Roach's Fici

cockroach

Shohin
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Thought I would start a thread I will periodically update. Not regularly. Sporadically.

I have a few ficus that now have pots or will be getting soon. Some that I need help choosing a direction on and some that are just starting out.

The first one is my Literati cascade. I like this one.
It started life out as a cookie cutter (for Taiwan at least) $9 bonsai. I potted in a larger plastic pot until I knew what was what. This pic is about a year after I bought and grew it out a bit in 2015.
2015-01-18 14.23.45.jpg

I later defoliated it to see what I was working with later that same year. Maybe Oct/Nov. I trimmed and wired as I contemplated what to do.
DSC_0084.JPG

I decided to do a literati style cascade as the trunk allowed for some "drama" with the twists and bends. I cut it at these spots marked in red.
Literati Cascade Cut.jpg

I have grown it out until now and about 4 months ago cut it back and started to shape it. This is where I am today.
DSC07628.JPG DSC07629.JPG
An elevated view to see more of the dimension of the tree.
DSC07630.JPG

From the top to see more of the structure of the branches.
DSC07633.JPG

I have done some virts to try and decide where to go with it. For now I think I will just ramify branches and let it mature a bit more.
 

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cockroach

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These are three options I have looked at for this tree. I am happy to leave it as it is but always open to options. Please excuse the rudimentary virts done in MS Paint.
Option 1: Remove top branches and leave all lower branches working to ramify them.
Virt 1.jpg

Option 2: Remove top branches and right growing lower branches to emphasize the twisting trunk and lighten the branch structure for a more sparse look.
Virt 2.jpg

Option 3: Cut left growing branches on top and lower areas giving the tree a strong left directional path. Ramify these areas keeping the direction.
Virt 3.jpg

Any comments, thoughts or new ideas welcome.
 

sorce

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When I styled an old dead procumbins cascade, the YUP nana, BVF suggested moving everything away from the pot, which made it look better in that instance.

I think crossing , or running in front of the pot, is possible, but is harder to achieve successfully.....

These are successful IMO.
Capture+_2018-01-17-07-34-09.png

Pot shape is huge here...
The beginning of the top one, and the location it goes behind the pot very key. Assymetrical. With each and every created line and negative space working together perfectly to make it a success.

The bottom one is more simple..
Wanna see the pretty pot decoration?
Eff you! Look at these roots!
Though the high visual weight of the roots has it comfortably sitting on the rim of the pot, where if the weight was lower, it would become too uncomfortable and/or not work at all.

Understanding these things can make anything work.

Note how in this picture....2018-01-17-07-45-05.jpg

You are creating symmetry in those equal planes.

Taking that closer to thirds will help.
Though it isnt everything.

Sorce
 

sorce

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Though it isnt everything.
As in....if you change that symmetry....but the mass of green stays the same size as the pot, you are only half way there.

Good thing it's still growing!

Sorce
 

Velodog2

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I like Sorce’s analysis especially regarding the size of foliage mass relative to pot, but that can be addressed after the initial styling choice has been made. You could continue the foliage mass down and toward the left but in decreasing size. He chose to show the second option, which I also like because it seems to work best with the large constant radius bend that comprises most of the trunk, which I don’t particularly like but we can’t change. Option 2 makes that look good!
 

cockroach

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As in....if you change that symmetry....but the mass of green stays the same size as the pot, you are only half way there.

Good thing it's still growing!

Sorce
I will be looking at this more this spring and think it over. Thanks

I like Sorce’s analysis especially regarding the size of foliage mass relative to pot, but that can be addressed after the initial styling choice has been made. You could continue the foliage mass down and toward the left but in decreasing size. He chose to show the second option, which I also like because it seems to work best with the large constant radius bend that comprises most of the trunk, which I don’t particularly like but we can’t change. Option 2 makes that look good!
I see what you are saying and would be good to look at it from that point of view. I have thought of tightening the first bend.
 

cockroach

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Here is another one of my ficus. It is my "Banyan Ficus". It is the only one I have allowed aerial roots to grow from branches and set root in the substrate.
I got it as a plant thrown out in the trash. It was 5' tall and split into two trunks. I cut it just below the point where the trunk split to take it back to a single trunk.
P_20130707_162656.jpg

I toyed with the idea of making it a very formal looking tree until a drunk person at the neighbor's BBQ fell into my yard and snapped the top of the tree off.
2015-01-18 14.07.36.jpg

I then decided on the current style and potted it. This is a growing season or year later. Can't remember.
DSC_0089.JPG

This is the tree today. It was thinned and trimmed two weekends ago.
DSC07723.JPG

Size reference.
DSC07727.JPG

Some root focus.
DSC07731.JPG
DSC07735.JPG

I am still not sure it 100% F. microcarpa. Here are two shots of the leaves if anyone wants to comment.
DSC07734.JPGDSC07732.JPG

Parting shot.
DSC07729.JPG
 

cockroach

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Been playing around with ideas for the literati cascade. Came up with this direction.

The tree has an angle change to about 90 degrees clockwise.
The strongest branch is left to grow and trained into the shape below.
The angle change can be used to 'strengthen' the base of the tree.

