Three Ficus Religiosa Bonsai Part 2 Bonsai Trees Made Easy

I’m repotting my medium size Ficus religiosa and planting it in a nice Japanese bonsai pot.
In part three of this series, I’ll be working on my smallest Ficus religiosa bonsai.

To see previous videos with my medium size Ficus religiosa bonsai, click on the playlist here…


That monk statue looks so real that you almost expect to see it move.
I know this won’t make you feel better about crossing roots but I’ve seen pictures of large ficus trees with crossing surface roots that look really good. I appreciate your efforts for getting the perfect root structure and I envy both your perseverance and results.

Video Transcript

hi everyone nigel saunders here welcome back to part two of working on three ficus religiosa bonsai in part one i defoliated and pruned out my largest ficus religiosa in part two i’m going to begin work on the medium-sized one all three of these trees my large my medium and my small are all the same age they’re about 26 27 years old they came as a clump in a single pot and i separated them and i’ve been growing them ever since here’s a look at the medium-sized ficus religiosa that i’ll be working on today it’s in a 3d printed pot down here and i printed that up at our local library quite a while ago and i can’t remember how many years it’s been in this pot i would guess three maybe four years since i planted it underneath that 3d printed pot i’ve got a clay a japanese clay pot that i’m going to repot it into the 3d printed pot is beginning to decompose it’s just made of pla plastic which is a biodegradable plastic uh they they last you know as i said three or four years before they start getting holes in them and falling apart so i um i kind of make them out of pla first and have a look at the design verify the design make sure they can print okay and then you can always print them with a higher quality plastic later you can see that underneath the pot here i see roots poking out that’s why i decided to check underneath my clay pot in part one because i’ve seen all the roots underneath here so let me tip the tree up and you can have a look at them so here they are so you can see the mat of roots on the bottom of the pot growing in the pot with the main tree here there’s a little chute i don’t know if that came up from the rootstock or if when i pruned it there’s a little piece of a cutting or something that fell into the soil i don’t know i’ll check it out today to see if it’s connected to the root system here’s a close-up of that nice bark that forms on the ficus religiosa it’s always kind of fine like that but it’s just enough texture to kind of give it a nice miniature appearance you can see on the smaller tree how small you can actually get the leaves i think that’s about as small as you’ll ever get them kind of that size quite a reduction i’ll begin the work now i’ll have to get the tree out of the old pot so i’m going to have to prune away all these roots on the bottom so here i go quite a matter of roots so this pod is styled after the chinese marble pots it’s made to kind of look like a marble pot and i painted it up sort of i put a bit of weathering on it to look like marble that’s my dream someday to have a marble pot i think that would be so cool i love them okay so there’s a lot of the root system off you can see the paint that came off of the plastic here so a little more cleanup just so i can lift the tree out properly without these roots holding it in place okay that should work all right so i’ve got to be fairly careful handling the tree i don’t want to upset the bark on it so i’ll try i’ll try releasing it from the pot let’s see if it comes out easily ah it’s not too bad there it goes so that pot’s still still quite solid it’s just kind of bowed out at the sides it’s quite often the plastic kind of warps a bit yeah it was a nice pod kind of a cool design all right here’s the tree pull out a weed here so the next step is to begin raking out the roots all right here i go i’ll have to take this lovely moss off beautiful stuff today is one of the hottest days in a long time it’s 31 degrees celsius today and 75 humidity so it’s just absolutely tropical out today this morning it was really foggy it was warm and foggy and and that humidity just never left it’s just here so it’s great weather for the ficus trees the tropical trees but not so much for us as humans it’s a little warm so i was looking on the internet i was looking at pictures of ficus religiosa trees trying to find pictures of mature ones and i noticed there was as i said a lot of mislabeled pictures of ficus religiosa a lot of the pictures were ficus rumphii they weren’t ficus religiosa they had tons of aerial roots and the ficus religiosa doesn’t really get that they do get a beautifully fluted trunk though just outstanding amazing on some of the older trees so while i’m working at combing out the roots here i’ll show you some photographs from the internet and yeah you can get some ideas of how these ficus religiosa look as they get old and mature they’re fantastic [Music] [Music] [Laughter] [Music] [Laughter] [Music] so that was a look at the full full-size ficus religiosis quite an impressive tree gives you an idea of the kind of typical styling of them also there’s a root that hit the edge of the pot went along the edge so it’s a it’s a dense root system in the soil but not too packed in that it’s impossible to comb out it’s uh quite reasonable probably ideally it could have been repotted last year but leaving it another year didn’t really hurt it at all there’s not a lot of roots that hit the edge of the pot and start curling around most are you know quite a nice length and good ramification on them so i originally got quite a pot full of these ficus religios in that original you know nursery pot that i bought and i’ve given a lot away you know connor has one there’s some other people in the club who’ve got them long ago i had them all in a forest and it didn’t look very good in a forest because of the large leaves and they were quite small at that time and it just didn’t look so good so they looked better as a specimen tree i think if you did have them in a forest you need a pretty large planting i think to make the forest look good okay i think i’m going to start