Has anyone noticed a shortage of Ficus?

edprocoat

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I had two nice Ficus, a micocarpa and a philipena, I think thats how they were spelled, anyway the microcarpa was twelve years old and had great little leaves and I trained it to look like a mushroom and pulled down three small branches two on the right and one on the left looking from the front and buried them in the soil to make it look like a banyan tree, which was very nice looking believe it or not. The branches became like roots over the years and thickened up nicely to about a fourth the size of the trunk which was almost 3 inches wide, the tree was 24 inches tall and 18 inches wide at the base of the mushroom like canopy. The other one was trained to look like a windswept willow tree as it had more slender leaves which reduced easily through defoliating mid summer and was 26 inches tall. These two plants were removed from my front door two years ago. I found Ficus so easy to work with and quick growing and resilient. I gave some layered pieces to friends from branches I culled over the years and sadly they have all been killed off.

Since the loss of these plants I have been scouring wal mart, where I got the first one, and home depots and target stores and meijer and any little nursery I come across from Ohio where I summer to Florida where I spend the winter months with no luck finding a Ficus of any variety.

Recently I found a Varieagated Ficus Benjamina, which I am not crazy about as it was six little shoots about the thickness of the lead in a pencil, they had several dozen of the same plant and this was about the best choice I had. I am not crazy about the color of the leaves either, but I wanted a Ficus to work with.

I planted one on a small rock and want to keep it in the Mame category, its doing fine, but the whitish yellow fringe around the leaves just does not say tree to me. I took the other ones and decided to remove about an inch of the bark around the trunk as if air layering just above the soil line of three of them and removed half the bark on one side of each the remaining two in the same inch long area. I brushed a little rooting hormone on the exposed surfaces and stuck them all together with the two with the bark removed on one side only on either side and wound them in plastic and wrapped the plastic with twine to hold it all together. My reason, to make a trunk about a half inch wide, I pulled the outer two down into the soil and ground layered them leaving only the top quarter of an inch sticking out. I hoped they would root and I would let them grow to about four inches and pull it back and graft it back into the trunk again while leaving it still rooted into the soil. After finishing this I defoliated it and set it in the shade for a week to let it die, as I said I do not like the leaves, or maybe recoup and start to grow. Well despite all my torture it has started new growth. maybe I will wind up with a neat little tree with ugly whitish yellow fringed leaves, who knows it may even worm its way into my heart.

ed
 

jmuzzey

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With fall weather here for the most part in chicago area, I know you will not see many tropicals untilo next spring. The cold weather during shipping can wreak havoc on them, so the home stores and nurseries stop shipping in tropicals this time of year. Before the weather gets too cold, order something from Brussels bonsai, they have nice ficus of different varieties.
 

mat

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Sorry for the loss of your trees. They sound very nice, and it's obvious you put a lot of time and energy into them.

There are plenty of pre-bonsai Ficus in Florida bonsai nurseries, probably for not much more than a big Ficus plant at Home Depot. Durastone & Wigert's should have a bunch of really healthy ones after the long summer we've had.

I'm curious, where do you winter in Florida?
 
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discusmike

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Meehans miniatures has greenhouses full of all varieties,all sizes,and they ship.
 

edprocoat

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Sorry for the loss of your trees. They sound very nice, and it's obvious you put a lot of time and energy into them.

There are plenty of pre-bonsai Ficus in Florida bonsai nurseries, probably for not much more than a big Ficus plant at Home Depot. Durastone & Wigert's should have a bunch of really healthy ones after the long summer we've had.

I'm curious, where do you winter in Florida?

Mat, I seen that not long after I posted this in another thread here somewhere. I looked it up and its in Vero Beach Fl. I have not went to a Bonsai nursery in many years. I visited one near Tampa 26 years ago and the prices really shocked me. I looked at the site for Durastone, the trees he had in his catalog area looked to be very expensive, I know if I had trained a tree to look as beautiful as the ones he had at that site I would want plenty for it, he had no prices posted so I assumed that to be true with his place. I did not see any pre-bonsai specimens there though. I winter in Orlando by the way.

Jmuzzey, I do not doubt that this time of year tropicals are not shipped north, but I have not been able to find anything for two years, spring through winter, except for this variagated thing I bought.

ed
 

aredsfan

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What part of Ohio are you in? North Dayton Garden Center, in Dayton, has a big slection of ficus. They are a bit pricey though.
 

mat

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Ed, I would not use Durastone's web-site as a guide to what he really has. He has posted some example specimen trees, but he has tons of reasonable priced pre-bonsai. Rows and rows of various species of Ficus, priced from $15. If you have a species in mind, I'd recommend that you call Jim and see what he can do.

If you're still looking this winter, it's about a 2-hour drive from Orlando.
 

Bill S

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Ed, I would not use Durastone's web-site as a guide to what he really has. He has posted some example specimen trees, but he has tons of reasonable priced pre-bonsai. Rows and rows of various species of Ficus, priced from $15. If you have a species in mind, I'd recommend that you call Jim and see what he can do.

If you're still looking this winter, it's about a 2-hour drive from Orlando.

This is what I would have said.

Part of the problem is where you are looking.
 

FrankP999

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Erik Wigert in Ft Myers Florida( http://www.wigertsbonsai.com/ ) has tons of ficus. I have several I bought from him and am always impressed with the value. His pre-bonsai in the $30 range are very large in my opinion - trunks about an inch+ diameter. If you don't see what you want on the site, give Erik a call or email. They are good people.
 

fore

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I've noticed the same thing here in the midwest. Moved from N. Cali 3yrs ago and every nursery, home depot had tropical ficus. Since moving here, I haven't seen one for sale locally. Very strange.
 

coh

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I've actually noticed the same thing here in Rochester NY...I've been looking for a ficus (microcarpa in particular) and don't think I've seen a decent ficus at any Lowes, Home Depot, or any of the garden centers in the area all year. Even the places that have reasonably large stocks of indoor/tropical trees haven't had anything other than benjamina. However, I was able to get a decent starter tree at a local bonsai nursery.

Saw Meehans at the Mid Atlantic symposium in Harrisburg, wasn't looking for ficus at the time so I don't remember what they had...but overall they had a wide selection of tree species available at decent prices.

Wigerts sounds good, have heard a lot of positive reviews...would definitely have contacted them if I hadn't finally found something locally.

Chris
 

edprocoat

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What part of Ohio are you in? North Dayton Garden Center, in Dayton, has a big slection of ficus. They are a bit pricey though.

I am about twenty miles from Dayton, I have never heard of this place. I bought my varieagated bejamina at a nursery in Xenia.

ed
 

edprocoat

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What part of Ohio are you in? North Dayton Garden Center, in Dayton, has a big slection of ficus. They are a bit pricey though.

Thanks man! I went to NDGC and found a Ficus Microcarpa about three feet tall with some nice radial roots at the bottom and a few aerial roots for only $8.95! The owner who worked on the Bonsai was not there the day I got there, the old lady who helped me knew nothing about Ficus, except to show me one Benjamina saying "this is all the Ficus we have" I browsed his Bonsai plants, he had a lot of banyan styled trees, pretty expensive and they looked as if they were mass produced, they all had the same oval 10 inch pot, looked chinese, and some were in bad need of repotting, several had actually busted the pot open. Most the smaller ones were priced from $45 to $65 bucks and they went up steeply from there. I have to be honest, they were not very inspiring trees, as I said they all looked the same just different in sizes.

Upon leaving the Bonsai section I looked through the plant section and that is where I seen the two microcarpa and I bought the one that appealed to me.

ed
 

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