What to do with large ficus

Jimmy1020

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Hi there I'm new to bonsai and wondering which style this plant would be suitable to shape to .
Any advice would be appreciated.
Thanks in advance jimmy
 

Jimmy1020

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Hi there I'm new to bonsai and wondering which style this plant would be suitable to shape to .
Any advice would be appreciated.
Thanks in advance jimmy

278526
 

Shibui

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Hi Jimmy. Welcome to bonsai.
I was going to say that this is probably Ficus benjamina (weeping fig) but I see you are a fellow Aussie which opens up a number of other possible species that are available here. Leaves do look like benji which can mean some possible issues for bonsai development as benji don't react quite as well to hard pruning and root reduction as some of our other native figs.
You can probably develop almost any style of bonsai from material as raw as this. Some styles will take a little longer to achieve.
Without seeing the entire tree to assess the 3D structure and movement in the trunk i'd see the only real option as a drastic reduction cut above the first large branch then reduce the length of that branch, cross fingers and toes and hope that it survives and sprouts plenty of new shoots to work with. There's not really much point drawing up a shape at this stage as the required shoots may not develop in the correct places. You really just need to do the reduction and then plan with whatever comes after.
A twin trunk would be a possibility using that smaller low trunk as the second trunk
 

Jimmy1020

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Hi Jimmy. Welcome to bonsai.
I was going to say that this is probably Ficus benjamina (weeping fig) but I see you are a fellow Aussie which opens up a number of other possible species that are available here. Leaves do look like benji which can mean some possible issues for bonsai development as benji don't react quite as well to hard pruning and root reduction as some of our other native figs.
You can probably develop almost any style of bonsai from material as raw as this. Some styles will take a little longer to achieve.
Without seeing the entire tree to assess the 3D structure and movement in the trunk i'd see the only real option as a drastic reduction cut above the first large branch then reduce the length of that branch, cross fingers and toes and hope that it survives and sprouts plenty of new shoots to work with. There's not really much point drawing up a shape at this stage as the required shoots may not develop in the correct places. You really just need to do the reduction and then plan with whatever comes after.
A twin trunk would be a possibility using that smaller low trunk as the second trunk
 

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Jimmy1020

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Does that help in identifying it ?
I believed the one on the left is a Benjamin fig ?
 

Jimmy1020

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Hi Jimmy. Welcome to bonsai.
I was going to say that this is probably Ficus benjamina (weeping fig) but I see you are a fellow Aussie which opens up a number of other possible species that are available here. Leaves do look like benji which can mean some possible issues for bonsai development as benji don't react quite as well to hard pruning and root reduction as some of our other native figs.
You can probably develop almost any style of bonsai from material as raw as this. Some styles will take a little longer to achieve.
Without seeing the entire tree to assess the 3D structure and movement in the trunk i'd see the only real option as a drastic reduction cut above the first large branch then reduce the length of that branch, cross fingers and toes and hope that it survives and sprouts plenty of new shoots to work with. There's not really much point drawing up a shape at this stage as the required shoots may not develop in the correct places. You really just need to do the reduction and then plan with whatever comes after.
A twin trunk would be a possibility using that smaller low trunk as the second trunk
Hi Jimmy. Welcome to bonsai.
I was going to say that this is probably Ficus benjamina (weeping fig) but I see you are a fellow Aussie which opens up a number of other possible species that are available here. Leaves do look like benji which can mean some possible issues for bonsai development as benji don't react quite as well to hard pruning and root reduction as some of our other native figs.
You can probably develop almost any style of bonsai from material as raw as this. Some styles will take a little longer to achieve.
Without seeing the entire tree to assess the 3D structure and movement in the trunk i'd see the only real option as a drastic reduction cut above the first large branch then reduce the length of that branch, cross fingers and toes and hope that it survives and sprouts plenty of new shoots to work with. There's not really much point drawing up a shape at this stage as the required shoots may not develop in the correct places. You really just need to do the reduction and then plan with whatever comes after.
A twin trunk would be a possibility using that smaller low trunk as the second trunk
is this where your suggesting to cut where iv marked in purple?27853620200112_210931.jpg
 

Tieball

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The roots aren’t that great are they? It’s like they are all lined up parallel to each other....like they are ready to crawl over the side and head for the hills....clawing the way out of the container. Do any other sides have a better root show? Just curious.
 