on the bottom now okay so i’ll tip the tree off the edge of the table like this and then i can start on the bottom and i think i’m quite sure this has a one piece screen on the bottom which hopefully isn’t as big a problem as my other my other cyrissa tree it doesn’t look like there’s as many roots kind of intertwined with the mesh but i’m still not going to use that technique anymore i’m going to keep separate drainage screens for each hole so i will have to do some pruning here there’s some roots that have grown through the screen like that there’s another clump here right around the drainage holes i may have pruned these roots around the drainage holes before kind of prune them away so here’s that screen on the bottom so there’s a big one here on the other side of the screen that i’ve got to prune away like that so the screen is starting to come away now it’s very dry down here too if you look at the soil underneath here it’s quite dry okay i think the screen is almost pulled away there’s a there’s a few spots with it here still just a little bit more over here so there were some good sized roots going through the screen there so all the screens off now i can do a little more a little more raking all right so i’ll start breaking out the soil on the bottom of the root mass here and i’ll have to wash these roots get all the old soil out so i can see the roots see exactly what’s going on before i start the root pruning i can see there’s a lot of thick roots that have developed so it’ll take a bit of pruning to get this root base back in shape that’s for sure okay i’m going to take it over to the tub and wash it now all right into the water it goes do the old swishing around and do a bit of raking and washing at the same time i’ve got the root base all cleaned up so i can start the root pruning now all right here i go on the root pruning so in this area i don’t have a lot of roots in between these two major ones i’ve got maybe this one skinny one here which actually comes off of this one i think but there’s one down below that could thicken up this root isn’t very radial and it’s quite high in the root base i think there’s a better one below so i’m going to take that off this one right here like that there’s a better route below there kind of flows a little nicer like that so the root off to this side i think i’ve cut it here before because you can see it’s very thick here and then it goes thinner here it’s not very attractive it’s kind of a thick bulbous root but you know i can’t really correct it too much at this stage unless i were to split it or something you can see off of it it divides here into two and they’re both really thick there’s one here that comes up out of the soil i’ll take that off for starters i just don’t want that that’s also that where it hit the edge of the pot and turned a different direction so that’s no good um so this one has to be reduced back it’s too thick so i’m going to come in here with a parallel cut to the ground and that way all the new roots will kind of flow in nicely when they form so here i go like that remove that major part off now the other part that other part of that root doesn’t flow at all very nicely it’s not radial so i’m going to remove that entirely like that just does not flow in i could probably even take more of this off i think i will so i can’t really do a parallel cut here i’ll have to just kind of go like that so i’m left with a little more fibrous roots in this area so that kind of takes care of that one a bit it’s still not great looking i i’m going to remove this one sticking up the top here i don’t like that so that brings us over to this one now another thick bulbous root that’s being pruned and there’s a few good roots here i’ll just trim them off a little shorter like that and they’ll grow new roots from those cut points as i come around there’s a lot of fine roots coming off the top of this thick root i’ll just prune some of the ones sticking up off keeping my better ones like that there’s one here that’s not going very radially take that one out here’s one that’s going 90 degrees up get rid of that one so everything else in this area is looking pretty good as far as surface roots anyway i’ll just clean this area out here there is a thick root on the bottom here though you can see it here it’s not radial so that has to come off like that that’s gone so that brings us around to here which is actually the front of the tree i’m just gonna so i’ve got a root here that you know here’s radial and it’s going 90 degrees to that so that’s got to get removed like that that’s gone a little combing in this area is required figure out what’s going on okay it’s all looking quite good actually so there’s a root here it comes down and then it curls around so i’m going to take it off here keeping the good parts of the root getting rid of the other parts trim those ones back a bit everything’s looking good here there’s a root on top here i’m going gonna remove that one it’s kind of a little awkward looking so the same with this one clean up that root base a bit now if we come around there’s one there’s a root sticking up here this one right here kind of sticks up out of the root base it doesn’t flow down nicely into the soil so that has to be removed like that i’ll do a little combing to see what else is in here hopefully some good roots so there so this one it’s not perfectly flowing into the soil but it’s not bad i think i’ll keep that one and probably this one too okay there’s one coming out the bottom here i gotta get rid of that one that one’s gone so i think i’ve got all the surface roots in as good as shape as i can get them they’re not bad from this view they’re quite nice the back view they’re a little you know you got these two thick ones so not as good in this view that’s why that’s why it’s the back so i’ve got to balance the roots i’ve got some vigorous ones that i’ve got to prune back some of these longer ones here just taking them back out the side i have some here take those back okay so that completes the surface roots the pruning of those i’ve just got to go underneath now and fix up the roots on the bottom okay so anything kind of sticking straight down prune off just keeping the roots that are fanning outwards reducing all the others back really short cut