Styling Advice for Tiger Bark Ficus

Apex37

Shohin
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So little back story on this tree:
This mallsai was originally gifted to me by my mother-in-law about 3 years back. I had a little interest in bonsai at the time, but definitely not seriously learning up or anything. Last year I started deciding to become serious with bonsai and after she passed, decided to really pour energy into making sure this tree survived and turned out decently. I did a big trunk chop and decided to go with a semi cascade style.

My plan was to let the top branches thicken up some before cutting them back this summer, but maybe they're ready now? I also thought about maybe this year defoliating in summer since I've never done that before. I really appreciate any insight at all!

*Please ignore/be kind on my wiring. I'm still learning and have found that these things grow so fast it'll be off in a couple weeks anyway.
 

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BrianBay9

Masterpiece
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I would stick with your plan. Let the major branches thicken and heal the chop. In Texas you should get some good growth in one summer. Watch the wire though. As these start growing it will dig in pretty quickly. The branches should set in position pretty quickly too though.
 

Apex37

Shohin
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Re-looking at the side profile photo of the perceived 'front' I see this and feel like it might become a weird issue. Not sure how I feel about particularly the back branch as it looks like it's throwing off the depth of the tree and making it confusing which branch is actually in front.
 

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Apex37

Shohin
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Fort Worth, Texas
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I would stick with your plan. Let the major branches thicken and heal the chop. In Texas you should get some good growth in one summer. Watch the wire though. As these start growing it will dig in pretty quickly. The branches should set in position pretty quickly too though.
Yeah it takes no time at all for wires to bite in. Been lucky that I'm overly anal with my trees and check them every few hours it seems like. Also helps when you don't have tons of trees either though. Lol
 

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