Cuttings long term maintenance

Discussions about propagating from cuttings, seeds, air layers etc. Going on a dig (Yamadori) or thinking of importing? Discuss how, when and where here.

Cuttings long term maintenance

Postby Rob101 » February 11th, 2018, 7:48 pm

Hi All

I have a little collection of cuttings that are progressing well. They are mainly figs.

I am interested to know what is the best way to manage them now. Do i keep cutting the new growth back??.....Do i let them grow longer??...do i plant them in bigger pots??....whats the best way to make them thicken up??

CheersImage


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Re: Cuttings long term maintenance

Postby shibui » February 11th, 2018, 8:43 pm

How to proceed depends on the outcome you desire.
You have mentioned thickening up. For figs to thicken you need 2 things - time and feed. Figs love to be fed. The more the better and I don't think you can overfeed a fig. One of our old members used 2-3 cm of chook poo pellets on the surface of his fig pots all summer and got great growth. Somewhere on Ausbonsai is a thread about growing figs by planting them in layers of chook poo pellets. Growing does take time, even with the best conditions so you will need to be a little patient. Larger pots will increase growth rates quite a lot but even in small bonsai pots my figs have continued to thicken remarkably.
Allowing free growth will give maximum thickening but you will need to balance that against trunk movement and taper which usually require some pruning.
I would recommend keeping at least a few in smaller pots and work towards really nice smaller trees. fast growing is quicker but the resulting straight bits, lack of taper and scars can be undesirable, especially on smaller trees.
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Re: Cuttings long term maintenance

Postby Rob101 » February 12th, 2018, 9:02 pm

Excellent thanks Shibui, i am wanting to keep them more small as i already have a number of larger figs. They are growing quite quick even in the smaller pots.

Thanks again
Rob


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Re: Cuttings long term maintenance

Postby shibui » February 13th, 2018, 6:36 pm

In case you are not aware, cuttings do not develop the swollen base like seedlings but there are several techniques that can help you to grow a wider base.
1. split the trunk: Bare root the tree and split the trunk up from underneath for 3-4 cm (easier to turn the tree so roots are at the top then cut downwards into the trunk). Split the trunk into 4 or more sections, ideally with roots attached to each section but being figs, even if there's no roots they will soon grow some. Insert something to spread the cut parts a bit and replant the tree. As the tree heals the wounds the cambium will swell and the scar tissue will join up again giving a trunk with a flared base. Here's a thread outlining this technique. http://www.ausbonsai.com.au/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=6717&hilit=split+base

2. Graft other trunks on: Tie a bunch of trunks together. They will soon fuse into a single larger trunk. If it is planned well you can use the tops of some trunks for branches of the new tree but you may need to cut some off after they have fused.
This is one I prepared earlier. It is just 2 trees joined at the base but it is also possible to put a whole bunch together.
Ficus large twin 2010 02 defoliated.JPG
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