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Redwood Ryan

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Hey everyone,

I've had this Ficus m. for quite some time. Any clues what I could do with it? I had planned on cutting back the branches, but the growth is really only out on the ends. Any thoughts on how to bring it in closer?


 

Attila Soos

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. Any thoughts on how to bring it in closer?

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There is no reason to bring it closer. Absolutely none.
You need to pick a leader, from the several branches that you have there, cut the rest of the branches off, and let that leader grow 6 feet tall, until it thickens half the diameter of the current trunk. Then you can do another chop and do it all over again.

Right now, you are trying to grow a trunk, and your concern is to create some movement and a nice taper. Creating branches will come much, much later.
 
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Redwood Ryan

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There is no reason to bring it closer. You need to pick a leader, from the several branches that you have there, cut the rest of the branches off, and let that leader grow 6 feet tall, until it thickens half the diameter of the current trunk.

Right now, you are trying to grow a trunk. The branches will come much, much later.
Good thought. The trunk right now is a little over an inch, and I am perfectly fine with that. I don't necessarily need it any bigger.
 

Attila Soos

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The trunk right now is a little over an inch, and I am perfectly fine with that. I don't necessarily need it any bigger.
That's right. The main problem at this time is, that this is only a stub, and there is no leader, in order to build up the rest of the trunk line. Once you've picked the one branch that you want to go with, just let it grow. The other 3 or 4 branches need to go, in order to focus all the energy on the leader.

Also, once the leader takes off, you need to do some carving, to make sure that the wound heals nicely, and there is no reverse taper developing.
 

Redwood Ryan

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That's right. The main problem at this time is, that this is only a stub, and there is no leader, in order to build up the rest of the trunk line. Once you've picked the one branch that you want to go with, just let it grow. The other 3 or 4 branches need to go, in order to focus all the energy on the leader.

Also, once the leader takes off, you need to do some carving, to make sure that the wound heals nicely, and there is no reverse taper developing.
Of course. That is a good point. I guess I will just pick the branch in the middle then cut the rest off. Then I'll see if growth improves.

And by "branch in the middle", I mean the one in red:

 
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personally, I would think long term and let it go for now, just put it on the shelf and do nothing...
If you let the branches grow long, they will thicken up rather fast... and you can very easily increase the overall size of this tree. The real nice thing about most ficus, is that you can end up with a really nice tree within a rather short amount of time.
I usually will decide which will be possible leaders and either wire for shape, or just let them be... the others I will wire down, as lower branches. Since there are not alot of branches on this tree right now, I would keep them all, they can be cut further down the line if one wants too.
Now, if one wants a very small tree... I would still do the very same process... this type of ficus can really handle massive cutting, and still barely flinch!!! Don't forget to try and root any "woody" cuttings, so you can increase your collection. I have found that I have about a 90 percent rate rooting my cuttings is just spagnum moss alone, no root hormones. I take a very small nursery pot (4" or smaller) fill it with damp moss, make a hole, place the cutting in and push the moss in arround it tight... that's it. Keep it in the shade, water about once a week, don't let it get to damp/dry. In about a month, you will see roots shooting out the bottom.
 

Redwood Ryan

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personally, I would think long term and let it go for now, just put it on the shelf and do nothing...
If you let the branches grow long, they will thicken up rather fast... and you can very easily increase the overall size of this tree. The real nice thing about most ficus, is that you can end up with a really nice tree within a rather short amount of time.
I usually will decide which will be possible leaders and either wire for shape, or just let them be... the others I will wire down, as lower branches. Since there are not alot of branches on this tree right now, I would keep them all, they can be cut further down the line if one wants too.
Now, if one wants a very small tree... I would still do the very same process... this type of ficus can really handle massive cutting, and still barely flinch!!! Don't forget to try and root any "woody" cuttings, so you can increase your collection. I have found that I have about a 90 percent rate rooting my cuttings is just spagnum moss alone, no root hormones. I take a very small nursery pot (4" or smaller) fill it with damp moss, make a hole, place the cutting in and push the moss in arround it tight... that's it. Keep it in the shade, water about once a week, don't let it get to damp/dry. In about a month, you will see roots shooting out the bottom.

Thanks Stacy!

Actually, this thing has been this way for months and just hasn't put out any growth. I've got it in a high humid area with lights and everything.

And I root all my ficus cuttings in water ;)
 
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Inside??? if so it should go out... as long as the weather will permit. They can grow indoors, and with alot of money, be pretty sucessful, but often they get kinda stagnant... the outdoors will change that!
 
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