Ficus Friday, Cutting of a Cutting, The Bonsai Zone, Feb 2023

Foreign Nigel Saunders here I have finished Pruning up all my hearty trees they're All pruned up and ready for spring I do Have to repot a lot of them but that'll Be coming later on in the year so I'm Going to switch to Tropicals today and It is Friday it is Ficus Friday today so I'm going to go into the plant room and Get out my Ficus cutting of a cutting And begin work on that The cold weather has returned here once Again the high today is minus six Degrees Celsius so I'll have to bag the Tree bag The Ficus cutting of a cutting And bring it out here So here I go Foreign Okay here is the tree Looking quite good Because it got cold out again I had to drain my Cube so I lost a Thousand liters of rain water I hate doing it but it's better than you Know the cube freezing solid and Possibly breaking the plastic I'm sure it'll fill up again closer to Spring Last night the weather got cold it went From rain to freezing rain so you can See all the ice On the trees Yeah It was quite the freezing rain we got

And now it's really really cold out Okay back into the greenhouse let's get Working on that ficus Here is a look at the tree this used to Be the back of the tree but I think it's A stronger front now If I rotate it around you can see The front has some pretty heavy duty Scars now this could become the front Once again Once those scars heal I can reevaluate it see if this is a Better front So today I'm going to do a cleanup you Can see the Moss has grown very very Long very thick I have two options I can Either prune it back or strip it off and You know start a new layer of moss Because this is mid-winter I think I'll Just strip it off and I'm sure more Moss Will grow in this Moss just grew here Naturally all by itself You can see the tree has grown fairly Long a lot of this is winter growth So there's not much point Uh You know pruning it back Unless You know there's nodes closer to the Trunk I might as well just let this Foliage grow over the winter and then in Spring prune it back and try and get More compact growth I will however clean up the structure of

The tree you can see here there's two Branches growing from one spot and I can See scale insect on this branch Better get rid of that and give the tree A spray So I will I'll check it over for scale Insects uh where there's one like that There'll be more So let's start by stripping off the Moss And see what the surface of the soil Looks like and possibly the surface Roots I'll start by coming in with the Tweezers and starting at the base of the Trunk and stripping the Moss away there It's growing up the trunk here Which is never a good thing with Bolt's Eye Because it keeps the bark too wet and Your bark will rot away You know get an undercut At the base of the tree If you know you've got the kind of tree That the bark Is kind of thick and Flaky I don't know if it matters too much on a Ficus You could get rotting there Could Yeah if it brought it enough I guess The tree could be in trouble If you're running away the base of your Trunk with excessive moisture but I Would say that's unlikely with moss I

Don't think Moss keeps that much Moisture that it would actually rot away Living tissue Only The Dead bark And probably just the outer layer of the Bark So you can see that Moss was really Thick I've gained a couple more Centimeters Of height of the trunk down to the soil Level Yeah that Moss was good and thick that's For sure It's funny in the plant room Some areas of the plant room the moss Grows really really well and then other Areas of the plant room it goes Brown And dies off And I'm not sure if it's to do with the Fan Blowing the air around the plant room if Maybe If the trees are in a spot where there's Good air circulation maybe the Moss dies Off I'm not sure Maybe it's dependent on what light the Moss gets and it could be the Temperature also maybe This Moss is just in that sweet spot And it's growing really well I think light is the most important Thing with moss Light and humidity

With that warm weather we've been having Lately it sure felt like spring But I think it was kind of a teaser I Think You know things are going to go cold Again for the rest of February and maybe March Um Yeah it was really Getting spring fever there Now I don't think this tree needs Repotting it was Repotted into this pot not too long ago So I'm going to leave it another year in This pot Unless you know Once I remove the Moss if there's Drainage problems in the soil Maybe the roots have grown and filled The volume of the pot and Not draining well enough But unless I see some problem I'm going To leave it in this pot for another year It's quite nice here in the greenhouse Last night I kept the heater on Hurley Low And the temperature this morning in the Greenhouse was like one degree Celsius One degree above freezing so That's pretty good that's my goal is Just to keep it you know just above Freezing in the greenhouse here It's warmed up now because I had the Heater on I uh I didn't want to freeze

