Grow onto cholla wood

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Shohin
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I want to attach some cholla and let a strangler fig grow over it, it seems the most like the natural growth habit of the strangler. Has anyone used this?
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ShadyStump

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I had to look up more on strangler fig to get a better idea where you're going with this.

I'm still not sure.
Are you thinking planting a seedling in the top and letting the roots grow down? Multiple pieces of cholla like a tripod almost?
Are you anticipating the cholla wood rotting away or being removed at some point? It won't last long being watered all the time, especially in Florida humidity.
How the hell do you even know what cholla is in Florida? Here it's yard weed.

The concept may have merit, just no experience with strangler fig so lots of questions.
 

nuttiest

Shohin
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I didn't think of it rotting away, but then maybe the fig gets some decent aerials before then. I could cut the fig cuttings and put cholla around trunk.
You're right florida people don't know cholla... shopping on chewy for unusual garden stuff. One of their aquarium items is small hydro-balls but in a small package.
 

19Mateo83

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I had to look up more on strangler fig to get a better idea where you're going with this.

I'm still not sure.
Are you thinking planting a seedling in the top and letting the roots grow down? Multiple pieces of cholla like a tripod almost?
Are you anticipating the cholla wood rotting away or being removed at some point? It won't last long being watered all the time, especially in Florida humidity.
How the hell do you even know what cholla is in Florida? Here it's yard weed.

The concept may have merit, just no experience with strangler fig so lots of questions.
I can see this being a very good scaffold to develop a strangler ficus on IF you can get the roots developed and beefed up enough to support the tree by the time the cholla rots away. I found some very cool pieces on eBay. If cholla is a yard weed there any chances you could send some for “educational purposes”
 

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Also would like to make some faux palm trees by gluing these in a small plastic pots and mounting spray succulents to top
 

ShadyStump

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The pieces in the OP pic are about as solid of chunks as I've ever seen. They tend to be fragile, splintering away at a mild flex. They are cactus skeleton after all. Then of course my experience with it is confined to the stuff you find in the wild that's been exposed to the weather since it died.
If you could find some stout pieces, or even cut a live cholla (pronounced like choiya, BTW) and cure it in a sheltered environment, it might be possible to treat it with tung or linseed oil or similar to make it last longer, but it will still rot away fairly quickly, and you'd only have about a foot or so to work with. It might last you 5 years tops at a guess, if it doesn't break before that.
5 years is long enough to coax some ficus roots, but the conditions to accelerate that process will also speed the process of decomposition.

I guess I'm saying it's an interesting idea to use it as a scaffold that's intended to rot away eventually, but it might not work out as well as you'd think.

BIt what the hell, I'm willing to send you the pest pieces I can get my hands on if you send me some cuttings or the like. We can see what climate does to it maybe.
 

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makes me think of Chollawood swingin Kool and Gang
 

rockm

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FWIW, this is what cholla looks like. There are quite a few species of it. This one is "Teddy bear" cholla, as it looks fuzzy and cuddly. It ain't. The roots are used for a lot of stuff and typically taken from large mature plants--from what I understand they're collected by people with permits on public desert lands. They can get very large. Also known as "jumping cactus" as segments will break off once they're stuck to an animal or you. The broken pieces can root themselves after they're removed or fall off...
 

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Bonsai Nut

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Not sure how long cholla skeleton will last. It's not really "wood" because it is the interior skeleton of a desert succulent. It is popularly used in aquariums where submerged it lasts 6 - 18 months. I have no idea how long it would last when in contact with wet soil...
 

penumbra

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Not sure how long cholla skeleton will last. It's not really "wood" because it is the interior skeleton of a desert succulent. It is popularly used in aquariums where submerged it lasts 6 - 18 months. I have no idea how long it would last when in contact with wet soil...
Completely disintegrates in about a year in water.
 

ShadyStump

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Never seen it used in aquariums before, but then that's not really my community.
Any thoughts on my idea of treating it to last longer?

I have no idea how long it would last when in contact with wet soil
My thought is the portion in the soil may break down faster actually as it's a perfect environment for the microbes that would speed decomposition.
Maybe use landscape size lava or other rocks that will hold less moisture to anchor the cholla in. They could be removed once repotting is necessary.

Still, the idea is worth the experiment in my opinion. Nothing else comes to mind that would work better for a scaffold INTENDED to decompose over time.
 

ShadyStump

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Just realized that different species/varieties of cholla, relative to what @rockm pointed out, likely would have different characteristics of wood, because the stuff that grows around here certainly isn't like the stuff in @nuttiest's OP pic. It's very possible that the stuff around here is so flimsy because that's just the variety.

Still, looking for stuff to do with the kids over summer, and this is as good an excuse to hit the hills as anything.
 

nuttiest

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Well it is $9 for a pack of 3 small already processed at chewy website, but in my case it sounds like I need amore lasting material.
Going to try and do a criscross pattern with wax or tape for masking a cedar branch, and then paint the whole with acid every couple of months, that should make the lattice pattern I want.
 
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