Shibui

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That purple line is the spot I had in mind but remember I have no experience with benji. I only know that others have warned that they do not react as well as F. rubiginosa which I grow.

Comparison doesn't really help much. The smaller leaves on the right may just be from poor growing conditions over several years or could indicate a different species. Small leaves could also be F. obliqua. Benji is commonly grown as a landscape and potted fig so far more likely candidate I think.

With these outside I assume you are in a frost free part of Aus?
 

Jimmy1020

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The roots aren’t that great are they? It’s like they are all lined up parallel to each other....like they are ready to crawl over the side and head for the hills....clawing the way out of the container. Do any other sides have a better root show? Just curious.
Yes true! No that's pretty much the best show of the roots.
 

Jimmy1020

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That purple line is the spot I had in mind but remember I have no experience with benji. I only know that others have warned that they do not react as well as F. rubiginosa which I grow.

Comparison doesn't really help much. The smaller leaves on the right may just be from poor growing conditions over several years or could indicate a different species. Small leaves could also be F. obliqua. Benji is commonly grown as a landscape and potted fig so far more likely candidate I think.

With these outside I assume you are in a frost free part of Aus?
Yes they were in frostfree environment
They look different colour leaf and they all seem tinny
 

Jimmy1020

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That purple line is the spot I had in mind but remember I have no experience with benji. I only know that others have warned that they do not react as well as F. rubiginosa which I grow.

Comparison doesn't really help much. The smaller leaves on the right may just be from poor growing conditions over several years or could indicate a different species. Small leaves could also be F. obliqua. Benji is commonly grown as a landscape and potted fig so far more likely candidate I think.

With these outside I assume you are in a frost free part of Aus?
I don't think it is F obliqua As it looks nothing like the one in this link
 

sorce

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Yeah, I'd saw it on the mortar line above the second visible brick course. 4th up all day.

Informal Broom.

Nice spread!

Sorce
 

sorce

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Is this what you guys were thinking?View attachment 278582
Close. Honestly, that branch that you saved up there...I grew a branch that thick in one summer here.

So I don't see why you should keep anything that has grown as it would if it were an untrained houseplant.

I guess you CAN see what pops from here to train...
But I'd see future tree as ONLY the present roots and 1 trunk, and build all new "subtrunks" and branching.

Sorce
 

Jimmy1020

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Do you mean cut square along the purple line in picture so that you can encourage growth for broom style?
Do You know what species the plant is ?
278588
 

Jimmy1020

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Close. Honestly, that branch that you saved up there...I grew a branch that thick in one summer here.

So I don't see why you should keep anything that has grown as it would if it were an untrained houseplant.

I guess you CAN see what pops from here to train...
But I'd see future tree as ONLY the present roots and 1 trunk, and build all new "subtrunks" and branching.

Sorce
Or do you mean here ...So there is only one trunk?
 

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sorce

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Don't know that you Must do it now....
Tho it could be preferred...

I'd make the chop between here somewhere. It may depend what you get now.
Capture+_2020-01-12-17-48-19.png

Definitely start new branching eventually.

Sorce
 

Jimmy1020

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Don't know that you Must do it now....
Tho it could be preferred...

I'd make the chop between here somewhere. It may depend what you get now.
View attachment 278603

Definitely start new branching eventually.

Sorce
Ok thanks for the feedback .
I'm thinking maybe leave it for this growing season as I'm worried it may be a benji and I'm worried it has already had a lot of stress considering it's been said the don't tollerate trunk chops well.
Do you think it's definitely a benji
 
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