Extreme winter trunk work. Ficus tiger bark / golden gate

(Chris Klippel) #1

First pic was taken March 2018
Second is the other side, tonight. I took the other big branch off last year.

I have a ficus that I’ve slow trained (just bud pinching, no wiring) for 8 years, when I found it at a garden center it’s trunk was amazing and it was pot bound. I guessed it was at least 5 years old, probably more like 10.

This has been an EXTREMELY hardy plant and I’ve messed up drastically in the beginning. I’ve managed to shrink the leaves from 2 1/2-3” to 1/2-3/4” each.

It now looks like a very nice and full baobab, Which is not going to be it’s ultimate form. I want to cut a major triangle shaped section from the top of the trunk about 3/4 of the way down, and then clamp the trunk back together to make a nice taper.

How safe is it, in the winter, to extract a triangle half an inch wide by 3 inches from the trunk of a ten year old healthy ficus, and then clamp it shut.


(Frank Corrigan) #2

I just have an inquiring mind! In the winter in what type of climate? Under what type of care? Indoors i assume as a tropical.
I think it would be appropriate for you to provide more information.

(Chris Klippel) #3

Outdoors it’s whole life, repotted in lava rocks and bonsai soil maybe every two years.

In Oakland, ca

(Frank Corrigan) #4

Almost a tropical climate. I will leave this one to those who no the area and timing for california better. Up here all the ficus are indoors most of the year if not all year.

(Les Lonsdale) #5

I have always read that Tropical’s should have most of their work done when actively growing (early Summer).
I like your idea of a vertical wedge cut. I’ve never seen that done, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work.


(Jonas Dupuich) #6

My understanding about working on tropicals lines up with Les’ comment as tropicals respond to work best when they’re growing actively.

That said, I have no idea how trunk re-shaping works any time of the year. My main motivation for such an approach would be to simply find out if it’s possible!