some south african figs

jason biggs

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i live in a beautiful area called the lowveld + here are a couple of ficus found in my backyard:first ficus ingens-red leaved rock fig
 

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jason biggs

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next:ficus sansibarica [knobbly fig] wonder why it's called that??
 

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jason biggs

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we have a lot of strangler figs in our area,so here are some root pictures.For the sake of me getting too technical lets call them all common wild fig [ficus thonningii] very similar to ficus natalensis which is probably sa's favourite bonsai subject....
 

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jason biggs

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and lastly-trying intensely not to bore you too much-root shot of african rock fig [ficus glumosa] + the king of the river bank ficus sycomorus-just threw in an arb passer by for scale ha ha.....:cool:
 

jason biggs

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sorry..i can't show you burtt davy or salicifolia as they are not in my region-be good!!!!!
 

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Si Nguyen

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Beautiful trees! Are these only native to Africa? But considering that it's Africa, I am surprised these figs aren't more massive like those in Asian tropics. Is the weather there on the dry side?

Can you take a picture of the tallest tree there. I am curious to see what their crown looks like. Are their crown or canopy spread out flat like acacias? I am doing some flat-top ficus and I am wondering if I am on the right track. I love ficus! I have 9 different species so far. The knobbly fig would make for a very interesting bonsai! Thanks for posting these!

Si, in California

I take it back. That third tree in the first set is huge. Big as any I have seen elsewhere.
 
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Bill S

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Hi Jason, thanks for the look around, much greener there than I think most in the US would imagine, Si, I think you spoke about the one that made a mound, my imagination took me right to BIG.:cool:
 

jason biggs

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Si in south africa we have 23 species of ficus, most are conducive to bonsai but some of the leaves are just too big.i have 5 or 6 different species growing but not up to the standard of you pro's [i'll post some different pics] in sa a lot of our trees grow flat top or with a rounded crown
+ as robert steven was saying at our convention japanese bonsai rules apply almost exclusively to conifers + so we shouldn't focus too much on the exact branch placement etc. but look at how the trees look in nature...wise words from a master of his craft.....Steve ,S.A. is unique + beautiful but can be very dangerous-if you are alert +wise you'll have an unforgettable time-if you go into the locations at night + flash your cash you might have a slightly less great time-:)
 

jason biggs

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here is the grand daddy of Nelspruit:ficus sycamorus [common cluster fig] first picture taken from a 3rd floor parking lot a block away,the red roof you see is a 2 story building.It is an absolute monster,hence my name:king of the river bank.Si this shape of rounded crown is pretty typical for our large fig trees....
 

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jason biggs

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another ficus ingens + roots.Yours truly in another sycamorus-this is purportedly the same fig that Zacheus [or what ever his name was]inthe bible,climbed..... the 2 bonsai are from our national convention + i guess they are natalensis [they didn't even label them]
 

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Nice trees, but collecting red leaved rock fig is a pain!
where excactly are you? Nelspruit? I know Barberton quite well, its summer all year round there!
Is jy eintlik afrikaans?
 

Si Nguyen

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another ficus ingens + roots.Yours truly in another sycamorus-this is purportedly the same fig that Zacheus [or what ever his name was]inthe bible,climbed..... the 2 bonsai are from our national convention + i guess they are natalensis [they didn't even label them]

The bonsai in the last pic is SPECTACULAR!
Don't be discouraged by the large leaves of some of these ficus. Maybe they can be reduced with bonsai pruning. Or they can be used for imperial size bonsai. Did you see any pictures of huge ficus bonsai they are doing in Vietnam?
 

Si Nguyen

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here is the grand daddy of Nelspruit:ficus sycamorus [broom cluster fig] first picture taken from a 3rd floor parking lot a block away,the red roof you see is a 2 story building.It is an absolute monster,hence my name:king of the river bank.Si this shape of rounded crown is pretty typical for our large fig trees....

That's an awesome tree! Next to a street like that? Over here, it would have been chopped down already. Nice to see a tree protected like that.
I see what you mean about the rounded crown. I guess that's why most ficus bonsai have that shape. But I found that this shape is only for singular trees. For big ficus in a forest setting, they tend to grow straight and tall with very few low branches and a high, wide and almost flat top canopy. I'll submit one of my ficus that I am still working on to show you what I mean later. Thanks for this thread Jason!
 

jason biggs

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dude how can i be afrikaans with a name like jason biggs???it's like asking-is bakkies botha english?? i'm from nelspruit-most beautiful fauna + flora in existence-well almost......lets see some of your local trees -where are you from?
 
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Just wondered, (I have a friend with Appleton as a surname and she's Afr.)

But anyway, have you had success with cutting from red leaf ficus ? Ive had air-layered branches
(with plenty of roots) die after cut off
 
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Bonsaihunk

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Great shots. Thanks for posting them.
I just spent two weeks in South Africa and two weeks in Namibia. I saw many great Ficus. I think about 16 species in all. Many of which are used as bonsai.
As to Ficus ingens, it grows readily from cuttings.
Jerry
 

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