Sumo Shohin Willow Leaf Ficus

Redwood Ryan

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Hey everyone,


I bought this fat Willow Leaf Ficus off of eBay, my first eBay tree purchase. It was on sale for $55, but I asked $45 and got it, and with shipping it was a total of $60, even shipped with the Mica pot it came in. It has a trunk of well over 2 inches, and stands around 7 inches tall. I am very pleased with it. Personally, I think it is already a specimen and there is not much I really need to do with it to make it look better. Just thought I would share with you all. Comments are appreciated.





 

mat

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Not a bad little Ficus - certainly looks healthy. "Specimen" maybe stretching it a bit though. The trunk kind of starts big, then abruptly transitions smaller into that "S" shaped apex/trunk. Letting that curve get wider, especially at the base, would be my goal. You'll also have to watch for reverse taper as it looks like the three branches come out of the trunk at about the same height.
 

Redwood Ryan

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Not a bad little Ficus - certainly looks healthy. "Specimen" maybe stretching it a bit though. The trunk kind of starts big, then abruptly transitions smaller into that "S" shaped apex/trunk. Letting that curve get wider, especially at the base, would be my goal. You'll also have to watch for reverse taper as it looks like the three branches come out of the trunk at about the same height.


Thanks Mat. That isn't really the apex as it doesn't really have one. It's in more of the banyan style with the dome top. I'm not really worried about reverse taper, as I don't see how that could happen on something like this. There may be branches coming out at the same height, but they are spread out around the trunk.

When you say "letting that curve get wider", what curve do you mean?
 

mat

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Do you see how the trunk comes up out of the soil for about an inch or two, then there's a curvy branch that comes out of the top of it? There's just something abrupt to me about that transition. It seems most evident in the second picture in your first post. The flow is interrupted.

Whether you have a defined apex or not, you still want the design to "flow" visually. The movement in the curve is nice. It's just hard for my eye to make the jump from the trunk to that upward branch.
 

Redwood Ryan

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Do you see how the trunk comes up out of the soil for about an inch or two, then there's a curvy branch that comes out of the top of it? There's just something abrupt to me about that transition. It seems most evident in the second picture in your first post. The flow is interrupted.

Whether you have a defined apex or not, you still want the design to "flow" visually. The movement in the curve is nice. It's just hard for my eye to make the jump from the trunk to that upward branch.

Oh yes, that one. I'm considering pulling that branch down though so it is not so prominent. That way I can get a nice umbrella shape and not have those branches growing the way they are.
 

mat

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I see what you mean now. I think pulling that branch forward & down will help the image.

I'm no master at this either, and it's certainly hard to see some things over the internet through a few pictures. It's easy to hide faults and even inadvertently show flaws based on the angle of your picture.

The base is the most important thing, and it seems this one is off to a good start.
 

Redwood Ryan

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Thanks Mat, that's the thing. That branch doesn't really go upwards, it somewhat comes out, it must just be the camera angle.

I do love the base on this guy. I had no idea the bark is striped once it gets age to it. Neat.
 

evan.j

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Nice tree Ryan,

I wish I could find one.

I'm still looking for one of these. I have never seen one at any of the local nursery's here in Utah.

Good luck with it and keep us posted.
 

Redwood Ryan

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Nice tree Ryan,

I wish I could find one.

I'm still looking for one of these. I have never seen one at any of the local nursery's here in Utah.

Good luck with it and keep us posted.

I got this one online, keep that in mind. If you want, I can give you links to online places I buy my ficus from. PM me if you want them.
 

Redwood Ryan

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I repotted this guy into a one gallon (I think?) pot to let that branch really grow and take over:

 

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Ryan you will have root problems with this tree if you don't get it into a shallower pot. This one is MUCH too deep and will stay much too wet, no matter how careful you are. Something that is 1/3 as deep as this one and as wide as this one is at the top would be much better.

But root rot is in your future if you don't move it.

Look for an "azalea pot." http://www.homedepot.com/buy/outdoo...y/deroma-6-3-4-in-clay-azalea-pot-168704.html They may still be a BIT too deep, but should be OK.
 

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Redwood Ryan

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Ryan you will have root problems with this tree if you don't get it into a shallower pot. This one is MUCH too deep and will stay much too wet, no matter how careful you are. Something that is 1/3 as deep as this one and as wide as this one is at the top would be much better.

But root rot is in your future if you don't move it.

Look for an "azalea pot." http://www.homedepot.com/buy/outdoo...y/deroma-6-3-4-in-clay-azalea-pot-168704.html They may still be a BIT too deep, but should be OK.

That's one thing I've been considering. I want to let it grow as much as possible, but I realized the root thing would be an issue. I was considering repotting again, but now that you also agree I'll probably just repot it.
 

Redwood Ryan

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Looking at the picture again I see the red line and how much shorter you're saying the pot should be. Would that still be enough to let the tree grow wild??
 

jk_lewis

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That red line is how shallow I'd prefer the pot to be. But you'd have to cut down at least an 8 gallon pot to be able to give you enough surface area. It is the WIDTH, not the depth that is important.

The azalea pot is a decent compromise. Both would allow it to "grow wild."
 

Redwood Ryan

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Thank you both. I'm about to repot into a much shallower pot that's a foot across and 6.5 inches deep.
 

reg-i

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Ryan the azalea pots jkl is talking about are terracotta clay with extra drain holes and breath very well and very inexpensive you shouldn't spend more then a few bucks wait I take that back the orchid ones are the ones with the extra drain holes but I would also highly recommend using the azalea pot i'll post some pics for you
 

mat

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For what it's worth, all the plants not in bonsai pots at Durastone (including tons of fat-trunked, super-healthy Ficus) are in sort-of shallow, green plastic pots, just like that one.
 
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These are typical pre-bonsai pots down here, good for growing out plants... On a tree of your size, I would usually fill the bottom inch or two with gravel, for they still manage to retain excess water, which is fine... Ryan just take it into consideration when watering...
 

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