Ficus Bonsai Trunk Fusing Experiment
This is an experiment that I began on 4/15/06 where my goal is to create a ficus bonsai tree that will appear to be very old, with an impressive tapered trunk, in a few short years. My experiment is inspired by Doug Philips who has been doing this with Maple trees for over a decade. I learned about his process on his website: dugzbonsai.com.
Below is a photo-documentary of my experience with this process thus far.
Phase 1 project data:
- Source trees: nine 6″ pots @ $5 = $45 + one 15″ pot @ $30 + one 12″ pot @ $10 = $85 (I have about 20 small seedlings left over and would have used just bigger pots w/ bigger seedlings in retrospect)
- Supplies: 16″ pot $7 + twist ties $4 + frame wire $4 = $15
- Total materials cost approx = $100
- Wire frame dimensions: 12″ high x 6.5″ base diameter x 20″ circumference
- 70 trees were used to cover the frame
- Finished dimensions: 7.25″ diameter of base x 12″ height above soil to joined apex, 24″ total height w/ leader.
More knowledge to add to the pool:
- Keeping the seedling clusters together is definately the way to go. Just shake out the dirt from the root ball to keep them compact when you plant it next to the frame.
- The cuttings did have about a 70% rooting rate, but I found that seedlings grow and fuse much more quickly, so I ended up using them almost exclusively in the end.
- I have all of the gaps filled in now so that it looks like it did at the end of phase 1, and fusing is progressing nicely. I’ll update w/ new photos soon.