Pruning and Shaping Ficus Bonsai Tree

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Today we’re going to be working on a few Ficus species and i’m going to be Showing you my way that i’m going to Approach these trees in order to develop Them in the great bonsai [Music] So these are the ficus species that i’m Going to be working on here today and Now compared to the other trees that I’ve showed on my channel thus far Although i have showed these two little Ficuses in a previous video all of these Ficas are indoor trees for me i don’t Keep these outside at all they actually Stay in my kitchen where they get Sunlight all day from the big window and I haven’t pruned these trees since Spring so let’s get started on the first Tree So the tools that i’ll be keeping on Hand today are gin pliers some wire Cutters bonsai branch cutters or satsuki Shears some tweezers branch cutters Chapstick and a paintbrush i’m just Going to keep some one millimeter wire On hand so the first tree we’re going to Be working on today is this little mommy Ficus benjamina that we worked on in a Previous video these were grown from Cuttings and they were wired together at The base so this is just like a little Small maintenance on what to do after

The wire begins to bite in at the bottom Where they’ve been held together to Create this clump style bonsai although It’s been a short space of time since These trees were wired together they’ve Now started to fuse at the base so i’m Just going to grab a paintbrush and Brush back to see what’s going on all I’m doing now is just brushing away some Of the top soil to reveal where the Trees are fusing i’m just going to snap The wire that’s holding the clump style Together You can see here there’s a piece of wire I’m going to pull that now it could be The wire that’s holding the tree in the Pot or it could be the wire that’s Holding the clump cell together i may Actually need to remove this from the Pot but i don’t want to disturb the Roots too much as it’s not repotting Season at the moment See if i cut these wires here Okay So already i can see it’s got a lovely Mat of healthy roots and for the short Space of time that this was planted i’m Really happy with how this is looking Now i can just use the tweezers and pull The wire out from where it was holding It into the pot just like this There’s another wire i got out i think Part of the reason why there are so many Roots is because there’s actually more

Than one tree here so it’s in a sense Grown One two three four five times as fast as A normal tree would and being in a small Pot it folded quickly i’m just going to Dig down a little bit here not Disturbing the roots too much not going To cut any roots just digging down from The surface And i can’t see any wire holding this Little clump together so i may have just Removes it when i pull the wire out i Can safely say that these trees have now Been successfully fused at the base and Now from an aesthetic point when you Look at this clump style it looks pretty Nice but what if these trees were to be A little bit more Fanned outwards from the clump where They’re fused now at the base just a Little bit of band and flare would add So much more to the design of this Little clump style so To give them that band i’m going to just Add a little piece of this thin wire so Before i apply some wire i’m just going To give the roots a little mist here With some water that just stops them Drying out it’s important you don’t let The roots dry out whenever they’re Exposed to air like this as once the Roots dry out them roots that are dry Are basically dead so i’m going to take A little length of wire so i’m just

Going to add the wire here to the bottom Of the tree now because this is a clump Style i’m going to wire one branch to The branch next to it just like the two Branch principle whenever we wire Branches on one tree just going to make Sure there’s enough length here by Measuring And start twisting around And now i’m going to bring the wire Around this way on the other branch So one branch is anchored to the other Here there’s a little dead branch that Was once here before just cut that off You can see you’re ready the fight is Starting to produce some of the sap Quite sticky too i think they actually Make rubber from ficus trees before i Shape this tree i would like to give it A nicer pot than the one that’s in i’m Gonna do like a safe repot almost like a Slip pot where i just place this in a New pot and add new soil without Disturbing the root ball too much Whenever you repot a tree you always ask The question to yourself how big do i Want this tree to get if i were to put This tree in a slightly bigger pot it Would grow a lot healthier more Vigorously if it’s restricted in a pot This small it won’t grow quite as fast So i’m going to be moving this tree from This pot to this pot which is a slightly Bigger terracotta pot just to encourage

