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Defoliating and shaping 7 months 1 week ago #67835

  • Henrygriffin789
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Hello,

I've had this ficus giseng for about 2 years now and haven't done anything with it with regards to pruning. I am looking to cut back some of the branches to shape it a bit more this year. I would also like to get more leaf growth centrally so was thinking about defoliating. I was wondering if this would help with that? And would you recommend defoliating first then pruning or vice versa? When would be best for this?

Thank you
Henry

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Last edit: Post by Henrygriffin789.

Defoliating and shaping 7 months 1 week ago #67836

  • m5eaygeoff
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Why would you defoliate? Defoliating is a seriously stressful operation, and something that should be seriously thought about first. It is something that I NEVER do to any tree. I do partial defoliation on refined trees, but nothing else. This plant is not refined and will not benefit from partial let alone complete defoliating.

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Defoliating and shaping 7 months 1 week ago #67839

  • Henrygriffin789
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Hey, from my very amateur reading, I was under the impression that defoliating would stimulate more leaf growth of a smaller size. I was hoping this would lead to more dense growth centrally, as you can see it's quite sparse in there at the moment. I would only partially defoliate.
If you suggest otherwise, I would appreciate any other advice in achieving this.

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Defoliating and shaping 7 months 1 week ago #67855

  • Albas
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Hey...

Just prune the longer shoots to stimulate axillary buds to grow on them... Maybe you can even propagate.
No need to defoliate it.

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Defoliating and shaping 7 months 1 week ago #67866

  • nboisvert
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I was under the same impression as Henrygriffin789, I have 3 ficus that has quite large leaves and I've thought quite often that defoliating it would grow smaller leaves.

Would you suggest just removing the biggest leaves progressively? Like I remove the bigger one and keep the medium one, after some time and after some small new leaves have grown I remove the medium one until they all look even with a similar size?

There are so many contradictory pieces of advice everywhere that it's hard to really understand how to reduce leaves size.

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Defoliating and shaping 7 months 1 week ago #67870

  • Tropfrog
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Defoliating is a practice used to stimulate smaller leafs to grow that is correct. It is performed on old and mature trees to prepare for an exibition. It is very stressful to the tree and should only be performed by experienced artists on full health mature trees and not every year.

Since you are obvious beginners, the recomendation not to defoliate is totally correct.

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Defoliating and shaping 7 months 1 week ago #67880

  • leatherback
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The advice might seem inconsistent, but that is because too many people who have no idea about growing bonsai, give advice.

(Partial) defoliation is a way to do 2 main things:

- Ensure inner growth stays alive (or appears) so you can keep timming the tree back to new branches
- Trigger a resprouting response which will create higher ramification.

Creating smaller leaves is a result too, but this is mostly done for trees ready for a show, not under normal growing conditions.

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