PVC Ficus :)

Bonsai Nut

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Gonna start a new thread here showing the progress of this ficus. I picked it up cheap at a garden center because it seemed to have a good form for a tropical-style informal multi-trunk design. Wish I had snapped a "before" picture, but it looked like a bush with vertical trunks and foilage that topped out at about 5'. After reducing the height dramatically, I am bending the trunks to set up the general lines of the tree. Once I get the trunks bent, I will wait for appropriate back buds and then reduce the trunks more (leaving the trunks longer allows them to be bent easier). I am using sections of PVC pipe to spread the trunks where I really had to pry them apart. Can't quite see it at this angle, but most of the trunks are fused at the soil level. A couple more years (especially after moving to a grow-out box) and this tree's appearance should change dramatically...

 

Bonsai Nut

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Wow! That tree is ugly! Hope the tree will be able to grow into my vision...

Here is a better shot after only two months. You can see how much smaller the new leaves are. Some of them are tiny. I am going to let the tree grow somewhat wildly for about 6 months, then I'm going to plant it into a grow box while I cut all the trunks back to their new leaders. At that point I'll also wire it the first time.



 

king kong

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225 Views? Is this the same guy running the jin contest? I accept the inevitable.
 

Graydon

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Interesting. The golf ball ficus is very popular here on the east coast. The PVC pipe must be popular out there on the west coast.
 

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Bonsai Nut

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Wow! Tough crowd! Make fun now, but wait till the next time you go golfing and your bag is empty. Who'd be laughing at your golf ball ficus then? BTW... here's a general virtual of where I'm heading.



Also Graydon - tomorrow I think I may be chopping that California juniper from Harry's workshop last year. I'm gonna check the roots to see what I have to work with. The sling shot will be no more...
 

king kong

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Leaf me! (Virtual Contest)

Lets keep our horizons open on this one. PVC might not be the best answer.
 

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Bonsai Nut

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(but only if you move somewhere more tropical)

Wow! Nice motivational shot! Believe it or not, ficus grows fine down here as long as you water it. You should see the two HUGE ficus I have growing in my front yard. People have ficus hedges here - they are actually pretty resilient to the heat and the dryness as long as their roots are shaded.
 

king kong

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I would be interested in seeing how this tree was put together from scratch. Doesn't appear to be a lucky find (yard) or an overgrown nursery item. I think someone had an idea in mind from the get go. So, how many individual plants were put together from start, maybe 5 or 7? Is it grafted? What variety of ficus is it...tinnie winnie? There are so many sports it gets confusing. Indonesia has certainly 'kicked butt' when it comes to ficus. I need to get off my butt!
 

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Dale Cochoy

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Nut,
You are going to be sending all the newbies out to the flea markets to buy up all the old hair curling kits and rollers left over from the 'Farrah' days!! :p
D.
 

Bonsai Nut

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Nut,
You are going to be sending all the newbies out to the flea markets to buy up all the old hair curling kits and rollers left over from the 'Farrah' days!! :p
D.

Even though I am having fun with this thread, I think the original point was missed :) I bought this tree and there was NO WAY to bend the trunks without resorting to drastic action. I left the trunks much longer than the design warranted, so that I could gain some leverage for bending - then I stuck pvc pipes between the trunks to force them apart. Why PVC? It is cheap, easy to cut, doesn't degrade in water, and if you use it sideways it has a nice rounded profile to prevent scarring. Hopefully after six months of bending, the trunks will have hardened in their new positions and new buds will have sprouted, allowing me to reduce the trunks and start working on the final design. However the design was never going to amount to much while all the trunks were almost vertical and clustered on top of one another. Time will tell...
 

litoalansalon

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Wow! That tree is ugly! Hope the tree will be able to grow into my vision...

Here is a better shot after only two months. You can see how much smaller the new leaves are. Some of them are tiny. I am going to let the tree grow somewhat wildly for about 6 months, then I'm going to plant it into a grow box while I cut all the trunks back to their new leaders. At that point I'll also wire it the first time.




How do you call this ficus variety? It looks like F. benjamina ? I think 6months of growing wild is not enough. Probably and if I may suggest, 12 months of growing wild will be ideal with some training/wiring of branches. Good luck.
 

Graydon

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Also Graydon - tomorrow I think I may be chopping that California juniper from Harry's workshop last year. I'm gonna check the roots to see what I have to work with. The sling shot will be no more...

Looking forward to seeing photos. Before and after ones please!
 

Bill S

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Kind of a take off on the rebar and wedge technique.

Are those big white fruits edible?:D
 

Bonsai Nut

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Here it is after 6 months (sans PVC). I will be transplanting it into a larger growth pot/flat this week. The leaves reduce nicely - many are very very small. Some good growth in 6 months considering it is winter. My ficuses (fici?) don't normally show a single leaf of growth from November - March.

 

Mortalis

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To me it looks like a very good starting point. I think your virt was good except a little triangular for my taste on ficus. Most of my trees started as such a tree.

I grow exclusively tropical and I grow indoors. My growing setup is 12 T8 5000k GE Sunshine bulbs on a home rigged fixture, A ultrasonic humidifier on a Humidistat, and 3 100 W incandecent bulbs, and 4 PC fans used for exaust on a Thermistat. I also have 4 PC fans providing air circulation.

Now with all this "stuff" I have a constant 30,000 lumins per squar foot, 70-85% humidity, 82 degrees during the day and 72 at night.

Its a lot to go through to get the growing conditions I want and costs me about $30 a month to operate but my ficus grow year round without missing a beat.
 

djlen

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When are we going to get an update on this tree?
I think the 'virtual' looked great and want to see how the real thing
is coming along.

Regards,
Len
 

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