Ideas for a clump/ group Fig?

Ideas for a clump/ group Fig?

Postby Timritchie » January 29th, 2018, 4:42 pm

Hi all, looking for opinions on trunk heights for this clump/ group. I collected it from my mother in laws last feb, it was growing in that 200mm space between a colourbond fence and the top of a retaining wall. It’s canopy was level with the second story window. I chainsawed it just above the top of the retaining wall, brought it home and potted.
The trunk on the left in the first pic is the thickest about 75mm, the 4 main trunks are fused together, the smallest tree was seperate when I potted it, so it may still be able to be moved. Trying to get away from the telegraph pole look of the main trunks. Image
The second pic is from the other side
Image
I’ve made some white pencil marks on the trunks to indicate possible heights.
The Fig is Ficus superba var henneana, a local Fig also known as a deciduous Fig, although it didn’t loose any leaves over winter. Here’s a pic of the new foliage
Image

Please let me know your thoughts.
Thanks Tim


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Re: Ideas for a clump/ group Fig?

Postby shibui » January 29th, 2018, 6:44 pm

Some trees are just not worth collecting for bonsai.
:imo: it is going to take many years for this lot to grow into something worth looking at but as you have already gone to the trouble and sound keen to spend the time with it here are some thoughts

It is a pity that the thickest tree is on the edge. Normally that one would form the focal point somewhere near the centre of the clump. I think your planned cuts could work for this making the left tree the tallest and thickest. it is not usual but could work ok.
Another possibility would be to cut them as for a more standard clump. Front, centre as the tallest and the outside ones a little shorter. I think that in the years while your new cuts start to heal over and branches begin to form it is possible that the taller tree which will have more canopy than the outer ones should actually thicken a bit and overcome the relative diameter problem.

Looks like you already know that you'll need to make sloping cuts behind the chosen new leaders. That will help with the taper issue and will help hide the scars though the figs I have worked with do heal relatively quickly. Don't ignore the possible cut behind a leader that is slightly to one side of the front of the trunks. Most of the scar will till be hidden and the line may be better.

Your planned cut on the rear trunk (2nd from left) looks like it may be a problem. You have marked a leader growing toward the middle of the clump. That cut will hide the scar but a subsidiary trunk growing toward the centre of a clump just won't look right. You may need to a rear leader and put up with the visible scar until it heals just to get the overall shape of the clump looking better.

Probably not much more I can offer with this one at this stage.
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Re: Ideas for a clump/ group Fig?

Postby Timritchie » February 6th, 2018, 7:34 pm

shibui wrote:Some trees are just not worth collecting for bonsai.
:imo: it is going to take many years for this lot to grow into something worth looking at but as you have already gone to the trouble and sound keen to spend the time with it here are some thoughts

It is a pity that the thickest tree is on the edge. Normally that one would form the focal point somewhere near the centre of the clump. I think your planned cuts could work for this making the left tree the tallest and thickest. it is not usual but could work ok.
Another possibility would be to cut them as for a more standard clump. Front, centre as the tallest and the outside ones a little shorter. I think that in the years while your new cuts start to heal over and branches begin to form it is possible that the taller tree which will have more canopy than the outer ones should actually thicken a bit and overcome the relative diameter problem.

Looks like you already know that you'll need to make sloping cuts behind the chosen new leaders. That will help with the taper issue and will help hide the scars though the figs I have worked with do heal relatively quickly. Don't ignore the possible cut behind a leader that is slightly to one side of the front of the trunks. Most of the scar will till be hidden and the line may be better.

Your planned cut on the rear trunk (2nd from left) looks like it may be a problem. You have marked a leader growing toward the middle of the clump. That cut will hide the scar but a subsidiary trunk growing toward the centre of a clump just won't look right. You may need to a rear leader and put up with the visible scar until it heals just to get the overall shape of the clump looking better.

Probably not much more I can offer with this one at this stage.

Thanks Shibui,
Funnily enough, I had put it in the bin, maybe should have left it there but I pulled it out. So here it is, I managed to remove the 5th tree, the small one, so I can better place it at a later date.
I’ll give you an update in about 5yrs
Thanks
Tim

Image


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Re: Ideas for a clump/ group Fig?

