Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Post 246 Ficus root pruning and sacrificial branch removal

Here are a couple of Natalensis that I've been developing with sacrificial branches. Its time to take the sacrifice off one off and root prune both.

 This first one is one of three that I've been growing for about 3 years. You can see some pictures of them all in an earlier post (232) here.
They all started as small cuttings and I allowed a vertical sacrificial branch to develop on each. The idea was to develop a small tree with a large trunk in the shortest time.Here you can see the small tree developing close to the pot and then the scale of the sacrifice branch.

 Here is the point of union, at the 'back' of the future small tree.

 Here it is removed.

 From the front before starting the root work I did a little branch work and defoliation to reduce the dehydration risk. The style will be classic ficus architecture, certainly not an informal upright with dominant single tapering trunk.

 The first cut in reducing the roots.

 After a thorough root raking to see what was what.

 Cut back to rearrange and refine the roots for the next stage of growth. It had a really large root from the left which had to be removed. These things are tough and will have no problem with this amount of roots remaining.

 Re-potted and ready to go again. Still too soon for a bonsai pot. Perhaps in another 12 months.

 The second one is a tree featured in 'Bonsai Foundations'. It is a five year old Natalensis with a heavy sacrificial branch that I plan to keep for the time being. I use this tree in teaching and demonstration and so although the branch really should come off I'll leave it there with a minimum of foliage.

 Here it is root pruned back and foliage clipped to minimize dehydration.

 And then back in the same oversized pot for another year.

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