How to encourage branching?

Redwood Ryan

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Hey all. While I may not exactly be new to bonsai, I feel like it right now for asking this dumb question. I went to a nursery a while ago and purchased a Ficus microcarpa 'Green Isle' and brought it home repotted it, etc. So far, so good. The only porblem is that it has no branches at all. t is about 12 inches tall. How can I encourage branches to form lower odwn on the trunk? A trunk chop maybe? Any help is great and I can get pictures if needed. Thanks!


Ryan
 

irene_b

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Hey all. While I may not exactly be new to bonsai, I feel like it right now for asking this dumb question. I went to a nursery a while ago and purchased a Ficus microcarpa 'Green Isle' and brought it home repotted it, etc. So far, so good. The only porblem is that it has no branches at all. t is about 12 inches tall. How can I encourage branches to form lower odwn on the trunk? A trunk chop maybe? Any help is great and I can get pictures if needed. Thanks!


Ryan

Trunk chop it...Don't over water after that either.
Allow it to grow unchecked for a few seasons (depending where you live/greenhouse), then pick and choose which you want to keep as branches.
Irene
 

Redwood Ryan

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Trunk chop it...Don't over water after that either.
Allow it to grow unchecked for a few seasons (depending where you live/greenhouse), then pick and choose which you want to keep as branches.
Irene

Thanks irene. Would you go half way down to chop? 3/4? 1/4? Thanks!
 

ericN

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hi ryan,

post a picture and let people give you an advice on where to chop. then pick the advice that looks promising to you.;)

hope that helps
eric
 

irene_b

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Thanks irene. Would you go half way down to chop? 3/4? 1/4? Thanks!

Ryan it is a ficus....:D You pick where you want to start it....Be sure and plant what ya cut off as well...It will also grow.;)
Irene
 

Redwood Ryan

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Ryan it is a ficus....:D You pick where you want to start it....Be sure and plant what ya cut off as well...It will also grow.;)
Irene

I will get a picture up A.S.A.P.

Oh yes, a ficus. Cut it and stick it in a glass of water. Will do.
 

Bill S

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Those things bud out very easily, if defoliated they will put out all over the place. Now isn't the best timing for it unless it will live in a heated greenhouse for the winter.

Going back a bit - No branches??, are the leaf stalks coming directly off the trunk??, or is there no foliage either??. Not trying to be a smart ass at all, it sounds like a young tree with just the first leaves, if so defoliate next year, and it will pop new buds. If not - a refund would be in order.

Picture would be usefull for sure, a chop may or may not be what you want to do. If very young a grow out and up may be the ticket, prior to a trunk chop.

For the cuttings skip the water and go to a rich bonsai soil, they toss new roots very easily as well.
 
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Redwood Ryan

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Those things bud out very easily, if defoliated they will put out all over the place. Now isn't the best timing for it unless it will live in a heated greenhouse for the winter.

Going back a bit - No branches??, are the leaf stalks coming directly off the trunk??, or is there no foliage either??. Not trying to be a smart ass at all, it sounds like a young tree with just the first leaves, if so defoliate next year, and it will pop new buds. If not - a refund would be in order.

Picture would be usefull for sure, a chop may or may not be what you want to do. If very young a grow out and up may be the ticket, prior to a trunk chop.

For the cuttings skip the water and go to a rich bonsai soil, they toss new roots very easily as well.

Yes you would be correct. The leaves are coming off of the trunk directly. I'll get a pic up soon.
 

Redwood Ryan

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Okay so it took me forever, but here is a picture of the Ficus:



Any advice?
 

ericN

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ryan,

if it was my tree, i will just let it grow freely to get more trunk girth and not worry about branching at this point.

buy if you chop it now, the branches will appear between the existing leaf and the trunk.

hope that helps
eric
 

rockm

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This just needs about five years in a pot left alone.
 

Wm Tom Davis

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I would agree with those who say to develop the trunk more. Don't chop it yet. Ficus will back bud many times over, so you will have an abundance of branches to choose from after the trunk gets to where you'd like it to be. This will take a few years at least, the more time, the thicker the trunk. One thing to watch for as the trunk develops is root cross-overs (not good). Make sure the roots develop radially.

Best of luck...
 

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