The Joy of Defoliation

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The time has finally come to start defoliating some of my many Ficus in order to start on developing ramification. My first two victims are shown below, both Retusa and both getting completely defoliated for the first time. Both are also in need of more work obviously, but there is just something about the first defoliation that brings out the wonder of it all.

Those of you who would like to stick to the theory that I never post bonsai, please skip this thread... ;)



Will
 

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irene_b

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The time has finally come to start defoliating some of my many Ficus in order to start on developing ramification. My first two victims are shown below, both Retusa and both getting completely defoliated for the first time. Both are also in need of more work obviously, but there is just something about the first defoliation that brings out the wonder of it all.

Those of you who would like to stick to the theory that I never post bonsai, please skip this thread... ;)
Will


OMG LMAO!
Watch out Will, you will break the hearts of many!
Are you trying to force people into seeing the real Will?
Oh and that Scoop pot is so wrong for that tree! Take it out of it and send it to me:D
I do love Scoop Pots ;)
Irene

BNut we need hearts added to the Smileys!
 

grouper52

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Those of you who would like to stick to the theory that I never post bonsai, please skip this thread... ;)

Will
Since you admitted there is little ramification, I believe we need to revisit the definitions, and decide whether these are bonsai or pre-bonsai before we can decide whether you have now finally posted bonsai . . . . :D

(Oh, BTW, nice trees! I defoliate mine once a year either when I put them out for the summer or take them in for the winter - that way they avoid the shock to the foliage of the sudden change, and the new growth just adapts to the new ambient conditions as it comes out.)

grouper52
 

irene_b

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All those in favor of the first one being put into a cascade say:
Aye!!


And sending me the scoop pot!
 
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I defoliate mine once a year either when I put them out for the summer or take them in for the winter - that way they avoid the shock to the foliage of the sudden change, and the new growth just adapts to the new ambient conditions as it comes out.

grouper52
Grouper, I like the sound of that! Do they leaf out okay in the fall, or is it quite a bit slower?
 

grouper52

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Grouper, I like the sound of that! Do they leaf out okay in the fall, or is it quite a bit slower?
I've never paid strict attention to how long it takes, spring vs fall, but I've never noticed any appreciable difference - just the usual angst of waiting for what seems like eons to make sure they DO leaf out, even though I know intellectually that they will!

grouper52
 

BonsaiWes

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Here is one I defoliated last summers end about, 9" tall. I prolly won't defoliate ficus anymore in this area, pinching them out is fine for leaf size. Defoliation in this climate really just seems to speed up crown weakening(more about this in my next post) and does nothing for getting them more twiggy, the rays just aren't strong enough this far north.


BonsaiWes/Redpine/WesB/Wes/Wesley Bradshaw
 

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bretts

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I like those figs alot Will. Intresting use of material.
Great fig too Wes
 
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Smoke

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I think the informal ficus is coming along rather well. I have only one comment. Have you thought about removeing the large thick branch in the upper region? It seems much larger than the first branch which seems on the right, and is much larger than any branching in the upper region.

All I have done is photoshop out the branch and rotated the branch above it down somewhat. Seems better balanced to me. The top looks awfully loaded and the apex seems to be a fork also and rather heavy. Could this undergo the same treatment?

Cheers, Al
 

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irene_b

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Good virt Al!
Will take a pic from above and show us the top branching...
Irene
 
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Here is the same informal upright as it was last year about this time. The pot is Tokoname, the accent is a miniature Hosta 'Blue Mouse Ears' and the stand is from our very own Al Keppler.

As with all ficus I have, eventually branches need to be replaced, the defoliation will create new branches to replace some that have outgrown the design.

Thanks for all the kind words...

Will

(Photos by Vance Wood)
 

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This Cascade Ficus Retusa is next on the list for defoliation.

This tree was orginally an air-layer from the informal upright shown above. The pot and stand are Chinese, the pot overpowers the stand and I dislike the pot greatly. I purchased a pot from Tom for this, but the pot proved to be slightly too small for the tree.


Will


(Photo by Vance Wood)
 

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Well the cascade has been defoliated as has the slant style ficus shown below.

That's all the ficus (and myths) I'll be defoliating this year, I'll post photos again after the leaves fill out more.


Once I get some newer pics, I'll post some other trees I have been working on as well.



Will

[edit-photos too large, will post them later when I have access to my home computer]
 

irene_b

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This Cascade Ficus Retusa is next on the list for defoliation.

This tree was orginally an air-layer from the informal upright shown above. The pot and stand are Chinese, the pot overpowers the stand and I dislike the pot greatly. I purchased a pot from Tom for this, but the pot proved to be slightly too small for the tree.


Will


(Photo by Vance Wood)
I like the pot!
Would look better with a juni in it!
Irene
 
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Irene,

I am curious, what do you see in that Chinese cascade pot that makes you think a Juniper would go well in it? Just curiosity.



Will
 

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Will,

for some reason I have not seen this thread before.
Next year as soon as the trees go through their spring growth spurt (probably later than real spring up in Michigan?)they need to be trimmed back tighter.You can trim behind the leaf.You will get more backbudding,shorter internodes and thus twigginess,and the leaves will reduce too.Right now you need actually more structure (subbranches) than leaf reduction.
Comes summer and the tree is healthy you can defoliate again and trim back for more growth.
If the tree is very vigorous you can also defoliate (not trim) in winter (indoor) and you will have a headstart in spring.
Ficus is great and very rewarding tree material.
Just some thoughts.

-dorothy
 

Bill S

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I agree with Al on the heavy branch( looks like growth there got out of hand a bit) but for the time to fatten up the replacement, couldn't you also retard growth by pruning, and let the others catch up? Probably would still be heavier than you would like to see it, but at he same time though with foliage improvments the branch will be more hidden (part of the illusion you know),and not be as much of an issue. After all this tree really wouldn't be shown defoliated as you would a diciduous tree.
 
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