"Trashdori"

Fidur

Shohin
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So about 5 months ago, someone threw an unpotted ficus in a side of the road. I saw it then, but thought it was too difficult to rescue and forgot about it.
Today I saw it again:

IMG_20210904_195422.jpgIMG_20210904_195431.jpg

It's amazing, after 5 dry and hot months it is still alive.

This thing has a diameter in the base of about 60cm ( about 2feet), and weigths "a ton"
Would you collect it and try to grow as a bonsai? Or is it a lost cause.....?. Also what kind of ficus is it?
 

Shibui

Imperial Masterpiece
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I'm not surprised to see that a fig has survived all summer unpotted. One year I had some excess trees but could not bear to scrap them while they were still alive so left the pot unwatered. They stayed alive on occasional rainfall for most of our hot summer before finally faltering at the end of the dry season. Ficus are tough.
Ficus are notoriously difficult to ID. Many species have almost identical leaves and flowers are inside the fruit so the hole in the end of the fruit is one of the key ID features.
From what I can see the leaves and shoots look like weeping fig - F. benjamina which is available world wide as an indoor plant.
Some of my thoughts on what makes bonsai: Anything CAN make bonsai. Not all will make GOOD bonsai. Big is not better when it comes to bonsai. F. benjamina (if that's really the species you have found) can be temperamental in terms of hard root pruning and back budding from bare wood.

If you have space, time and determination grab it, otherwise look the other way as you pass until it eventually dies or is cleaned up by some other sucker/bonsai newbie.
 

Dzhokar

Mame
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Dumpsterdori
I'd grab it. It would make a good patio tree if nothing else.
 

Colorado

Omono
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Looks like benjamina, and yes I would have already went back and grabbed it :)
 

Fidur

Shohin
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Ok, I think I'm gonna give it a try.
Hope I can do it without help. I don't have any container for that size, so I think I will put it in the garden on the ground and water it, till I find out how to work on the rootball and repot.
Lot of work ahead....Advices wellcome
 

Forsoothe!

Imperial Masterpiece
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Saw off the bottom to fit what you have!
 

Fidur

Shohin
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They said bonsai is a free risk hobby., made for those oldies to be quiet and happy.....

So, here I am, ready to go. I carry a belt to stabilize the load, and some cutting tools (BTW, wiriting this I remeber I forgot the tools in the site, and have to come back to retrieve them)

IMG_20210905_162220.jpg

I get there (about 200 meters from home). Here we are:

IMG_20210905_162523.jpg

The tree is in a ditch, and I think it weigths over 70 kg, so I decide to get the wheelbarrow in it and lay it down to a side of the tree.
After a lot of struggling I can put the tree in the wheelbarrow, and the wheelbarrow over.

IMG_20210905_162741.jpg

Now it's time to get the wheelbarrow out of the ditch. And there came the problem:

IMG_20210905_162913.jpg

When climbing the ridge, I slipped and fall over the root ball with my face as shield.
What a mess. I come back home, to find that the stairs to get down to the garden are too steep to try alone, and I have my face and knees in pain.

IMG_20210905_164449.jpg

Finally I decide to let it stay out until I find help to put it in my garden.
And after 5 months it gets finally watered

IMG_20210905_165124.jpg

Now, I go home to see the final result of theses unrisky bonsai operations:

IMG_20210905_163601.jpg

My feet and knees are bruised as well.
Now , I claim my Bonsai Medal of Honor (BMOH) , I think I deserve it......🎖️
Also, I'll have to say to my insurance company, you bnutters were responsible for this, and will have to pay with free advice for ever.
 
Last edited:

Fidur

Shohin
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So, the last month I have had this ficus waiting to be repotted. While that happens, I have been watering, and it's been growing new leaves, so I guess it's still alive and fine:

IMG_20211005_131611.jpg IMG_20211005_131633.jpg

My plan is to saw the rootball and leave only the first 15cm (aprox 6"), find a box that can hold the resulting rootball, and repot it. I have no pumice, so I will use lava (60%) and regular garden soil (40%) (Akadama is too expensive to use in this project)
So, does that have sense to you?....have you any advice, caveat or tip for that work?
 

shinmai

Chumono
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It looks from the photo like several of the trunks are fused. You might want to consider using a nylon strap around e trunks up near the top to pull all the trunks into closer contact. They should fuse into one massive trunk within a year or two.
 

Drohnen

Seedling
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Awesome find! I have these growing in multiple areas around my yard. I have only found out today that they are a variety of ficus and so my bonsai shenanigans begin shortly.
 

leatherback

The Treedeemer
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Get a cement mixing bucket from the hardware store. Drill holes. Place it in a spot where you can leave it till summer. Sink the whole rootball, as is, in there and backfill with a light soil. Water. Let it do its thing.

In early summer, once it has had a bit of time to recover, organize a big grill party with 4 bonsai friends. Man the grill & beercooler, as your 4 friends lift the beast from the cement bucket. Only then start trimming the roots.

Reason: It is weak now. It has lived on very little for a long time, and is now starting to push new roots. If you start chopping, you might just cut of the one or two roots keeping this alive.
 

Fidur

Shohin
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It's still fine and growing. I'm waiting till I have what I need yo make a good repot. I guess I will work with this tree next spring. I do not fear for it, as it seems very strong.
IMG_20211119_072952.jpg
 

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