Virt 4.jpg
 

Leo in N E Illinois

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option 1 or option 2 would be my vote. I'd start with option 1. Then several years down the road you could switch to the drawing in post 10. You need more foliage to keep vigor up while developing the fine ramification.
 

cockroach

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Here is another ficus cutting I rooted in 2014. The following year in January I planted it onto a rock and let it grow. In march 2016 I planted the root on rock in a deeper pot as it was drying out too much during the day when I was at work. It did well in the pot and has since been defoliated twice and cut back hard once. It is due for a big cut soon again.

The original planting on the rock. The slate on the bottom did not allow for much soil. Once I get an automatic watering system up and running I may place it on a slate/shallow pot again.
2015-01-18 14.39.01.jpg

After planting in this stunning Chinese blue pot the tree faired much better and thickened up.
Top view. The fern was eventually removed as it was growing a little too vigorously.
2016-03-30 19.26.47.jpg

With fern removed and a new little one growing as I didn't get it all out amongst the roots. Pic from 2017 (I think).
DSC_0261.JPG

Cleared the moss growing up and onto the roots. left it on the rock as it softened the look of the rock a bit.
DSC07769.JPG

The tree recently and ready for some refining.
DSC07773.JPGDSC07776.JPG

I may chop off the top branch or shorten it considerably. Longer branches need to be shortened to increase taper. Perhaps a repot although it is flourishing so I may leave it another year.
 

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Took some pics again tonight. tried A new setup for pics with black poster board but it seemed to reflect light too much. I will look at going back to the black cloth. Maybe iron it a bit and flatten it so there are less background distractions.

A very small Ficus Microcarpa. I have a few of these as they allow me to have trees that I can constantly work on and leave those that need time to grow alone. In a few months once the insane heat subsides a little I will defoliate it and try ti get morte movement and ramification.
DSC08113.JPG
DSC08118.JPG

Size reference thanks to Harry:
DSC08120.JPG
 

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This one was a rescue after a typhoon uprooted all the ficus hedge plants below a tree that was ripped out of the ground. It has been in training for about 5-6 years. I am not sure of the variety but it is a lot less forgiving than F. microcarpa.

DSC08181.JPG
 

cockroach

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Here are two Ficus Microcarpa I have to play with. They have been quite fun so far.

The "Windswept" Ficus
DSC08189.JPG
DSC08190.JPG

And Harry's size reference:
DSC08193.JPG

This is just a cutting that took so why not. It is about 4 months in a pot.
DSC08197.JPG

Thanks Harry:
DSC08194.JPG
 

cockroach

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With all the new growth and a warm winter, the roots had filled the pot already. So I was bored and had some free time. A perfect combo for repotting.
I found a broken pot near the trash and it was well suited to what I need for now.
P_20180504_095349_vHDR_Auto.jpg

Pot was filled with a good drainage layer.
P_20180504_095600_vHDR_Auto.jpg

Slip potted the tree. Used some drainage hole mesh to cover any roots that were exposed.
P_20180504_100352_vHDR_Auto.jpg

Now will let it grow and see if we can get to the virt in post #10
P_20180504_100348_vHDR_Auto.jpgP_20180504_100401_vHDR_Auto.jpg
 

cockroach

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This tree started out as a crappy little ficus planted in 1000% bark used for mulch. It had a few spindly branches and not much else. After a year or two I decided to turn it into a broom. It was and always has been a learning/practice tree
This broom needs some trunk work done. The front branch was nearly lost earlier this year. Hoping it will grow back nicely.
I think I got it in 2011/2012 when it looked like this:
IMAG0584.jpg

It was defoliated for the first time in 2013 and you can see there are only a few branches.
IMAG0631.jpg

After another year of development.
2012-06-15 07.43.35.jpg

When it was "properly" (and I use that word from a super novice point of view). it went into an unglazed lotus pot.
DSC_0077.JPG

How it looked tonight. I nearly lost the front branch earlier this year. Still not sure why as it was only that branch affected.
24-5-18 Cropped.jpg

Harry for size reference. I will continue to defoliate and build ramification. The roots on the trunk will also be dealt with later this year.
24-5-18 Size Cropped.jpg
 

just.wing.it

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This tree started out as a crappy little ficus planted in 1000% bark used for mulch. It had a few spindly branches and not much else. After a year or two I decided to turn it into a broom. It was and always has been a learning/practice tree
This broom needs some trunk work done. The front branch was nearly lost earlier this year. Hoping it will grow back nicely.
I think I got it in 2011/2012 when it looked like this:
View attachment 193801

It was defoliated for the first time in 2013 and you can see there are only a few branches.
View attachment 193802

After another year of development.
View attachment 193797

When it was "properly" (and I use that word from a super novice point of view). it went into an unglazed lotus pot.
View attachment 193798

How it looked tonight. I nearly lost the front branch earlier this year. Still not sure why as it was only that branch affected.
View attachment 193803

Harry for size reference. I will continue to defoliate and build ramification. The roots on the trunk will also be dealt with later this year.
View attachment 193804
Nice one!
I envision that canopy about half that size, with much more dense ramification.
 

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