Ficus Techniques : 15

Ficus Benjamina Reduction

Tom Simonyi is a long-time freind, avid bonsai collector and bonsai teacher. In the summer of 2005 Tom obtained this clump of greenhouse grown F. benjamina, aged 25-30 years. The trees were reduced by sawing back the trunks to varying heights for a more pleasing appearance.

Additionally, several of the trunks on the outer edge of the clump were removed to create a more tapering transition from the root surface to the trunk lines. A program of heavy fertilization utilizing a low nitrogen/high phosphorus blend was started as soon as the new buds became obvious.

The photos show the sequence of re-sprouting and shaping over the following year. The future will include gradual removal of redundant branches and widening of the canopy.

Note: As this sequence shows a large F. benjamina can be successfully reduced in height with a severe hack-back techique to produce an elegant bonsai. A very healthy tree must be utilized or the technique may not work.

Trees reduced back several feet in length with a saw.


Some of the outer trunks removed to create a better taper.


Recent view of the grouping, 2006.


June 2009


February 2010

2012 Image




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