Hundreds aerial roots on Ficus..

Dr.GreenThumb

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Hello,

My name is Dr. GreenThumb, have ever had a problem growing...

... aerial roots on ficus ?

I have many projects going on in my "Bonsaï Research & Development project":
Here is the first and the easiest one:

How to get about 50 roots on (only) one branch, in approximately 3 weeks ?

25th of June:
1juin2011.jpg



26th of june:
The roots grow through the cut past.
226juin2011.jpg



6th of July:
The first root touches the soil, 15cm away.

36juillet.jpg


46juillet.jpg



16th of July:
11 roots touch the soil and there are a lot more coming !!!

517juillet.jpg


617juillet.jpg


717juilletl.jpg


I have only had 6 days of sun here in Norway (shity weather), but when it's sunny some roots take up to 2 cm per days.




If you are interested to do that, follow these steps:

1/ Make some scarifications in a trunk or a branch:
The scarifications I have done were following the damage made by a wire left too long on a branch, and were about 5mm Large.
I have cut it until the sapwood and removed the wood layers above.
scarif.jpg


2/ Apply some rooting hormones

3/ Close it with cut past.


Do do what follows, you need a draining soil that that retains enough water.
You tree will have a tuff time... but he'll like it.
I put my tree in pines bark (5 to 7 mm) 2 month before that.


4/ Place you tree in a green house completely closed and try to keep as much humidity as possible.
I have tested several techniques; it seems the best solution is to place the tree in a plastic box with the bottom filled up with 2cm of water.
Make sure the pot does not touch the water to avoid roots problems and I strongly advice to change the water everyday.

5/ Full sun :) up to 35 to 50°c.
- It seems that the stress provided by high heat stimulate the tree to make new roots; particularly when its environment is wet.
- Such temperatures allow the roots to develop really quickly; in my experience 1 or 2 cm per day when the green house reaches 40 - 45 in full sun.

greenhousep.jpg


Warning: Watch your tree very carefully, it could be cooked in a day.

The following picture shows the maximum temperature and relative humidity I had in the green house... hmmm, scary!!!! :
temperaturebt.jpg



6/ Make sure to keep the aerial roots always wet until they reach the soil if not they will dry and die.
In my experimentation, I have put a plastic bag between the leaves and the soil:
plasticmx.jpg

When you think it's too dry, spray some water inside.

Note: Leave the plastic bag a little bit open at the top to avoid problems.


7/ Fertilize a lot your tree:
I used a chemical (23 - 6 - 10) fertilizer every 5 to 7 days depending on my mood and my mood depends on the weather by the way.
I don't recommend organic fertilizer in such environment.

8/ The most important advice, "Enjoy to watch them grow everyday" !



Dr. GreenThumb
 
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jason biggs

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thanks for sharing.52 degrees sounds like a mild spring day in death valley....
 

Dr.GreenThumb

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20th of July:

lovingcarlsberg.jpg


dsc0356pi.jpg


The first root that touched the soil has grown 5 time bigger, the rest is still growing:

lignification1ereracine.jpg
 
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thanks for posting! It is great seeing what others are doing... besides there are always alot of people asking how to grow areial roots, and you pretty much gave them a step by step proceedure.
Also, did you say you are in Norway?
 

Dr.GreenThumb

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Yes I'm in Norway, and the temperatures oscillate between 18 and 28 during summer but much more in my greenhouse (45 - 50°C) :)
 

Redwood Ryan

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So, you cut down into the cambium, apply rooting hormone and cover with cut paste? That's it? Pretty interesting, thanks for sharing!
 

Jessf

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Putting the tree in the well draining soil 2 months in advance is a good idea. It preps the tree by slowly acclimating it to less moisture, then you attack it with hormone and humidity and to goes nuts. I'll have to try this on my schefflera.
 

Dr.GreenThumb

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So, you cut down into the cambium, apply rooting hormone and cover with cut paste? That's it? Pretty interesting, thanks for sharing!

Yes, I have removed the cambium, however, I have NOT removed it on the entire diameter like I would have done to air layer the branch.



And jessf, all Ficus needs to be in a draining soils (like most of trees in a pot).
I normally use Volcanic stones for my trees, but this time I wanted a draining soil that retained more water.
The conclusion from my experience is that humidity is necessary to keep the roots growing without drying but the high temperatures make them grow (really fast).
A high temperature is the key to get roots.


