Making a large cut on a ficus bonsai
I’ve been having fun watching my new ficus develop. After seeing how quickly it’s grown, I can better understand the appeal of ficus bonsai. Here are some shots of the tree since the initial cutback in April (see “New Ficus Bonsai” for details).
After heavy cutback and repotting – 4/1/12
After 6 weeks in greenhouse – 5/13/12
After another 4 weeks in greenhouse – 6/17/12 (10 weeks after repotting)
I figured it was time for some cutback so I began evaluating the good and bad points of the tree. The good is that the trunk has good size and some movement. The bad is a large, straight branch with a large wound. I decided to remove the branch and see what happens. I made the first cut with a saw.
After sawing off the largest branch on the tree – note rotting wood near top of cut
I removed the last half-inch of the branch by nibbling away at the wood with a concave cutter. I left the wound convex so the resulting scar would be rounded rather than flat. After removing the bulk of the wood with the concave cutter, I cleaned up the edge of the cut with a grafting knife and applied liberal amounts of cut paste.
Somewhat convex cut
I returned the tree to the green house where I will begin feeding it to further accelerate the growth.
The remaining half of the ficus
My goal for now is to let these branches grow freely in an attempt to heal the large scar left by removing the large branch. Along the way I’ll be thinking about the future of the tree. And at the rate it’s been growing so far, I don’t think it will be long before it’s time to trim the tree again.