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Aerial rooting on a Ficus Microcarpa 4 years 5 months ago #33816

  • Clicio
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I have this Ficus mallsai that I wish to enhance in the future.
It's been growing very well and healthy, lots of new growth.
Well, there is a technique to wrap the lower trunk with foil, fill it with bonsai soil (or sand; or sphagnum moss), and keep the inside moist all the time; this is supposed to stimulate the growth of aerial roots.
Perhaps these aerial roots could somehow help in hiding the original "S" shape, if I tilt the trunk to the left and make the first leg of the S parallel to the ground.
Will it work? Any of you has tried this method of growing aerial roots on Ficuses?

Happy Ficus

Green arrows show the planned tilt; Red shows future aerial roots

Any help welcome.:lol:

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Aerial rooting on a Ficus Microcarpa 4 years 5 months ago #33864

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Well, I guess nobody here has tried growing aerial roots on Ficuses.
I'll try anyway (in the spring), and will post the results here, being successful or not.
:-)

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Aerial rooting on a Ficus Microcarpa 4 years 5 months ago #33897

  • Travi51
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Yeah sorry bud. Hope it works out.
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Aerial rooting on a Ficus Microcarpa 4 years 5 months ago #33902

  • Bunsen33
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Many Ficus species produce aerial roots (roots that form on the trunk and branches well above the soil).
Airlayering (the method you were describing) a Ficus can be done easily as long as the soil in your 'floating pod' isn't allowed to dry out and not kept too wet. Airlayering is a common propagation technique and you can find a lot of information on it in these forums and the rest of the Bonsai Empire site. We were given a Ficus benjamina that was over 2m tall and had outgrown the previous owner's house. Through airlayering we now have about 5 potted trees we are training and we've given a few away.

Are you planning to remove the upper portion of the tree from the current base/roots once you have new roots growing further up the trunk?
Or are you simply trying to move the soil line up the trunk? If this is the case you might try putting the tree in a deep pot and just piling more soil on top until you are happy with the amount of mallsai trunk you've hidden. After a year or 2 new roots will have formed on the buried part of the trunk and you can remove the older/lower part of the roots and put it back in a shallower pot.
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Aerial rooting on a Ficus Microcarpa 4 years 5 months ago #33904

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..Airlayering is a common propagation technique...

.
Thanks, Bunsen33, I've done airlayering before. I was thinking about just growing aerial roots (let's call it a "fake airlayer") in the first part of the trunk, after tilting it to be parallel to the soil. I was not thinking about a real airlayer, where we cut the tree below the new roots.

Are you planning to remove the upper portion of the tree from the current base/roots once you have new roots growing further up the trunk?

.
No, I was thinking about filling up the lower trunk with the aerial roots. Wrapping it with aluminium foil, filled with bonsai substrate all the way down to the soil , thus encouraging the growth of new aerial roots (from the trunk to the actual soil).

..are you simply trying to move the soil line up the trunk? If this is the case you might try putting the tree in a deep pot and just piling more soil on top until you are happy with the amount of mallsai trunk you've hidden. After a year or 2 new roots will have formed on the buried part of the trunk and you can remove the older/lower part of the roots and put it back in a shallower pot.

This is also a possibility, I haven't thought about it, thanks for the tip!

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Aerial rooting on a Ficus Microcarpa 4 years 5 months ago #33911

  • Enaisio
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I think you could just ground layer it but instead of removing the bottom part you just remove the added soil of the ground layer , but I don't know if there is a difference between aerial roots and the roots that grow underground . I'm pretty sure it will work as a method to thicken up the base of the trunk tho , I don't think you need aerial roots down there I think you simply need the base to be thicker and to create more taper along the trunk am I right ? :)
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Aerial rooting on a Ficus Microcarpa 4 years 5 months ago #33912

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I don't think you need aerial roots down there I think you simply need the base to be thicker and to create more taper along the trunk am I right ? :)

Enaisio, first of all, thanks for commenting. YES, you've got the idea, and yes, I think it will work to get the aerials AND thicken up the trunk.
I don't need aerials, but I want them as a significant part of the personality of a Ficus tree. You see, we are surrounded by ficus here on the streets of São Paulo, some young, some old, but all of them have lots and lots of aerial roots.
So... I want them on my bonsai tree also!

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Aerial rooting on a Ficus Microcarpa 4 years 5 months ago #33916

  • leatherback
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You will not have to do anything. your climate is suitable for aerial roots to form. You will get them. Just wait for the next period of 3 months hot & humid weather. In the non-tropics it is hard to get them to grow these roots. But for you.. They will do it all by themsleves. All you need is a bit of patience.
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Aerial rooting on a Ficus Microcarpa 4 years 5 months ago #33919

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Problem solved :) all you need is a little patience ;)
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