Walmart Tiger Bark Ficus For Fun

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Walmart had a couple tiger barks, and I noticed one actually had a bit of a taper and a decent sized trunk. It might make a decent Shohin, idk. So I took it home to probably die.

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Page, AZ Elevation: 1326m / 4350feet
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Look at this peat mud. 🤮

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I was actually surprised! It has quite a lot more taper than I thought. First thing I had to do was remove the penis roots.

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I dropped it in a sifted DE colander because that's all I have on hand. Hopefully it survives. If it roots out, when should I consider potting and pruning?
 
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It hasn't dropped leaves yet.. Where they chopped the top there is die back. I'm not sure how far down, I won't know until I carve it at a later date. I'm not really satisfied with the current back budding, I wish I had a branch that was higher up to become the new leader. Not sure if I should cut all the branches off in hopes of a better candidate popping out, or if I should just choose a current one and accept it.
 

DonovanC

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Great start 👍
In my experience, you could have been even more aggressive with the roots.
I have a Walmart microcarpa developing right now, and @just.wing.it has a nice thread going of one that they’re working on.
This tree has a lot of potential!
 
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Great start 👍
In my experience, you could have been even more aggressive with the roots.
I have a Walmart microcarpa developing right now, and @just.wing.it has a nice thread going of one that they’re working on.
This tree has a lot of potential!
I'm still new and conservative when it comes to drastic chops and prunes 🤣 Any suggestions on how to go about developing a nebari?
 

DonovanC

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I'm still new and conservative when it comes to drastic chops and prunes 🤣 Any suggestions on how to go about developing a nebari?
I get it for sure. I’m not too far into my bonsai journey myself. I started in late 2016 and I've only in the last couple of years gotten to a point where I feel semi-competent - but I’ve worked with ficus a lot over these years. Honestly what you’ve done is a really good start, I wouldn’t bother doing anything else. If the tree gets enough light and water and fertilizer (although you should hold off on fert for a few weeks after repotting), you’ll get tons of new roots shooting our all around the base then next repot you’ll have plenty of roots to choose from.
Here’s the roots on mine after it’s second repot. I’d chopped pretty much all the roots off so all of these roots are new.
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I get it for sure. I’m not too far into my bonsai journey myself. I started in late 2016 and I've only in the last couple of years gotten to a point where I feel semi-competent - but I’ve worked with ficus a lot over these years. Honestly what you’ve done is a really good start, I wouldn’t bother doing anything else. If the tree gets enough light and water and fertilizer (although you should hold off on fert for a few weeks after repotting), you’ll get tons of new roots shooting our all around the base then next repot you’ll have plenty of roots to choose from.
Here’s the roots on mine after it’s second repot. I’d chopped pretty much all the roots off so all of these roots are new.
View attachment 392287
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I'd like to eventually train it into something similar to this, obviously not as big of a trunk.

Edit: I just realized this is a root over rock😂 just pretend the rock is part of the trunk. Formal upright with some nebari.
 
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I feel like this started as a cutting maybe 3-4 years ago. Looks like they cut it recently. But it looks nice, lots of new shoots.
 

DonovanC

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View attachment 392290
I'd like to eventually train it into something similar to this, obviously not as big of a trunk.

Edit: I just realized this is a root over rock😂 just pretend the rock is part of the trunk. Formal upright with some nebari.
Lol no stress - it’s definitely doable. It’ll take a lot of growing, so if you have the space to just let it grow wild that’s what you’ll want to do. You’d be surprised at how quickly you can develop these trees.
 
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Lol no stress - it’s definitely doable. It’ll take a lot of growing, so if you have the space to just let it grow wild that’s what you’ll want to do. You’d be surprised at how quickly you can develop these trees.
I don't think it would survive the winter where I'm at. But I'll probably throw it in a large pot and keep it outside for a season or two while bringing it in for the winter to get some growth out of it.
 

DonovanC

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I don't think it would survive the winter where I'm at. But I'll probably throw it in a large pot and keep it outside for a season or two while bringing it in for the winter to get some growth out of it.
Right, just keep it above 50°F - you’re headed in the right direction 👍
 

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