ROR Fig - Trash or more time?

Jeremy

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This Fig started as a pencil thick seedling in one of my my MIL's pots in 2013. It was defoliated, root pruned, and wrapped in a moist paper towel to sit in the car for the 4 hour journey home. The tree grew vigorously in its 1st year and as most Ficus do from seed, they develop bulbous roots and bases. The base was just too awkward to work with so I decided to make one of my first ROR bonsai. 2 years of growing later, its still looking quite grotesque but at least there is a branch structure beginning to form. Got it out of the growing pot and into a tight bonsai pot today so I can continue working on the branch work.

The main issue I have are the 2 horizontal roots on the upper right, very distracting visually . I think once the tree definitely has a hold on the rock with the lower roots, I can lop of those upper roots and let that branch thicken up in its place.

90 degree shots around the tree beginning with the current front. You can see in the back pick how much this resembles one of those "ginseng' figs! Last photo is what I believe I should be focussing on.


All comments welcome.
 

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Please don't take this as an insult or a slight in any way... but the moment I saw it in the first picture, I got an image of a walrus beached on a rocky shore...

... IMHO, it has it's problems, but I think it's unique enough to at least give it more time.
 

Jeremy

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Please don't take this as an insult or a slight in any way... but the moment I saw it in the first picture, I got an image of a walrus beached on a rocky shore...

... IMHO, it has it's problems, but I think it's unique enough to at least give it more time.

Haha! That was my exact thought while typing up this thread, good eye!
If I can take away the top roots it would at least remove one distraction. More time for the branches to fatten up and gain character may help.
 

Jeremy

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haha! I see the walrus. the third and fourth pic remind me of a lobster. the last two of an octopus. Nice tree, nice rock too.

Admittedly not the best tree to use on this rock but its all a learning curve. I found it in the desert while travelling for work
 

Solange

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I like that it is odd, gets me thinking. I think I might like it less if you removed the top roots. They make it unique and keep my eye moving around that rock.
 

pweifan

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I immediately thought you should layer off the tuberous roots until saw the last picture. I think that's your new front. And as others have been saying, continue to add more roots.

What kind of a fig is it?
 

Bonsai Nut

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ZOMG it's a walrus! You couldn't have TRIED to make a walrus and done better!

I wouldn't trash it. Your main issue is the lack of roots... and the believability of the root over rock design. If you had a number of roots coming out of the walrus belly and spreading out over the front of the rock, you'd have a very different impression.

Right now the roots feel very forced - unnaturally bent and moved into position. I also don't see many fine roots. Is this ficus being kept in humid conditions so that it throws fine roots naturally?
 

Jeremy

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I immediately thought you should layer off the tuberous roots until saw the last picture. I think that's your new front. And as others have been saying, continue to add more roots.

What kind of a fig is it?

I tend to feel the same, when I look at it from that view I don't feel as uneasy, but I do want to continue bulking up that low branch to hide those roots. Just enough to make you want to get up close and see what's really going on under the canopy. Hard to say exactly what type of Fig as I haven't been able to locate anything nearby in town, I call it Obliqua but it could be hybridised with Rubiginosa or Macrophylla. The leaves are reducing well and node space is pretty consistent, it responds well to all bonsai techniques.


I wouldn't trash it. Your main issue is the lack of roots... and the believability of the root over rock design. If you had a number of roots coming out of the walrus belly and spreading out over the front of the rock, you'd have a very different impression.

Right now the roots feel very forced - unnaturally bent and moved into position. I also don't see many fine roots. Is this ficus being kept in humid conditions so that it throws fine roots naturally?


This is good! Looks like everyone has the same ideas that I've been missing. For me I like the rock and feel it should be at least one aspect of the focal point. I did some cleaning up of a few roots and scrubbed the rock with a toothbrush as it was becoming covered in fine root hairs. No problems generating roots all along the belly. I just need to work out how to make it believable If I go this route. The rock is actually 3 tiers, the first is buried, the only real crevice for roots to 'melt' into run horizontal.
 

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vaibatron

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Def not a throw away! Bury that SOB in a bigger pot just above the first branch ( the one above the right root). I would bury that branch (or make a similar cut the one adjacent to it) and put some rooting hormone on the cut right next to it. In my experience, large cuts like that when buried, will throw roots.

It's feet just need to be moist for a while to give you some more options.

I'll also add that the roots on the left seem a bit too vertical.. If you were to repot in a deeper container I would try to flatten these a bit more horizontal..

Just my .02
 

Jeremy

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I'll also add that the roots on the left seem a bit too vertical.. If you were to repot in a deeper container I would try to flatten these a bit more horizontal..

Check out the pic in my last post, those roots are following the shape of the rock, once they reached the bottom I tucked them under. So to expose the rock I've still got another 2 inches to uncover. In any case, there's no real need in my climate to re-bury the trunk, I'll be able to get aerial roots in all areas which are easier to work with than the mess that can happen under the soil line.
 

sorce

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I'll be able to get aerial roots in all areas which are easier to work with than the mess that can happen under the soil line.

Well Shit Mate!

Sorce
 

Jeremy

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Well Shit Mate!

Sorce

Had a few 90F days with 91% humidity last week, got things really rolling. Pop on the auto sprinklers to increase humidity. Once you've got a canopy the aerial roots really start popping!
 

pweifan

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How's this one coming along, Jeremy? Any progress on the roots?
 

Jeremy

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How's this one coming along, Jeremy? Any progress on the roots?

Not enough changes to post any photos just yet, letting the shoots grow to get some vigour after the repot. Once the roots are filling up the pot I would expect plenty of aerial roots to start popping along the rock. Give it a few more months, thanks for asking.
 

sorce

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It's going to be a Walctopus soon!

Sorce
 

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