Ginseng grafted curtain fig repot and major chop question/advice

power270lb

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So I wanted to start off by saying thank you to this community. Everyone has helped me big time and I appreciate all the advice I've received. This is the 2nd bonsai tree I got (early December) and it's special to me, really propelled me head first into this world. It came with the main branch broken, so I mended it and within a week there was new growth. After I upgraded my grow lights to 3 spider farmer SF-1000s this tree along with everything else exploded. Anything light green is all new growth, the main branch 10+ inches.

Now, it's simply too big for my setup. I plan on moving everything outside but temperatures are all over the place (today is a high of 82 and yesterday a low of 41.) It's also very root bound to the point that water beads on top so I'm definitely repotting today. I've asked this before but before I do it I want to make sure and understand regarding chopping the tree. Some members suggested chopping all the way down to a few inches above the exposed roots (not sure if that's what they're called.) This would be my first major chop so I'm a tad skeptical. Since I have to repot (going to put into a bigger pot) if I don't do the chop now and wait a bit how much roots do I take off? Since I'm moving to a bigger pot could I just transplant? Is it safe to prune roots along with the top? Trying to understand cause and effect in regards to if I prune here what happens or if I prune and chop 9" what happens. Any and all advice greatly appreciated. Also added recently a ficus phillippensis, ficus schefflera, crown of thorns, a mini bougainvillea and a larger cherry blossom bouginvillea, a big desert rose with white/peach flowers and a feather acacia. Lol I can't stop buying trees.
 

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I think most of us share your same problem, lol. I will warn you that going down the "indoor" tropical bonsai rabbit hole in your (our) climate you will end up like me, having to carve out an entire room for grow tents before you realize you have an issue!

All that aside, good growing @power270lb! It looks super healthy, and you have obviously learned enough about caring for it that you know what you are doing. But I do not recommend either repotting or chopping right now - it is the wrong season for it. I learned that lesson the hard way this past winter getting cocky with a large microcarpa I have had for years. I think you will have much more success waiting for summer, when it is growing strongly outside. In the meantime, you can compensate for the compacted soil by submerging the entire pot for at least five minutes once a week. Then, when you do repot, you can judge whether the tree has built enough energy to do both a chop and repot at the same time.

Now on the topic of chopping this tree almost down to the graft, I completely disagree with that approach but take this with a grain of salt. It is your tree - your vision. But if it were mine, I would probably bury the base up to the "crotch" of the roots, find a nice trunk line by zigging and zagging up the existing branches, cut everything else off the sides, and then allow the top of that chosen trunk line to grow wild and develop girth. Then, once it matches the thickness of the graft, chop again and grow the next section of trunk until it is about 50% that thickness, chop again and grow a crown/branches. Assuming you allow enough growing time to build energy between each procedure, adventitious buds should pop all over the trunk at that point.

Good luck!
 

power270lb

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I think most of us share your same problem, lol. I will warn you that going down the "indoor" tropical bonsai rabbit hole in your (our) climate you will end up like me, having to carve out an entire room for grow tents before you realize you have an issue!

All that aside, good growing @power270lb! It looks super healthy, and you have obviously learned enough about caring for it that you know what you are doing. But I do not recommend either repotting or chopping right now - it is the wrong season for it. I learned that lesson the hard way this past winter getting cocky with a large microcarpa I have had for years. I think you will have much more success waiting for summer, when it is growing strongly outside. In the meantime, you can compensate for the compacted soil by submerging the entire pot for at least five minutes once a week. Then, when you do repot, you can judge whether the tree has built enough energy to do both a chop and repot at the same time.

Now on the topic of chopping this tree almost down to the graft, I completely disagree with that approach but take this with a grain of salt. It is your tree - your vision. But if it were mine, I would probably bury the base up to the "crotch" of the roots, find a nice trunk line by zigging and zagging up the existing branches, cut everything else off the sides, and then allow the top of that chosen trunk line to grow wild and develop girth. Then, once it matches the thickness of the graft, chop again and grow the next section of trunk until it is about 50% that thickness, chop again and grow a crown/branches. Assuming you allow enough growing time to build energy between each procedure, adventitious buds should pop all over the trunk at that point.

Good luck!
Even tho it's growing out of control moving to a bigger pot would be dangerous? Appreciate all the advice, my setup is pretty ridiculous. Mylar curtains with mylar on the walls and the bottom, it's like I just kept adding a few pieces here and there and "one more then I'll be good" now my bar top/counter is out of room I'm actually kinda sad about it haha. Is there anyway u can use a doodle and show me exactly where you'd chop? Guess I'm just trying to see how far up you'd go and how low you'd cut everything else. Tbh I have no vision, all I want is a thicker trunk and bigger everything.
 

Carol 83

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Lol aye, they're pretty amazing. I need a class on how they develop their aerial roots.
I figured, all things they have on their website. Been doing a little window shopping myself.
 

power270lb

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I figured, all things they have on their website. Been doing a little window shopping myself.
Tbh I was pretty blown away by how developed the trees were and for that price. I'll take some pics but for the size with aerial roots I'll take it all day. They're not close to bonsai material but still I love trees. My new desert rose, feather acacia and the cherry blossom bouginvillea arrive tomorrow but gimmie a sec and I'll upload pics of what I got from them. Another huge plus they charge shipping altogether, I was gonna buy from bonsaiboy on long island and they added $25 for literally every tree whereas two different times I've bought from wigerts (1st order $130 and 2nd order $170) shipping was $27 total the first time and $29 the second. Lol if u add humidity trays tho (7" for 4 dollars) the shipping skyrockets I don't get why.
 

power270lb

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Being in Florida doesn't hurt...
So it's a dwarf pitch apple, phillippensis, crown of thorns, mini bougainvillea, desmodium and the schefflera which is completely buried in foliage right now. Waiting for it to adjust then I'm gonna trim it up. Angie is wonderful, any requests you put in they do their best to accommodate you.
 

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Carol 83

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So it's a dwarf pitch apple, phillippensis, crown of thorns, mini bougainvillea, desmodium and the schefflera which is completely buried in foliage right now. Waiting for it to adjust then I'm gonna trim it up. Angie is wonderful, any requests you put in they do their best to accommodate you.
Nice! I've never been disappointed with anything I've received from them. All very good value for what you get. If you're looking for something specific, just email Andrea, she is great to work with and will even send pictures.
 

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