Monday, 27 June 2016

Mother Ficus

Mother Ficus is one of my oldest surviving trees. She's the ancestor of every Ficus Natalensis I own.

I found her in the bonsai section of a local nursery about ten years ago bearing the label "Ficus", with no indication of what variety she was. All I knew was that she wasn't a Benjamina, which was the only variety of Ficus that I owned at the time, but that was enough to convince me that I should give her a home.

She was an ugly little tree with a trunk about the thickness of a pencil and terrible branch structure, and once I'd bought her I didn't really know what to do with her. Back then I didn't know enough about bonsai to have the faintest inkling of how I could improve her appearance. Instead I decided to propagate what proved to be the first of many offspring - the tree which appears in my introductory post and is also the subject of an article which I published at HubPages several years ago.

A few months after I joined my club I decided to see if something could be done to make her look better, so I took her to a workshop. The organiser took one look at her and recommended a trunk chop. Instead of an ugly tree, I went home with a sorry looking stump about three inches high, uncertain whether she'd live or die.

Eventually a few weak buds sprouted at the site of the chop but by then there was far stronger growth coming out of the base of the trunk. This was not what I had expected!

Once more I took her to a workshop.

"That's your tree," I was told.

My teacher was referring to the strong new stem coming out of the roots. I wasn't delighted when he told me to remove what remained of the old trunk, but reluctantly I followed his advice. Now all that remained of the tree I'd bought was the roots.

Eight years later Mother Ficus is happily living in a bonsai pot and has been on show at my club a few times.

Mother Ficus - June 2016

She'll never be a show-stopper but she's a far better tree than I ever hoped she would be. Her biggest weakness is her poor nebari (roots) but hopefully in time I'll be able to fix that too.

Linking up with NF Trees n Bushes.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Welcome to My New Home

This blog was born on 11 September 2015.

In early May I began to contemplate moving it to a new domain, so I stopped writing updates. Not blogging about my trees has really been hard for me, but I didn't want to continue until I found it a new home. About a week ago I finally committed to Blogger and slowly started rebuilding my blog.

Right now I'm nearly half way through posting my old content and by the end of June all my old posts should be here, hopefully accompanied by some updates on the trees I wrote about in those posts. And I can't wait to introduce you to some of the trees I haven't written about before.