Ficus Techniques : 17

Ficus microcarpa - Air Layering

Ed Hund of the Fort Walton Beach Bonsai Society, Florida, sends in a beautiful sequence of air layering a Ficus microcarpa. The original tree was too long in the trunk with little or no significant lower branching to work with.

Ed was assisted by Lynn Fabian (President of the Society), Ed Fabian, and Lee Vanderpool (FWBBS newsletter editor as well past "everything" of the club) the tree was air layered using sphagnum moss and wrapping with plastic. One month later the bag was full of new roots and the tree was cut off below the layer and potted up as its own tree. It was wired into the pot but had enough roots to be quite stable on its own.

The lower portion of the original trunk shows excellent new sprouts that will become the framework of a much shorter and more dynamic tree. Plastic ties were used to pull aerial roots to the trunk to allow them to fuse into the main trunk. This will thicken the trunk as well as adding more radial rootage.

All in all a marvelous transition for this fig. Ed is talking about grafting branches and roots on the fig in the near future. We await future progress and styling of the two trees from Ed, Lynn , Ed, and Lee and the team at FWBBS.

Ficus microcarpa, air layer in position.


Lower part of the Ficus with new sprouts coming. Electrical ties are holding aerials to fuse with the trunk.


Top of the air layer potted.


End of the air layer showing all the new roots.


Lynn Fabian, Lee Vanderpool and Ed Hund working on the tree.


All photos by Ed Fabian.

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