Out here while I'm working on this tree And I don't want my Tropicals getting Too cold either But once I need the greenhouse I'll be Turning the heat back down And it'll cool off once again to just Above freezing Hoping to keep all those hearty trees Dormant Um If they don't stay dormant well you've Got to protect that new growth from Heavy Frost so they basically have to Stay in the greenhouse Then on days where it's above freezing You can move them outside in Spring And if it's going to be frost at night Move them back into the greenhouse until You kind of Until they reach the point where their The frost is going away and they can Stay outside on the benches If you put them out that tender new Foliage That Grew indoors here in the Greenhouse if you put it outside and you Get heavy Frost It's all going to die off and then the Trees got to generate more new growth And it's really hard on the tree and Sometimes it kills them Now in March a lot of the trees can Start to go out on the benches the Hearty trees Because it's warm enough it'll be warm

Enough that You know they won't need the greenhouse For protection over the winter Generally I mean we have had some really Cold marches but Yeah generally they can start to go Outside certainly the larches and things Like that They don't need protection in the Greenhouse in fact This winter they could have stayed Outside on the bench the whole winter Or in the poly house the only reason I Didn't put them in the Polly houses I Was afraid that roof was going to Collapse in with snow and then They would get maybe damaged by snow Falling on them And I don't like leaving them out on the Benches in the cold winter because I always get those one or two days where It does go really cold and I worry about Them I mean they're probably Hardy enough That they would bake it but Why take a chance if you don't have to And the other thing is you get squirrels And birds digging in your pots Especially in Spring All right I think I've got all the Moss Removed from the surface of the soil Here So I'll clean up and then we'll try Watering the tree and see how well it

Drains See if the You know if there's enough space in the Soil That it drains still or have the roots Filled the soil so much that it's Draining poorly And that Will determine if it needs repotting or Not All right here I go with the water let's See how it does That's soaking through really nicely Taking a little longer here but it's Still draining nicely Let's try this side over here Yeah it seems to be draining really well I don't think it needs repotting No that's fine Clean up on the tree is done so now I'm Going to begin the pruning and once Again I won't be pruning you know the Shoots back but I will be pruning for Branch selection so if there's a branch Coming out of a spot that I don't want It to grow I'll prune it off if there's Two branches coming from one spot I'll Prune it off and that kind of pruning a Structural pruning not to reduce it back I'm just going to let it grow wild over The winter and then in Spring it'll get The big reduction Maybe defoliation and then it'll be Allowed to grow

Yeah not wild over the summer I'll try And keep it controlled trying to get Tighter and more compact growth on the Tree So the first thing I notice is here in The Apex you can see it from this side I've got a dead leader here I initially Tried to divide my trunk into two here And it didn't work this one died off So I have a division here now where the Trunk line divides into two so I'm going To prune this dead bit off there's a Little Thin branch that was attached to it I'll Get rid of that So I'll come in with the branch pruners And take that whole Piece off the top there All right here I go so I'm coming in Big cut coming up Like that pruning it back Now I think I'll nibble that back a Little Better I think that's good That will do quite nicely so that gets Rid of that dead piece Now I notice there's a lot of pruning Stubs there's one here There was one on my lowest Branch I'll Show you that Down here on my lowest Branch you can See I have a branch coming off here one Here I don't

I don't want the one coming off here It doesn't flow and I've got already Have a division of two here I don't want It dividing into three in one spot so That little one comes off And then This part of the branch the stub Will get pruned back to here Like that And I'll just clean that up even more I think that is good Now I'll remove the stub from in here Dead bit There's I'll leave that on Okay I'm just looking There's another stub up here I can Remove One here Here Just cleaning up From the last time I pruned the tree Making everything flow and smooth I think that's got it As far as I can see anyway okay now Let's start some Branch selection Okay so this bottom Branch here looks Good except Except I have two coming from one spot At the back here you can see Which one would I keep well this one Comes out nice and Radial from the trunk This one is like cranked over so it's Not a good direction this Branch it's Also if this is the front view you don't

Even see it from the back so that's the One coming off that's an easy choice So off that goes So that branch is fine now coming up I've got some opposite branches here There's there's a lot of branches in This one area I've got these two and Then I've got two above it So I've got to decide which one do I Want to keep this one here is on the Inside of a curve so I'm taking that one Out Like that that one's gone And then these ones I have this one Coming back So I would want one coming forward so This one's coming forward it's a good Choice I also have one that kind of comes out Sideways here And this one is coming maybe too far Forward I think this branch is the best Placement it's sort of on the outside of The curve here So if I took these two off I think I'd have fairly good branching I'm going to I'm also going to look from This View Just in case this becomes a front view Someday I don't really like the fact that I've Got one branch on this side another Branch on this side