This tree to thicken a lot faster it’s Going to look something like this So i’m going to use two soil types for This repot in the bottom of the pot i’m Going to put a mix of my standard soil Mix which is pumice akadama lava rock And a little bit of compost and all i Want is just a little bit of this At the bottom of the pot and now here This is a mix of pumice akadama and lava Rock with no compost and compared to This mix it’s a lot finer gret which is A lot more preferred for younger trees Like this so i’m just going to put some Of this into the pot I’m going to stir it up with what i’ve Already mixed in here so we have a mix Of different grits and this will Encourage lots and lots of fine fibrous New roots just like we did in this last One here where they might developed I almost forgot to add some wire to hold The tree in place i just fed some wire Up through the bottom Now let me see i’m just going to raise This up a little bit more So that we have a layer now of just the Fine grit stuff because this is a Circular pot that i’m planting it in the Middle i don’t really need to worry on The front of the tree i just got to make Sure the angle is nice and straight and Wire this up now i’m actually going to Bring the wire around the clump instead

Of through it so that the wire that i Use to wire it in kind of acts like a Piece of wire to hold the clump together As well I’m taking extra care when using the Chopstick to work in the soil and i Don’t press too hard against the little Delicate roots it’s just create a little Bit of movement From here maybe evenly space the clump Too I’m not going to do any pruning to the Top of this tree i’m going to wait until Spring before i do any of that because We’ve already done so much work to the Bottom nor does this tree really need a Print i’m going to grow it pretty long So i can thicken the base a lot faster All right let’s move on to the next tree This tree is what is known as a ficus Ginseng and it has two different ficus Species one on the bottom where you get These big bulbous roots and a different Species on the top and these trees as Bonsais go and house plants they sell For relatively cheap i got this i think For Eight pounds this is a tree to take Cuttings from as a parent plant and to Experiment on as it grows but personally I’m not a big fan of the sort of bulbous Root part of the tree and the graft at The top here but nevertheless it is a Tree to work on and i’m just going to

Give this a light prune now looking at The branch structure of this tree i can Clearly see that one side of the tree is A lot heavier in growth than the other Side so the first thing i’d like to do Is balance that out i’m going to start With this branch here Okay that’s how much i’ve cut off there On this branch here you can see this is Where it was cut last i’m just going to Tidy that up a little bit here And now as this branch grows out i’m Going to directional prune by leaving a Leaf growing on the outside and cut it To here And now moving around to this side of The tree i cut that down also Again i’m always leaving a leaf on the Outside so that whenever the canopy Develops it grows outwards and not Inwards the leaves that you keep on the Tree is the direction in which the next Branch will grow Here there is a little cleaning up i can Do on this branch here that doesn’t Survive from the last print I may come back and spring And dremel out this section of the tree Where it’s hard deadwood where the graft Was made and then we might be able to Get some nicer scar tissue around here To make this area thicker and now just To finish off with this tree i’m going To go around all the areas i cut and use

Some sealant this is the sealant i’m Using and just stop any more moisture Escaping from the tree that way you Don’t have to do this as ficus tend to Seal themselves naturally but it’s just Something i like to do to ensure that The branches will live i also find Spraying some water over the area tends To seal it pretty well i’m gonna come Back and spring and give this a proper Repot and then if you want to you can Actually take the pieces that you’ve cut Off this ficus remove the lower leaves And if you stick these in some water or Soil they’ll grow roots and you’ll have Another ficus tree and from my Experience cuttings from ficus generally Root so so easily in fact that brings us On to our next tree which is a cutting From this tree and look at the size of It i grew this from a cutting two years Ago now if i wanted to grow this to Become a shorter tree i would probably Trunk chop it here but i don’t want that What i want to do with this tree is Develop it into quite a tall tree so i Want to let this leader grow but what I’m noticing here lower down on this Branch if i let this branch develop any Further This part of the trunk will actually Become too thick and it will ruin the Sort of tapering of the trunk if i Remove some of these lower leaves i’ll

Be able to explain what i mean in here Where this branch emanates from the Trunk so i’m going to remove that entire Branch And i can also prune a little bit off The trunk Just to help the taper here as you can See it’s sort of it doesn’t flow Smoothly quite yet So to help the taper This is a new tool i’m using that i Didn’t show at the start it’s a concave Branch cutter And it just sort of takes a bite out of The tree and that will help us taper This will scar over flush then And because that’s quite a massive uh Cut on a really important part of the Tree which is the trunk definitely going To seal this over And that’s all i’m going to do to this Tree i’m going to just let it grow Healthy now from here on and maybe i Want it to be a bigger tree so in spring I’ll repot this and be a bigger pot now This tree i showed this tree in an Earlier video also which is the weeping Ficus also known as the ficus benzemina At the moment there’s wires still Holding this little clump together so i Just want to get in there and remove That piece of wire It’s quite difficult to see in there but I find it may need to take this out of

