Twisted Ficus benjamina

Redwood Ryan

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Hello everybody!


Today I went to the local nursery just for fun. Hadn't planned on buying anything at all. While I was walking around my friend who works there showed me a large ficus that she said she wanted to sell me. She sold it to me for $5. When I first saw it, it was 10 feet tall. I told them to get a saw and showed them where to chop it. They then chopped the tree and it's height was reduced to a little taller than me. I'm 6'4", so it is now around 6'7". The trunk was that usual ugly twisted trunk that is commonly seen on these kind of houseplants. So, I decided to buy a small grouping of Ficus benjaminas to fuse to the trunk. I used electrical tape as I could not find my grafters tape. Also, I wanted to repot as the pot is far too large to fit in my greenhouse, so does anyone think I could do that now? The roots don't fill the whole pot. Anyway, questions, comments, anything, always welcome.

The tree:


The chop site with new leader to the left:


Attaching the trees:


Covered with turface and all done:




Ryan
 

GerhardG

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Hi Ryan

Those trunks come from 3 saplings being braided and then the trunks fuse.

You can bare root ficus B without hesitation, weather/season permitting.

Just make very sure the tree and saplings are exactly the same variety.

If I may ask, what's the goal of fusing the saplings?

If you want to improve the base that way, it's likely better to first find out what the roots look like.

Looks like you are on a ficus roll:D

I'm still upset about two varieties of Ficus B I killed in my beginner days, both where (different) variegated varieties, one with an awesome base, the other a very nice beginning for a twin trunk.

I've been looking for ficus with the same potencial since then, no luck so far.....

Cheers
Gerhard
 

Redwood Ryan

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Thank you Gerhard!

My goal with fusing the trees to the base is to hopefully cover up the twisting of the trunk (somewhat) and to induce some form of taper into the tree. With my luck it won't work very well. I will go ahead and bare root the tree this weekend to look at the root and then place it into the greenhouse with the others.

And yes, I agree about the ficus roll :)

I hope I don't kill this one!
 

GerhardG

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Hi Ryan

Well then let's roll!:D

I know why my ficus died, root work followed by planting in nursery potting soil made with compost (that I suspect) wasn't done composting yet - roots started rotting.

I've done the exact same thing on several occasions in the mean time and planted the tree in straight sand - no problems.

I THINK what you actually want to do is called an approach graft(?)

I've seen some old examples of braided Ficus B's at a guesthouse, 3 of the 5 I'd gladly have taken, so there's hope for you're tree.
 

Mike423

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I don't know how well the branch at the base will fuse to the trunk that way (or how long you will have to wait). I would recommend thread grafting them through the trunk. Since they seem to be relatively small in diameter it would probably be quite easy.

-Mike
 

Mojosan

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Het Ryan,

Is the "branch" that you're attempting to fuse to the trunk rooted? If not, it will not fuse until it has developed its own roots. Not saying it won't fuse, but it will take considerably longer.

Here are three Ficus B. that I fused together for fun. These were cuttings from a larger plant that were rooted and potted separately for one season, then bound together in a single pot. I used coarse twine to bind them, and as you can see, I forgot about them for too long and they still have the marks.

These were bound together in May '08 - and I took this pic this morning. The plant is about 3 feet, the base 1.75" .

Have fun.
 

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Redwood Ryan

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I don't know how well the branch at the base will fuse to the trunk that way (or how long you will have to wait). I would recommend thread grafting them through the trunk. Since they seem to be relatively small in diameter it would probably be quite easy.

-Mike
Thanks Mike. I thought about that but then considered how I've never grafted before and didn't want to start just quite yet :D

Het Ryan,

Is the "branch" that you're attempting to fuse to the trunk rooted? If not, it will not fuse until it has developed its own roots. Not saying it won't fuse, but it will take considerably longer.

Here are three Ficus B. that I fused together for fun. These were cuttings from a larger plant that were rooted and potted separately for one season, then bound together in a single pot. I used coarse twine to bind them, and as you can see, I forgot about them for too long and they still have the marks.

These were bound together in May '08 - and I took this pic this morning. The plant is about 3 feet, the base 1.75" .

Have fun.
Yes, they are well rooted small benjamina saplings. Nice tree, I've got several smaller projects like yours I am fusing as well.

Thanks all!
 

Mike423

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Keep in ind thread grafting is considerably different from actual grafting in fact I don't think the term "grafting" really defines this technique. With grafting you actually have to make the connection with at least one side of the Cambrian layer with the root stock and the scion (as well as pressure sharpness of the cut type of cut etc... effecting its success). Where as with thread grafting you just take a drill, making a hole all the way through the parent stock, then after threading the sapling/ rooted cutting through seal it with cut paste. There is really no room for error or die off seeing as the new branch already has its own root system and is self sufficient. But again, its up to you.:)
 
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