Peter Adams ficus

markyscott

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20 years ago or so, Peter Adams and Dan Robinson had a collaboration of sorts. When Dan was building Elandan Gardens, Peter was the nurseryman and sold some things in the shop. He died about this time of year in 2013. A true artist - I think I have every book he wrote in my collection. His drawings were inspirational - I used to love his article in Bonsai Focus. Hard to believe he's been gone three years now.

Anyway, I visited Dan many times around back in the early 90's. On one of my trips there I bought a couple of ficus trees from Peter (that's right - Dan sold ficus trees at Elandan Gardens). They weren't trees special to Peter or anything, just some ficus trees he sold in the shop. But they've been kicking around my benches for some time now and I thought, by way of celebrating Peter Adams, I'd post some work I did on one of them.

Scott
 

markyscott

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So here's the tree in a photo taken a couple of years ago. Its been through a number of restyles over the years (I probably have some print pictures around of it). But it's been a bit of a problem child. What do you see as the problem and what would you do about it?

IMG_0001.JPG
 

thomas22

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Nice story and that's a really nice trunk. It's hard to tell from pictures but that first left branch looks like it's going away from viewer with that front. I see you are trying to bring it forward but how about a rotate counter clockwise a few inches for the front?
 

markyscott

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Nice story and that's a really nice trunk. It's hard to tell from pictures but that first left branch looks like it's going away from viewer with that front. I see you are trying to bring it forward but how about a rotate counter clockwise a few inches for the front?
Its a good thought. But I went for a bit more radical option for what I saw as a design flaw.

Scott
 

sorce

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What do you see as the problem and what would you do about it?
The tie sure his visible above the soil...
I'd screw an eyelet in the bottom and use it!

Lol... Really!?

Maybe cut that top 2in off and turn it around.

I like it.

Sorce
 

Djtommy

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That apex leader kinda looks like it was glued on and its disrupting the flow of the tree, i would cut that middlefinger shaper leader complete off.
Actually i think the final height should not be much more then where it is if that leader would be cut based on the steady taper of the trunk.
But in that case i feel the top 2 branches are already too thick and might need to be started over again.
Either this or think of a way to use the top right branch as the new apex of the tree, i may still cut off that thick top left one in that case to replace with thinner one. This may be the more interesting optio, but need to see different angles too.

Interested to see what you did.
 

markyscott

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That apex leader kinda looks like it was glued on and its disrupting the flow of the tree, i would cut that middlefinger shaper leader complete off.
Actually i think the final height should not be much more then where it is if that leader would be cut based on the steady taper of the trunk.
But in that case i feel the top 2 branches are already too thick and might need to be started over again.
Either this or think of a way to use the top right branch as the new apex of the tree, i may still cut off that thick top left one in that case to replace with thinner one. This may be the more interesting optio, but need to see different angles too.

Interested to see what you did.
I'm with you DJ - the apex is weird. The strong branch movement to the left and the sweeping curve of the trunk to the right bugs me. I wanted the apex to move in the direction of the main branch growth and at this point (several years ago) it didn't. The trunk also lacks movement, just defining a sweeping curve to the right. So the choices are:
  1. Cut off the apex and regrow it with movement toward the left
  2. Cut off the branches on the left and regrow them on the right.
I chose option 1

IMG_0005.JPG

This was taken earlier this year.

Scott
 

markyscott

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Here's a shot of the tree taken about a month ago.

IMG_0007.jpg

So there'll be an angle change (next summer). The plan is for the new branch on the right to stay fairly short and the branches on the left to grow much longer, accentuating the movement of the tree to the left. I'll probably let the branches on the left at least double in length over the next growing season. I'll form the new apex from the shoot wired vertically.

Scott
 

Djtommy

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Well, its not the same as i had in mind but i like it.
i can see how this could become an interesting tree when it fils in a bit more.
nice
 

hemmy

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Here's a shot of the tree taken about a month ago.

View attachment 123683

So there'll be an angle change (next summer). The plan is for the new branch on the right to stay fairly short and the branches on the left to grow much longer, accentuating the movement of the tree to the left. I'll probably let the branches on the left at least double in length over the next growing season. I'll form the new apex from the shoot wired vertically.

Scott
Great trunk! Good lesson in correcting faults - don't half-ass it! Eliminating that concave nature due to leaning apex required a big cut, but ficus grow fast (at least in places without winter) and it won't take long for this tree to recover.

But what is with the different bark color on that knob on the right side base? Just an illusion or was it a previous graft?
 

markyscott

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Great trunk! Good lesson in correcting faults - don't half-ass it! Eliminating that concave nature due to leaning apex required a big cut, but ficus grow fast (at least in places without winter) and it won't take long for this tree to recover.

But what is with the different bark color on that knob on the right side base? Just an illusion or was it a previous graft?
No winter here. It will grow fast.

I don't know what is the cause of the different bark coloration. It's not a graft as far as I know. Sometimes ficus will produce something like this that produces a lot of shoots. It doesn't make so many shoots any longer, but if definitely has changed color over the years.

Scott
 

thomas22

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Its a good thought. But I went for a bit more radical option for what I saw as a design flaw.

Scott
You actually did rotate it a couple of inches counter clockwise from the first pic to the last pic. It makes the first branch look better. I didn't foresee the new apex but I like it. I think you are on the right track now.
 

markyscott

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A definite improvement on the angle. Is this your apex branch? If so, that should draw a lot of interest.

View attachment 155440

What is your plan for the aerial roots?
Hi Vin. Still working on the apex - there are three possibilities. I may use the branch you indicated. I may develop one of the shoots that have emerged closer to the existing trunk line. Or I may graft.

The aerial roots I'll keep for now. I don't mind them close to the trunk where they'll eventually fuse. The dangling ones I remove.

Scott
 

Redwood Ryan

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I realize it's a little late for this, but I think I liked it more as an upright, in the first picture. The apex could've easily been fixed. You'll still make something great of this though, I'm sure.
 
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