Nothing really else Um Yeah it's That's strange I'm just wondering do I you know want Any of these branches do I want to grow My trunk line up and have my canopy up Higher Uh this is a nice Branch I like the way It comes off down on the angle Drew pink So I think I'll keep that and I think I Will keep my horizontal one here getting Rid of this one and the other front one I'm going to prune those off see what it Looks like so here I go This one Okay let's see what it looks like now Yeah it's a little strange you know Having the two branches on this side I took that one away then it's pretty Bare in this spot You have to imagine these pruned back I Think once they're pruned to the right Length I think it'll look okay Maybe I'll get a branch well I will get A branch coming this way one coming back Yeah I think after pruning it'll look Good Well major bleeding up here So yeah I think that will look good Um let's continue So I'm coming up here this Apex is Coming forward I have a branch here now here I've got

See these two branches they're growing They're coming in towards each other They're not even parallel So I need to Take one of them out And I think it's going to be this one That's shooting up straight vertical Here so I'm going to take that one off Like that So my trunk line is coming up Now I've got another vertical one here Which could be the Apex Which would make a fine apex Um And I think the one coming straight Towards us needs to come off so I'm Going to take this one off like that and Then this will get shortened as a branch Here and this is my Apex This will get shortened So let's look at this back one now It's coming up This part of it divides into two this Part comes up and does some funny Branch work I've got two parallel Branches here I don't want that so I think I like the line flowing towards The back Uh so this Part would be the upright part of this Branch and this part will be the Horizontal so I'm going to take off This upper part here so here I go a Fairly big cut I'll use my Branch

Pruners for this Coming in here like that Taking that off oh there's a stub I Missed Take that off here Okay so this has got this is a Horizontal Branch dividing from one into Two which is great and again they're too Long but I'll prune those later and then This one I've got it coming upright Sort of as a The upright part of this leader and that May need correcting correction in the Future some redirection and that but for Now I think it's good it divides from One to two And all is well there So now if I rotate it around the back I've got a branch a new Branch coming Off here Do I want that Do I want another low Branch this is the Front it's hidden It's coming off the trunk okay If this becomes the front someday well I Don't want a branch coming out the front It could be kind of redirected to the Side But I I don't think I want any more low Branches on this tree I've got my lowest One that I'm going to keep I don't want Another low one over here I want a trunk So that one's coming off There's another scale insect on my

Lowest Branch here Take that off So that finishes the pruning on the tree The branch selection So my next step I'm going to inspect it For scale I'm going over the tree very Carefully Scraping any scale blisters I haven't Seen any more other than those two big Ones oh there's a a little one out at The tip here I'll get rid of that One here maybe Maybe Very small if it is Looking everywhere now It's not scale No I'm not seeing any more scale on the Tree at all Nothing on the leaves nothing on the Branches Just those two blisters I will spray the tree down just as a Safety So you know if there's any crawling Insects on it they'll get killed So all these cuttings that I've taken Off the tree now there they are there I'm going to throw them outside in the Cold just in case they also have scale Insects on them Right here I hear I got my soap and Water I'm going to spray the tree down [Music] So that's got all underneath the leaves

Now I'll do from the top spray from the Top Get the surface of the soil and the pot We'll even spray the bottom of the pot Just in case There so I'll let that sit for a few Minutes Soak in Kill the insects if there is any And then I'll come back and rinse it off There's the two kittens Sleeping away Stripy stripe And Patty All right here I go I'm going to wash the soil out Make sure there's no soap in the soil I think that's good Here is a look at the tree now so this Tree is going to change a lot over the Next summer all these branches get Pruned back nice and compact I'll try And get you know some good tight growth On the tree to make it look more Miniature I think It's coming along It's uh Developing into something quite Interesting I think it just needs to get All that foliage really tight and more Ramification in the branches so that'll Be my goal over the summer is to keep it Pruned fairly tight I don't think you

Know it'll be allowed to grow long Anymore I think it's time to start the Refinement process on the tree now I do Have a lot of scars that need healing But I think they're coming along and I Think you know a few years they'll Disappear you can see the one on the Back or the front here is completely Closed over it doesn't have the bark Color that the rest of the tree has but That will change over the years It'll become that nice Light kind of tan color bark That is all the work I'll be doing to my Ficus cutting of a cutting on this snowy Cold Ficus Friday today I removed the Moss so I can clearly see what's going On with the watering I removed all the Pruning stubs from the last time I Pruned the tree and I did some Branch Selection today so not big changes to The tree today but small important Changes that kind of set the tree up for The Summer's growth that is all for Today I'm Nigel Saunders thanks for Joining me in the Bonsai Zone [Music]

You May Also Like