On a trip
to Salt Lake City, Utah, to present a workshop and demo to the
Utah Society of Utah in late July 2005, I stopped at Ogden and
visited with Tom and JoLynn Fowles. Tom is an avid bonsai grower
and has many excellent bonsai in his collection. One tree that
I really admired was a Ficus microcarpa that Tom had been working
on for several years.
photo shows the tree allowed to grow out strongly to help heal
previous large pruning scars.The tree has an awesome surface
rootage and rather awesome taper has been achieved by multiple
reductions of the trunk, always cutting back to a smaller diameter
apex and then allowing this new and smaller diamter apex to grow
wildly to thicken. Size of the tree is inches tall and the base
of the trunk an surface rootage is inches.
Tom Fowles and
I in the middle of Tom's bonsai collection.
being allowed to grow strongly to heal scars. Original front of
Red line indicates
an old reduction point and the hollow that has resulted from the
Tom was convinced
to let me take the tree home to Montana and to allow it to become
part of my Ficus collection. Once in Montana the tree's front
was rotated a bit counter-clockwise to emphasize trunk movement
as well as to put the large basal scar to the side. The branches
received a severe pruning and wire was applied to guide the remaining
and branches cut back to allow secondary branch development.
months of growth there are many back buds developing to form
the secondary branches of the tree.
buds emerging two weeks after strong pruning.
Two months later,
regrowth is quite vigorous.
of the best new secondary branches was made and unneeded branches
The best secondary
branches selected and retained.
The goal from
this point is to continue to direct the tree's enegy to more
secondary and tertiary branching. Overly heavy branches will
be restrained in their growth while branches that are too thin
will be allowed more growth to "catch up". In the future
a bonsai pot will help to give the bonsai a more finished appearance.