Green Island Fig

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Green Island Fig

Postby sjc » December 8th, 2018, 7:39 am

Hey guys

I'm relatively new to bonsai and have learnt heaps from this forum already. I live close to brisbane and I've been experimenting with some cassurina and eucalypt tube stock, hacking at some brachychiton rupestris and just keeping some maples alive really. I didn't have any large, old established trees until yesterday when I picked up these trees on gumtree as a bundle for about 400 bucks from someone moving overseas.

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A Chinese Privet from 1956, a willow leaf root over rock thats 15 years old and a green island fig thats also 15 years old.

I was all pumped to repot and start dealing with the 2 figs today but went out this morning to start, got a bit overwhelmed and thought I'd ask for some learned opinions.

The green island fig is the biggest and is well and truly in need of root work and repotting... all of them havent been repotted in 10 years.

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So my questions are:
1. This obviously needs repotting and root work... but can I cut back branches at the same time pretty drastically or just do the major stuff with the roots and wait on shaping?

2. I was thinking about styling this in informal upright... removing the large low branch. But there are some pretty impressive aerial roots which would also be removed which would be a shame. Then i was thinking about chopping the main trunk by about 2/3rds and doing the same with the large low branch. It was at this point I decided to seek out an adult who is adultier than myself.

I'd really appreciate some opinions... if you need more photos just let me know... thankyou!
Cheers


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Last edited by sjc on December 8th, 2018, 7:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Green Island Fig

Postby KIRKY » December 8th, 2018, 7:56 am

Welcome to AB.
You can repot and do any trimming/removing branches/styling at the same time. Remove any if the really large roots leaving the fine roots for feeding. Depending on what you find once removed from the pot you may need to do it in stages. Some this year, some next as you don’t want to remove all the roots if there are only large roots.
At this time of year in your area you can remove branches and shape to your future style. With regards to the aerial roots I would style the tree and not worry about the aerial roots these can be regrown at a later date to compliment the future style :imo: once you have completed above I would water with Seasol, and in 3-4 weeks start with Powerfeed for quick fertiliser along with organic pallet fertiliser. With in a couple of months you should see a lot of new growth.
Cheers
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Re: Green Island Fig

Postby sjc » December 8th, 2018, 8:53 am

Thanks very much for the advice Kirky... I appreciate it.

What do you think about the below as a bit of a plan for removing branches?

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Re: Green Island Fig

Postby anthonyW » December 8th, 2018, 9:09 am

Hi sjc...any chance turning the tree around to opposite to this for a look, could be your front and please at this moment don t cut that nice big branch....I ll be out for awhile but will get back to you soon cheers,

ps,,don t rush now could be a very good tree there

I need the other side to this.

phpuj1PLyPM.jpg


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Re: Green Island Fig

Postby sjc » December 8th, 2018, 9:20 am

Hey Anthony

Thanks mate... yeah I'm not in any rush... I was last night but realised pretty quickly I needed to slow down. It's a great thick branch that I'm very hesitant to chop... heres the other side...

Image

Cheers

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Re: Green Island Fig

Postby anthonyW » December 8th, 2018, 12:49 pm

Okay thats your front for me, if your keen to keep going I need a close up of the areas circled red and image from the red arrow side and try and keep photos square, horizontal, perpendicular etc to pot so I don t have to keep straightening your angles so I have an idea whats going on, remember I m viewing 2d/flat shots..no depth 3d looks...would help us considerably thanks.

cheers Anthony

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Re: Green Island Fig

Postby shibui » December 8th, 2018, 1:03 pm

I think it looks far better from that second side. Both the main trunk and the low branch come forward now rather than retreating into the background. The main trunk looks like it may be coming a little too far toward the front? Fix that by tilting toward the rear when repotting.
:imo: that great thick branch 2/3 up the main upright trunk is the biggest problem. I would probably remove it completely. You should expect new shoots from the trunk nearby if you really need another branch there but in my experience we tend to have far too many branches that block and compete with each other. Removing some leaves room for shaping and for remaining branches to develop.
Also agreeing with Anthony (I assume he's going to suggest keeping the low branch). It takes a very average tree and gives it some dynamic movement. Again, maybe just tilt the tree a bit to the right (bring upright trunk more vertical) when repotting so that most of the movement is toward the right (when that big root stump is removed the tree may even have the desired orientation already). If that change brings the low branch too close to the ground pull the 2 a bit closer together to bring it up a little but not much more than horizontal.

