Ficus Techniques : 11

Ficus Salicifolia: Modifying A Root System

Bill Morris of Canada, has a Ficus salicifolia with a root system that is large and out of scale with the rest of the bonsai tree's design. He asks about slimming down the root system to make it more consistent with the tree's canopy.

Bill's Ficus salicifolia with large roots.

Repotted and roots trimmed.

Ficus salicifolia is one tree whose roots can be ruthlessly hacked back. Merely trim the large roots back to the dimensions that seem in scale and continue growing the tree as usual. Ideally, this is done during the active growing season, which would be mid to late summer. The tree will gradually form roots to make up for those that are lost. It will not stop its growth at all during the recovery process.

Another option is to allow the canopy to widen out and then the large roots will be in better scale to the enlarged tree.

Bill will keep us updated on the tree's progress.

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