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HomeBonsaiCommon previous ficus microcarpa from a raffle – Adam's Artwork and Bonsai...

Common previous ficus microcarpa from a raffle – Adam’s Artwork and Bonsai Weblog


Similar to the title says, this tree isn’t a particular selection or cultivar, it’s only a plain Ficus microcarpa, what them previous timers known as “retusa” (click on right here for a clarification of the error make too a few years in the past as to why they known as it that. I can’t clarify why some nonetheless name it that apart from cussed intransigence to vary).

We all know it’s a daily F. Microcarpa by the leaf, discover the white dots on the margin:

That’s a inform story signal that’s not very evident on many different F. microcarpa varieties. Another traits are marked dieback to the subsequent node, bigger internodes, gray bark.

Let’s defoliate it so we will see the construction earlier than wiring.

Right here’s dieback btw:

The common species is a bit more troublesome to ramify than the cultivars like tiger bark, however the trunk and roots are inclined to develop quicker, so that you’ll typically see an enormous F. microcarpa trunk with grafted foliage and branches.

As I’m defoliating and begin seeing the construction I’ll edit out a number of the odd branching I come to. Like right here:

There’s too many from one level, and so they’re coming from throughout. The very first thing I search for is taper, subsequent, motion. And with this considerably ramified tree, I’ll hold the branches with extra, effectively, branches.

There, completed.

Now we will see. Undoubtedly the results of topiary or hedge clipping, which isn’t essentially a nasty factor (in reality, it’s vital in growing broadleaf bushes that again bud effectively) however this one has gone too lengthy with out the required corrections wanted to do away with odd knobs and fists.

However wiring will repair that.

I imagine that this was initially styled as a windswept, which is a tricky fashion to take care of with ficus, so I’ll convey it again into an off-the-cuff tree type.

I’ll transfer the entrance to right here.

And unfold out the cover to accommodate the brand new fashion and entrance. However not tonight, I’ve been ready within the parking zone for my son to complete a Boy Scout assembly and I’ve misplaced the sunshine, it appears.

So, go get your self a beverage, take a break, and I’ll see you tomorrow when the solar is shining once more.

Good morning my mates! I’m in The Nook now, and able to get to work.

Let’s get some wire on this unhealthy boy. Now, the entrance can be right here, keep in mind, so the objective can be to convey some steadiness to the Power, um….the tree.

The 2 fundamental, (bordering on an virtually dichotomy even) concepts in bonsai composition cope with rigidity and concord. Stress is all about creating drama, unease to the viewer, constructing a way of battle and adversity. It’s a tricky feeling for me and lots of artists to convey. To present you an concept of some types you’d be conversant in exhibiting rigidity are slant (shakkan), windswept (fukinagashi) , literati (bunjin) and deadwood (sharamiki). They have an inclination to make the tree unbalanced, or, within the case of sharamiki, virtually lifeless.

The rationale these types are exhausting is as a result of we as artists like to indicate decision of type, an steadiness of the story. It’s extremely troublesome for me to design a slant fashion tree as a result of it’s inherently unbalanced. The apex tends to be away from the middle mass of the trunk. And that’s not pure. Most bushes in nature will develop in a balanced, secure means, with a lot of the mass of the tree over the trunk, just because that’s, in engineering phrases, the simplest method to maintain the burden of the tree. The upright formal fashion, chokkan, is, by default, essentially the most pure fashion. Although it tends to seem like a Christmas tree.

As I stated earlier, our tree seems prefer it was styled initially as a windswept. As evidenced by this minimize:

….And the final means that the branching is organized.

Concord is achieved by balancing the trunk and branches so the tree seems secure and powerful. I’m going to attempt to convey the tree into steadiness. First, I’ll cope with the apex.

Middle of the bottom of the tree:

Earlier than transferring the highest:

And after:

Now for the opposite predominant branches:

And now the remaining, with element wire.

I’ve stated this earlier than, however there are two instances when it’s “OK” to cross wires, opposite to all of the previous books. They each should do with getting a correct anchor for the wire.

The primary “taboo” however acceptable wire cross has to do with including smaller wire alongside bigger wire when wiring out to the department tip.