All those long branches need to be shortened considerably. Remember that trees usually only grow longer so you need to cut back further than your final desired outline to allow for new growth as the branches develop.
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Re: Green Island Fig

Postby sjc » December 8th, 2018, 1:46 pm

Thankyou all very much for your invaluable input...

Heres a link to a video I took to maybe help with depth etc...

https://youtu.be/wK36_ZuV1kQ

Here are some photos of the left circled area...

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And of the right circled area

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Hope they're okay... thankyou all very much for your input

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Re: Green Island Fig

Postby anthonyW » December 8th, 2018, 2:49 pm

:shock: whoa there is alot serious stuff going on there..haha

Nothing like a challenge..'what did the old crow say'.... lol

Okay everything in those areas red comes off, blue stays, don t touch the foliage attached to the blue areas for now, as Neil said left branch might come off, but leave for now.

I have tilted your tree 25 degrees back in one image, we can look at the bottom area later and we might rotate the tree anti clockwise to, as you have plenty bottom branch/trunk coming forward which will help push top back slightly with the tilt so all good there...look at this last but.

If you are happy with that, remove now and we can look at the next areas ...cheers

ef5ced306005b912fc5630fc486872c4 (4)_LI.jpg


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Re: Green Island Fig

Postby sjc » December 8th, 2018, 3:13 pm

Hahaha... yeah lots of stuff going on there indeed! Thanks for your ideas... and plan on implementing them. I've run out of time on these days off unfortunately... back to work tomorrow. I plan on picking some potting media up and some cut sealant on Thursday and getting stuck in before nightshifts. I'll post a progress photo/video once thats done.

Cheers guys!!

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Re: Green Island Fig

Postby anthonyW » December 8th, 2018, 3:18 pm

Okay, don t touch the root system or remove any those big roots yet we need some of them...we can look at that at the very last...cheers.

Anthony
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Re: Green Island Fig

Postby shibui » December 8th, 2018, 6:34 pm

I see in one of those photos that the top does indeed come a long way forward so I suspect there will be a bit off the top as well.
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Re: Green Island Fig

Postby anthonyW » December 8th, 2018, 7:17 pm

I think you are right there Neil, it is a wild beast from some where I have not seen before :reading: ...but we will tame it somehow :fc:
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Re: Green Island Fig

Postby Raging Bull » December 8th, 2018, 7:41 pm

:idea: Have you thought of the possibility of splitting off the low horizontal branch? It appears to have enough roots if you cut straight down in the V where it joins onto the main trunk, and then you have two trees to work with.
Cheers, Frank.
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Re: Green Island Fig

Postby MJL » December 9th, 2018, 6:18 am

Hi SJC,

What an interesting thread and well done on picking up some different stock. :yes:

OK - everything that follows here should be taken with a massive dose of caution and a spoonful of skepticism. I am but an amateur in these ranks and Shibui and AndrewW are the voice of reason here.

When I initially looked at this tree - I immediately saw three trees! Yeah ... what!

I think my mind went to the three because I was immediately trying to remove the straight main trunk to which I thought - hmmm. :lost:

So, I am inclined to ponder Raging Bull's comment.

See below where I think two cuts and an air layer may provide the basis for three interesting trees.

Image 9-12-18 at 6.59 am.jpg


As I said, read the packet and google the warnings .... I posit crazy ideas from an unlearned man... but ideas nonetheless.

Ponder - don't rush... with whatever you do to these trees and I look forward to seeing the progression.

Thanks for starting the thread. :tu:
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