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"And the LORD God made ... trees that were pleasing to the eye ..." Gen. 2:9, New International Version.

"Bonsai isn't just something I do; it's part of what I am." Remark to my wife and daughter.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

A Fig's New Home

I started trimming, then remembered to get a "before" picture!
Remember my little veldt fig (Ficus burtt-davyi) that I planned to repot in February? (See here.) With one thing and another, I didn't get to it until yesterday. The tree didn't suffer: it continued to enjoy the conditions in the Crate, so much so that both top and roots got pretty shaggy! Roots were dangling over the pot sides and down thru the grate, and some branches were starting to turn lianescent: growing like fast woody vines. F. burtt-davyi will do that, I've discovered, in high humidity and with plenty of fertilizer.

Foliage trimmed. (Forgive the picture quality.)
The new pot is this tree's permanent home. It was purchased from Sara Rayner of Sara Rayner Pottery (link,) specifically for this tree. Sara recommended the color, and when I saw the tree in the pot, I almost took a step back: she was right! This pot's size fits this bonsai well, too. (I  learned a bit more about estimating pot size this time around; I had feared this pot might be too small.)

The mix is a 5:3:2 blend of scoria, composted bark, and Turface; all particles are between 2 mm. and 3 mm. in size. Uniformity of particle size makes for better aeration, and makes it easier to discern the effects of any changes in watering or fertilizing.

Repotted and watered. The aluminum-wire staple is just to hold two roots in place until they take hold.

Later this summer I'll enlarge the central cavity a little with my Dremel grinder: the tree keeps trying to close it up. Then I'll treat the wood with lime-sulfur, with a little India ink to give a dark-gray color. For any who don't know, lime-sulfur will both preserve the wood in the cavity, and slow the tree's attempts to close the gap.

Ficus recover from repotting (and other upheavals) faster than many other kinds of trees; so it might be safe to display this tree at the Fort Wayne club's Spring Show in two weeks. If so, I'll get a picture or two.