this one off short too like that you know trying to keep this root base fairly flat on the bottom okay i think that’s looking pretty good i think i’ll give it a final wash there’s a look at the root base now i think it’s looking quite nice yeah looking very miniature i notice i have a root crossing here i don’t like that i have to fix that i just don’t like major surface roots crossing like that so one of those has to go and so which one would it be the one up front’s quite nice because it divides into two here whereas this one just kind of goes behind so i think i’m going to remove this one like that and i don’t know if i’ll ever get it out i think it’s attached here part of it away and there it is it’s just something that bothers me it’s a maybe a pet peeve of mine oh it’s coming out all right let’s see if i can poke it through from the top here there it is there it is come on there it goes i’ve got the base of it here there that came out it totally so i think everything else is okay in that area okay no more crossing routes now it just bugs me it always looks like someone with their their fingers crossed like that and i i don’t like that look if you listen closely you can hear the rain starting to fall [Music] the tree is all ready for planting so i’ll get the pot ready i’ll get some drainage screens in the bottom get a base layer of soil and that i can position the tree in the pot the pot that i’ll be putting the tree in is a really nice japanese pot it has a chop on the bottom the reason i got it so cheaply is it has a chip in the lip here which doesn’t bother me at all it’s you hardly notice it but i i got it for a really good price because of that there’s a close-up of that little chip there i’ve got my separate screens in the bottom of the pot so now i’ll add a base layer of soil [Music] this is a very shallow pot and i think the ficus religios i’ll like it it’s a good size for the tree all right here i go positioning the tree in the pot so this is the front of the tree at the nice root base the main trunk comes forward so if i have it here it kind of leaves a lot of empty space in this area i think because it leans to the left i want it towards the right in the pot i’m just going to get the front view here maybe not it looks pretty good in the middle of the pot you know because the tree’s kind of slanting i think if i offset it it would just be to the right hand side a little bit so i’m thinking maybe about here that’s where i’m thinking yeah let me get a bit of soil in around to hold the tree in place stay i’ll just build up a mound here place the tree on top and i’ll stem back here’s a look at the tree from the front and i’m not really liking that position most of the mass of the tree is over to the right hand side in the canopy there’s not much over here so it’s kind of like too much empty space over here so i think i’ve got to push the tree more to the left-hand side so the tree is almost in the exact middle of the pot now and it looks pretty balanced there i actually like that i’m going to try it to the left just a little more to see what it looks like there it is to the left a little more that actually looks pretty good too in fact i think that is the location i am happy with that so i’m going to put soil in around the roots now just coming out front having a look at it again yeah i still think it’s looking good i need a little more soil around the base of the tree to get those roots firmly into the soil and then as they get established i can rake away all that soil on top and kind of expose the root base more okay that soil level looks good i’m going to give the tree a water now so here i go i’ll place some stones around the root base just to hold the tree in the pot i’ll put it in the greenhouse but i just don’t want to accidentally bump it or anything so that’ll hold it quite nicely in the pot that’ll do that should hold the tree securely in the pot until the roots get established and then i can start raking away that top layer of soil to expose the root base that’ll be exciting to see that once again i still have that little cutting over here so i’ll have to find a pot and plant that one too i think for this planting i’m going to use this pot that isabella made and it has a matte green finish on it or glaze so it’s really cool i i like that pot i think that’ll suit it nicely so i’ll get that planted next i don’t know maybe this way this way there’s a root coming straight at me so i think i’ll put it like that so i’ll get some soil and fill that in and i’ll give it a water well that was a good day of repotting i got both my trees repotted i think i’ve taken both of these trees up to another level with this clay pot giving the roots a little more room to grow i didn’t take any off the top of the trees i’ll see what happens maybe it’ll drop a few leaves when it’s in the greenhouse kind of recovering ah we’ll see let’s head into the greenhouse and i’ve got to see if i have any space for these trees in here i might have to put them on a stool on the floor here so let’s see i’m kind of full in here with recovering trees i could put them here that’d be a good spot um yeah it’s pretty full in here i could move these succulents out clear a bit of space off here i think yeah i’ve got a lot of succulents here that should be outside so i’ll do that i have cleared a space in the greenhouse and i’ve got the ficus religiosa in there let’s go have a look boy it’s a hot day okay here they are right here so lots of room for them so i’ve got the medium-sized one a little cutting off of it i’ve got another ficus religiosa cutting here that’s rooted quite nicely i’ll have to prune that back soon here’s all my other ficus religiosa cuttings in here i’ve got my big one here from yesterday and i’m hoping that roots that’ll be awesome the fans are still whirring away here the solar powered fans my cyrus is still looking good here after it’s repot yeah doing quite well i keep misting it all the time that’ll help it recover well that’s two and a half ficus is down i’ve got one more to go my little tiny one i’ll see if we can do something special for this one for part three of this video so that’s all for today i’m nigel saunders thanks for joining me in the bonsai zone [Music]

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