On the finish of the bigger wire, loop the smaller wire round it. Like so:

The second occasion is when wiring a facet department utilizing smaller wire, so as to get a correct anchor to not solely bend the department successfully but in addition to guard the department from breaking off on the connection level, you could must cross over the larger wire.

Right here’s a normal wiring technique:

Right here’s the crossed one: view from above

And under:

Right here’s the tree wired, earlier than transferring the branches:

Transfer just a few branches right here and there:

Getting there. Now let’s repair the roots with a fast repot.

I’ll tuck that tail into the pot, don’t fear.

Oooof, just a bit pot certain….

That’s higher…

Now to chop off some lengthy ones…

Cram it again into the pot…

Some soil, fertilizer, pre-emergent weed preventer, and a granular systemic insecticide (for thrips. Ficus microcarpa are savaged by thrips down right here in Florida. I exploit granular imidacloprid for this. The model is Bonide, however no matter you will discover ought to work).

The eagle eyed readers will discover the soil combine right now is a bit totally different than my regular combine. Due to the delivery issues of late (Covid Instances), I’m not capable of get all my elements, and subsequently, as a result of I’m low on soil, this combine is using new lava rock (scoria) mixed with used soil.

Don’t be involved with reusing previous combine, it may be higher, should you comply with the brand new science, in your bushes in the long term.

The strategy: first, make certain the tree(s) the soil got here from didn’t endure from any illnesses, then, dry it out, and sift out the fines and the previous roots. Then combine in new elements, like lava or pumice.

My commonplace Adamaskwhy SuperMix™️ on the nursery has not less than 20% previous soil blended in (the product that American Bonsai retails for me is 100% new elements, for delivery and Agricultural phyto-sanitary regulation functions).

Soil science research are displaying that the microorganisms current in soil are extra vital than they used to assume. Bonsai professionals are slowly figuring this out, particularly when utilizing organically derived fertilizers. In a nutshell, fertilizers are damaged into water soluble and water insoluble vitamins. Take nitrogen, you will have most synthetics being water soluble, that means {that a} plant can take them up simply simply from the roots. Some natural fertilizers, like blood meal, have a big make up of water soluble nitrogen as effectively, however many require a microorganism like mycorrhizae or a micro organism to unlock the nitrogen so the plant can put it to use. So including the microorganisms into recent soil (by including used soil or including the organisms straight by utilizing a product like Espoma Bio-Tone, and don’t fear, I get no cash from affiliate hyperlinks) helps the tree in the long term to remain wholesome.

The bonsai group may be very conservative and sluggish to vary, therefore the reticence to just accept new science (or any new concepts it appears) when it’s found. There are nonetheless individuals recommending you wash your previous pots with bleach to kill any pathogens. However in most horticultural fields, they don’t (except the plant was diseased in fact).

Anyway, again to our topic, this common, raffle desk Ficus microcarpa (comply with the F. Retusa hyperlink originally, however don’t get me began on the misnaming of this species as Ficus retusa, that’s an actual battle to get these recalcitrant bonsai practitioners to vary)

Right here’s the tree after repot and tweaking the branches a bit extra .

You’ll discover the primary department on the underside left. That’s a brand new shoot that’ll be the brand new first department and that’s the way it’s developed. First you let it develop, then chop it when it’s dimension.

In the end, the department will develop secondary branching, and I’ll minimize to these to develop ramification.

Right here’s a high view to indicate all of the ramification. It’s effectively on its method to hopefully turning into tree.

The trunk, as most ficus will, ought to nonetheless get bigger within the bonsai pot. These aerial roots in direction of the underside will thicken the bottom and make it extra attention-grabbing, and the branching will develop fairly rapidly.

And all this tree wants is time. That’s the one factor you possibly can’t rush. However, for now, “Bob’s yer uncle”.

Heres the earlier than pic, for comparability:

So subsequent time you see a tragic little raffle tree, have a look at it just a little extra carefully, give it an opportunity, it could possibly be a gem. You can discover a actual treasure from another person’s trash they only wish to do away with.

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