[360°] Ficus obliqua (Queensland Small Leaf Fig)

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[360°] Ficus obliqua (Queensland Small Leaf Fig)

Postby Steven » May 21st, 2010, 5:03 pm

G'day,

I obtained this QSL fig recently at the 23rd National Bonsai Convention dinner. Initially I thought a restyle was in order until I realised that it had been displayed backwards :oops:

Front May 2010.jpg

Right side May 2010.jpg

Back 2010.jpg

Left side May 2010.jpg

It has been grown from seed collected from the Royal Botanical Gardens, Sydney in 1993. In January 2003 it was cut back from over 2 meters tall to a stump of only 30 to 40cm high, root pruned and repotted into a large nursery pot.
Each year since it was fed and let grow then pruned back heavily. In Spring 2009 it was again pruned hard, styled and potted into the bonsai pot it appears in today.

Donated to the Illawarra AABC Convention by Illawarra member Case S. It now sits proudly as part of my collection :D

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I'll be getting to know it for the next 6 months or so and will evaluate any future direction then (November-ish). What would you do? Maintain the style or go for something totally different?

Regards,
Steven
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Re: [360°] Ficus obliqua (Queensland Small Leaf Fig)

Postby Bretts » May 21st, 2010, 8:20 pm

Hi Steven that is a great addition to the collection and will be a great challenge to improve on. At about 1:4.4 it is definitely stout but it some how gives the impression of a taller tree. I think this is mainly from not great branch placement. Turning the tree around does not give me a better front (although a slight change might be ok) but I often find my eye telling me the top looks better from different angles. maybe this is why it was displayed from a different front?
The problems I see is the first two branches are too close together which is exaggerated by the gap on the right above them. This is not helped by the errect straightness of the first two branches.

My first guess at a fix would be to chop back the two primary branches hard regrowing them with more movement and taper. Also graft or acquire a branch on the right just above the left back branch and just below the right back branch. This branch would need to be slightly forward of the first right branch.
Then the above branches wired to suit! This could entail a little of the top?

Enjoy!
Last edited by Bretts on May 21st, 2010, 8:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: [360°] Ficus obliqua (Queensland Small Leaf Fig)

Postby Shannon » May 21st, 2010, 8:38 pm

Good score mate. Looking forward to seeing what you do with it in the future, maybe some big bends... Would love to see the canopy lowered a little more.
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Re: [360°] Ficus obliqua (Queensland Small Leaf Fig)

Postby Amanda » May 21st, 2010, 9:09 pm

Where's that drooling emoticon?

:D
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Re: [360°] Ficus obliqua (Queensland Small Leaf Fig)

Postby Jerry Meislik » May 21st, 2010, 10:13 pm

Stephen,
Congrats on finding a wonderful tree.
I agree with the comments already made that the tree has one major weakness and that is the space between the top tier of branches and the lower two branches.
One, you could graft some new branches in that space to fill the gap or two, lower one of the branches from the apical tier to fill.
Personally the tree is quite lovely and I would not do a radical re-style but it is your tree, so you decide.
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Re: [360°] Ficus obliqua (Queensland Small Leaf Fig)

Postby bodhidharma » May 21st, 2010, 10:33 pm

I have to compliment you on the photography Steven. That is very clear and shows the tree of beautifully. I agree you will probably have to improve the branching.
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Re: [360°] Ficus obliqua (Queensland Small Leaf Fig)

Postby Glenda » May 21st, 2010, 10:47 pm

Hi Steven,

I think this lovely tree would be greatly enhanced by a period of 3 or more years in sunny North Queensland, especially in the area of Mackay. The great ficus-growing conditions here would improve it immensly, and I know of a novice bonsai enthusiast who would welcome it and practice the art of bonsai on such a quality tree for the duration, but the down side of that is my - I mean her inexperience may mean it is not worth much should you ever get it back......... :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Glenda
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Re: [360°] Ficus obliqua (Queensland Small Leaf Fig)

Postby Steven » December 15th, 2010, 2:54 pm

I hadn't done much work to this one since it found its way into my garden other than to keep any wayward growth in check.
Here is how it was looking a few months ago;

2010 September.jpg

Today I found time to defoliate and gave it a bit of a trim too;

2010 December - Front.JPG

2010 December - Left.JPG

2010 December - Back.JPG

2010 December - Right.JPG

2010 December - Front bottle.JPG

Other than needing to spread the apex out and lower it a bit I'm pretty happy and don't think I'll do anything drastic... yet.

Regards,
Steven
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Re: [360°] Ficus obliqua (Queensland Small Leaf Fig)

Postby Ash » December 15th, 2010, 3:14 pm

Steven that is a very very beautiful view of the tree in your garden. The defoliated photographs show well the shape of the tree which has a very smooth transition from the base, to mid trunk to branches (smooth is the best word I can think of for the effect I see). I would not make any drastic cuts or try to introduce severe bends (as advised above) because they may interrupt the smooth transition you have already achieved. The smoothness without over emphasised bends makes the viewers eyes 'lift' and I think this may be what gives it an appearance of height that makes it look like a very large tree. When a tree looks tall you feel like you are close to it looking up into it.
Ash
Last edited by Ash on December 15th, 2010, 3:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: [360°] Ficus obliqua (Queensland Small Leaf Fig)

Postby craigw60 » December 15th, 2010, 3:21 pm

Hi Steven thats a lovely tree its so nice to see old trees where the scars have disappeared and the ramification developed.
A very nice clump of iris ensata (kaempferi) as well
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Re: [360°] Ficus obliqua (Queensland Small Leaf Fig)

Postby Ray M » December 15th, 2010, 6:28 pm

Hi Steven,
I like the tree very much. I would like to see some of the branches lowered. The virt shows some of what I mean. The red lines and arrows show the areas. If you thought that was a possible way to go, you could start to lower them and then see where the gaps are.

Front May 2010=2.jpg


Regards Ray
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Re: [360°] Ficus obliqua (Queensland Small Leaf Fig)

Postby MattA » December 15th, 2010, 7:07 pm

Ash it IS a BIG tree :lol:
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Re: [360°] Ficus obliqua (Queensland Small Leaf Fig)

Postby Ozmad » December 15th, 2010, 8:24 pm

nice tree
for me i think the first 2 branches need lowering, as they are now it makes the tree look young. The tree seems to give the illusion that the crown is moving away from you. If you lowered the first 2 branches i feel it would give you enough room to grow a branch to help with that illusion of movement
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Re: [360°] Ficus obliqua (Queensland Small Leaf Fig)

Postby kcpoole » December 15th, 2010, 8:42 pm

Nice tree Steven
I agree that the bottom branches need lowering and I also think the one above can come down too

Grow out the foliage on the top to fill in the outline, but think the "negative spaces" between the branches need to stay
I apologise for butchering the tree in my virt to explain :-)

Ken
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Re: [360°] Ficus obliqua (Queensland Small Leaf Fig)

Postby Ash » December 15th, 2010, 9:06 pm

MattA wrote:Ash it IS a BIG tree :lol:


:lol: Yes Yes :lol: I know that sounds silly :oops: I mean big big not bonsai big
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