Most of the time, I have 40°c and 80% humidity in the greenhouse.
It is excellent parameters for the roots to grow; however, it is safer to put a plastic bag like I explained in the paragraph 6/.
Because during busy days (working days for example), when I come back home, my greenhouse is at 37°C and 30% humidity, except the roots in the plastic bag where the humidity is still high.
(After a week, I removed the water at the bottom of the green house, I'm scared of fungus and other shi** like that. Therefore, the relative humidity can drop quickly.)

However, I do not know the schefflera at all.


Do not hesitate to ask me more questions if you need more details, it's a pleasure to share this !

The doc.
 
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Redwood Ryan

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Yes, I have removed the cambium, however, I have NOT removed it on the entire diameter like I would have done to air layer the branch.

Oh so you just take small squares of bark out. Neat idea, did you come up with it? If so, how? I'm very curious.
 
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reason why I asked if you lived in Norway, is that I had a friend I used to go visit in Stord, outside of Bergen... great times!!! I remember drinking way to much moonshine since the beer was rather pricey, and listening to metal...
Also, wanted to tell It was sad to hear what happened in Oslo today. The people of Norway are in our hearts and minds!!!
 

Dr.GreenThumb

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Also, wanted to tell It was sad to hear what happened in Oslo today. The people of Norway are in our hearts and minds!!!

Thank you, it's a really big drama going on here. it is absolutely insane what happened on the island !


Oh so you just take small squares of bark out. Neat idea, did you come up with it? If so, how? I'm very curious.

I knew some people where taking the cambium away on a few square mm and applied rooting hormones to make roots on ficus; I had read that on internet.
However, they only got a few roots...

... because they didn't let there ficus at 45°C - 50°C.
 

Redwood Ryan

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I wonder if this technique would work with a Ficus with one of those big ugly tubers. Cut the tuber and follow the steps here....
 

Redwood Ryan

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I just tried this method on one of my ficus. It was hard to get the paste on the rooting hormone, but I eventually got it. But I didn't let the cut paste dry before I put it in the humid greenhouse, so it all ended up running down the trunk. Oh well, I patched it back up and I'm sure it will still work. Here are some pics I took of the work:

Cut out a section of bark:
007-68.jpg


Rooting hormone applied:
014-18.jpg

010-48.jpg


Covered in cut paste:
011-37.jpg

016-16.jpg


The other side:
017-16.jpg
 
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Dr.GreenThumb

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Hei,
Long time since I came here, I was quite busy.
I guess you'll understand better the work I have done with the following pictures.

I have tried a second time the technic I described in the first message of this post. :D
- Without mastic this time.
- On a bigger branch
- With a bigger cut
- With temperature around 35°C

1) I have done the cut the 1st of september and applied the hormone everywhere on the branch.

2) I am in Norway but we got some nice weather at the end of september and the temperature in my greenhouse has gone above 35°C...
The 30th of september, it seems that the cambium is about to explode:




3) 3rd of October (yesterday), many (many, many) roots are showing up:




4) The 4th of October, I came back from work and I checked it !
Here it goes... more than 100 roots are pushing out and it is no doubts, more will come:



It won't be space for all of them and the tree will decide which one to keep and how many.
This technic is really spectacular because of its speed and the high number of roots produced.




By the way, here is the result of the 1st work that was done on the tree:


More than 30 aerial roots are growing in the soil now.
The tree has been put in a bigger pot.
I guess it should have been more but I had to take it out of the greenhouse for vacations so I couldn't take care of it at all (low temperatures and many roots dried in the sun).

(Before I took the picture above, I had cut the trunk. So it is only aerial roots that you see)




Also I have tried this technique by doing a air layer, without soil, successfully on a branch:

(At the bottom of this picture you can see the result of the first experience)

When the mastic starts cracking it means the roots are growing.
However, regarding the result shown above (without mastic), I don't think it is useful anymore (maybe it could avoid the rooting hormones to be washed away for a few days).
Then, keep the area humid and enjoy !


Let me know if you wish more details !

Dr.GreenThumb
 
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Bill S

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Doc, do you have a recent photo, I have a ficus that is very close in trunk shape, and I am interested in seeing the results of your rooting.
 

Dr.GreenThumb

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This picture is from the 26th of august, when I have changed the pot.
I have spread the roots 360° around the tree.

It really looks like nothing at the moment, but I will repeat the rooting process on many branches and many times, moving upward to get a tall, fat and taper tree.




A closer look from the picture above with the new roots growing (on the branch in the front), and the aerial roots in the back from the previous work.

 
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