficus roots have the tendency to flatten and meld to anything if done correctly. Maybe in 2 years, considering its a ficus, this will have good results.:)

As for the technique I have used in this project, it was a combination of all I have read about 'root over rock' from various books, internet articles and improvising based on my interpretation on why this needs to be done.:D:)

hope you all enjoy it as much as i have.

eric
 

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grouper52

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Erci,

That's a very nicely done project, and should develop into a very attractive creation over time. The rock, which the Chinese believe to be more important than the tree in such settings, is quite nice, and the ficus should cling to it and look quite at home. Well done.

Will
 

RyanFrye

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Eric,

Very nice progression and very well done!

Keep us posted.

Ryan
 

Rick Moquin

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The last piece of the project, i found this about 2 months ago at an aquarium store, and i'm not even looking for a rock ;):D

eric

... it is amazing what one finds when not looking. It's almost like something on the tip of your tongue that just won't come out until you forget about it.

Nicely done and I await the removal of the cast with impatience.
 

ericN

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Ryan, Rck, Will and the other Will;), thanks for the kind words.

As for an update on the project, its been 3 weeks after the ror re-potting and the ficus did not even drop a single leaf and growing bonkers. Looking good so far and its enjoying the chicago really weird mild summer of should i say the longest spring ever! Not that I'm complaining.:D Temp hovers around high 70's and low 80's hi and still goes down in the low 60's at night in July!:eek:
 
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CooperT

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How is this doing lately? Looks great and gives me some inspiration! May do something similar with one of my mallsai tigerbarks.

Tim
 

ericN

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How is this doing lately? Looks great and gives me some inspiration! May do something similar with one of my mallsai tigerbarks.

Tim

Hi Tim,

The tree is doing great. it did not miss a beat or dropped a single leaf after the transplant and its growing like a weed. Its looks unkept at the moment but i will post a pic for update.

eric
 

ericN

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update.....
 

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CooperT

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Thanks for the update and pics! Can't wait to see it when it gets established and "unveiled".

Tim
 

ericN

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June 13 2010, this is how the tree looks now. I have been letting it grow freely, style and trim every 4 months or so. i have decided to add some more interesting curves on the cascading trunkline insted of just one straight line going away from the rock.

all advise and criticism are welcome.

eric
 

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pjkatich

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Eric,

You have done a nice job with this project so far.

The only thing I would have done different is I would have planted the composition in a much larger growing container. I have found that during this stage of r-o-r development that most trees need more root run to firmly establish the roots around the rock.

Thanks for the update.

Regards,
Paul
 

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