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TOPIC: Chopping a Ficus

Chopping a Ficus 1 year 2 months ago #33097

Hi Everyone,

I'm relatively new to bonsai and have mainly been growing trees from seed for the past 2-3 years (I simply enjoy raising trees from the earliest beginning and think this will be more rewarding in the long run.. :blink:). Knowing that it will take me a good decade or so before I will have any kind of presentable bonsai from this practice, I bought the ficus shown on the pictures 2 years ago to experiment and learn in the meantime. I know that it has many flaws but my girlfriend really liked it, especially the airoots and, since I mainly wanted to learn, I decided to buy it (it was quite cheap at 25 E...).

I already had a rough plan for it back then. I knew that I had to get rid of the branch on the left with the ugly wire marks and inverse taper and I also planned on chopping it down to make it more compact and get rid of the knob on the top of the main trunk. In order to prepare, I repotted the tree in a bigger pot than it had been in and in proper substitute (akadama, pumice, lava 1:1:1 and some 10% sifted bark, with akadama topping to retain more moisture) and have been letting it grow out since then. I know the tree looks fairly weak atm but that is due to the fact that it got too little light in winter (really need to invest in a lamp..?!) and temperatures only allowed me to start brining it out in the last few days. It was growing great last year and is starting to push out many new shoots now.

What I would like to ask the more experienced members, when should I chop down the top? At what angle (I was thinking slightly to the back to hide the cut)? And, do I need to leave folliage on the tree or can I cut back fully to the stem to form a completely new appex from scrach? I would also like to reduce the smaller branch on the right to bring folliage closer to the trunk (also has a smaler wire mark..). I have marked my Idea for chopping and cutting back the branches on the second picture. I am currently thinking to get rid of the left branch completely and maybe create a branch leaning down from above the cut (if possible!) to fill this space. This would avoid the T like structure with the right branch as well as the cross-over with the airoot.

I would very much appreciate any advice on the chopping procedure or other further ideas in terms of design. Many thanks in advance!

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  • Mad Max
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Chopping a Ficus 1 year 2 months ago #33098

Hello Mad Max, I think you already know what to do.
Wait for strength on the Ficus, and...
Just do it! :-)
  • Clicio
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Chopping a Ficus 1 year 2 months ago #33100

Thanks. Yes, that's roughly what I was thinking as well :lol: but while I agree with your signature, I would really like to avoid the killing bit if possible :P

Just looking for some reassuarance that my idea makes sense. Was thinking I would wait about 6-8 weeks and then... :evil:
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