A friend of mine shared that August 11 (an oddly specific date) is the “perfect time to repot ficus.” I’m not sure exactly where he got that info, but coupled with the familiar “hottest day of the year” advice, I will conclude that it is not too late to repot two small ficus I have been meaning to get to.
Both trees are very early in their development. The first is this Ficus microcarpa which I have dubbed “Captain Jack.”
Jack has been allowed to grow out a fair bit, but I’d like to start working on developing a branch structure. I already lost an opportunity to develop some branching by letting it grow out too long. You may be able to see, in the image above, that some of the long extensions began branching, but all of those are too far away from the trunk…
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It’s become pretty apparent that when I look at my own collection now, I see some pretty flagrant flaws. The usual fare: bad branch layout, bad maintenance, leaving wires on for too long, and overall not really styling with the tree. I thought I had a pretty good track record of keeping my trees in good health and having good design practices. Apparently, not so much now that I know what goes into maintaining trees at a certain level; and in this case, museum grade level.
For example here is a Japanese white pine, “Pinus parviflora” ‘Aoi’ (Japanese for blue), I initially went on a bonsai nursery crawl and purchased this tree meant to go into someone’s yard as a decently sized tree. It was bought late in the year and I couldn’t do much with it other than trunk chop it, and so I did.
This was the original…
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This past weekend we went up to the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory in Minneapolis with family. The place is really lovely and free (though donations are appreciated) and such a great place to go with kids and get your steps in. Which we did. BUT. The best part are the bonsai trees.
I’m just going to post a whole passel of full sized photos and you can catch up with me at the end.
I tried, fruitlessly, to figure out a way to stuff one in my tote. A) the tote was too small, B) someone would have certainly noticed a bare plinth, and C) it would have been a bear to haul that thing around for the rest of the day.
I never cease to be amazed by these pint-sized wonders, nor stop marveling at their age. I’m honestly entirely unsure I’d be able to keep a plant…
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