The pot to see what’s fully going on but This is the wire here look how vigorous The roots are too they’re growing from The bottom of the pot Okay This is a very healthy tree Ah okay now that i dig down here i’m Starting to see Where the wire begins and ends so that’s A piece of it now because the wire is Quite far in around the trunk and Through the roots i’m gonna give this Tree a full repot it’s actually okay to Repot ficus during the year but it is Best to repot in spring but because i’ll Be keeping these trees indoors i’ll be Able to give them more care than they Would have outdoors so i’m fine to repot This tree but if you have a ficus you’re Unsure about i would recommend repotting It in spring the same with most trees It’s better just to repot trees in Spring because spring is the time when There’s lots of energy in the trees the Energy starts to travel up from the Roots end of the foliage and whenever You see the buds start to open on trees That’s when the energy has moved from The roots which means the roots are then Free to work on so because there’s Energy in the roots here and there’s an Energy transfer between the roots and The foliage i’m not going to prune many Roots because of the time of year it is

Now I think this is one of the first trees I’ve worked on in a video where i’m not Raking away nasty composty soil this is Just pure thomas akadama and lava rock And i have to say it is such a pleasant Experience when the tree has been put in The nice free draining soil that sort of Falls away easily in general you’d like To repot your ficus maybe every two to Three years in terms of fertilization i Would fertilize these ficus maybe every Two weeks during the growing season and Then as winter sets in maybe every Month once a month see how easily the Soil has fallen off this Okay i find a wire just going to wiggle It Okay we’ve got a wire right here is the Wire That was holding the clump together and It actually travels around here So i’m gonna see if i can pull it out of There okay Now where does go from here I think the wire travels behind that Ah okay So there it is Great we’ve removed that so now it’s Just loosening the soil doing a little Bit of minor red printing just on the Really thick roots that don’t really Feed the tree and oh i find some Drainage mesh

Like circular piece A thick root here which i kind of like Because it’s starting to form a lovely Nebari and i can see the tree hasn’t Fully fused Here as it’s slightly Wobbly from the trunk but the small one On this side has fused very well so Maybe another year and this tree was Fused to that one but for now i’m just Going to wire them two trees together Don’t want to tighten the wire too much Around these Just a little bit of wire to hold them In place I’m going to put this drainage mesh back In the bottom of the same pot same soil Back in Now because there isn’t much wind and Doors i’m not going to be wiring this Tree into this pot i’m just going to let The roots develop naturally in it and That will hold the tree in the pot also Working the soil in with a chopstick Will make the tree fairly stable so just Got an extra piece of um that fine grit Soil that we had before That’s the tree now nicely placed into The pot again so there’s just one last Thing i’d like to do with this tree and Let’s remove this dead branch here A little bit of sealant on that And that’s all i’m going to do to this Tree for today now the final three that

I’m gonna be working on is also a Cutting just like this one from the Ficus ginseng but i actually filmed the Progression of this tree last year [Music] Uh [Music] [Music] And now this is the tree today unlike The other tree here i don’t want this Tree to develop quite long instead i Want to try and keep this tree compact And short so i’m just going to trim it Here And Here And that’s all i’m going to do to that Tree for today And all that’s left to do now is give All the trees of water in [Music] And there you guys have it that’s just a Little quick video on pruning and Shaping ideas that you can do on your Ficus in order to just take them that One step further of becoming more Ramified and having a better branch Structure and just general maintenance On ficus bonsai the only one thing that I would do differently is whenever i Took a bite out of this tall ficus here I just wouldn’t dig in so much because It’s going to take a little bit longer To heal now i really hope you enjoyed

This video if you want to keep up to Date on the progression of some of my Trees be sure to follow me on instagram I’ll leave a link in the description of This video and on that thank you so very Much for watching [Music] You

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