Postby anthonyW » February 6th, 2018, 11:35 pm

Hi Tim

I think cutting back like you did is the way to go, I have a fig that I started back in 2014 putting aside the exposed root system and imagine my tree starting at your level from your medium I m thinking maybe some direction from here might help you, remember I had a little tiny bit of structure to start with, so I would think a good amount of time needed here, no structure here so min 6 years needed, so you see Shibui makes very good statement, is it worth it.

But as you want to persist maybe some direction here...cheers

php5N37UtAM.jpg
2014

php5DnRYzPM.jpg


phpiKIaRpPM.jpg
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Re: Ideas for a clump/ group Fig?

Postby banong » February 7th, 2018, 10:12 am

exposed root style looks awesome! :cool:
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Re: Ideas for a clump/ group Fig?

Postby Beano » February 7th, 2018, 10:51 am

I think this material looks great! Yes a lot of work, but go for it! I get why you initially put it in the rubbish, sometimes the amount of work required is quite off putting, especially if said project tree is very ugly or takes up lots of space.
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Re: Ideas for a clump/ group Fig?

Postby Timritchie » February 7th, 2018, 8:04 pm

anthonyW wrote:Hi Tim

I think cutting back like you did is the way to go, I have a fig that I started back in 2014 putting aside the exposed root system and imagine my tree starting at your level from your medium I m thinking maybe some direction from here might help you, remember I had a little tiny bit of structure to start with, so I would think a good amount of time needed here, no structure here so min 6 years needed, so you see Shibui makes very good statement, is it worth it.

But as you want to persist maybe some direction here...cheers

php5N37UtAM.jpg
2014

php5DnRYzPM.jpg


phpiKIaRpPM.jpg

Thanks Anthony,
I checked out your post recently and maybe it inspired me to continue, Shibui shed a lot of light on the situation, straight down the line advice in true Shibui style, hey it’s not taking up to much space, I’ve got a bit and why not get the chainsaw out and sort it, I should’ve done it straight up.
The tree s were possibly responsible for me getting back into Bonsai after a very long hiatus (1998?)and I’ve now got 300?trees collected or cuttings over the last year. Love ausbonsai for the connection to our community.
Regards Tim


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Re: Ideas for a clump/ group Fig?

Postby Timritchie » February 7th, 2018, 8:08 pm

Beano wrote:I think this material looks great! Yes a lot of work, but go for it! I get why you initially put it in the rubbish, sometimes the amount of work required is quite off putting, especially if said project tree is very ugly or takes up lots of space.

Hi Beano,
Yes why do we do it? We see something, the tree speaks to us and sometimes we listen, then we wait.............................
Lucky we’ve got other trees to take our attention!
Bonsai!
Regards and thank you
Tim


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Re: Ideas for a clump/ group Fig?

Postby Timritchie » February 7th, 2018, 8:22 pm

banong wrote:exposed root style looks awesome! :cool:

Hi Barong,
The clump was a weed eradication job for my mother in law, you could see it out the second story window, growing on top of a 1.5 m retaining wall in that 300mm space between a colourbond fence. Saved from the bin, took it home, chopped down a milk crate, lined it with mesh and potted it this time last year! It had a lot of aerial root action when I chopped it, when I repotted it yesterday, it’s got a great root system and I lifted it up in the pot and pruned a lot of higher ugly roots off the trunks to basically improve the nebari and lets face it the story gets worse from there for awhile any way. I’ve got a few other major Fig projects on the boil, it would be good to talk about that stuff, maybe a topic?
Regards Tim


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Re: Ideas for a clump/ group Fig?

Postby Timritchie » February 8th, 2018, 7:28 am

Timritchie wrote:
banong wrote:exposed root style looks awesome! :cool:

Hi Barong,
The clump was a weed eradication job for my mother in law, you could see it out the second story window, growing on top of a 1.5 m retaining wall in that 300mm space between a colourbond fence. Saved from the bin, took it home, chopped down a milk crate, lined it with mesh and potted it this time last year! It had a lot of aerial root action when I chopped it, when I repotted it yesterday, it’s got a great root system and I lifted it up in the pot and pruned a lot of higher ugly roots off the trunks to basically improve the nebari and lets face it the story gets worse from there for awhile any way. I’ve got a few other major Fig projects on the boil, it would be good to talk about that stuff, maybe a topic?
Regards Tim


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opps sorry banong auto correct


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Timritchie
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