I have recently assembled another fusion project, but this time it is a Ficus Microcarpa var. Hillii. I used an old dead trunk from a Murraya Paniculata that I had lying around and instead of twist ties for my attaching method, thought I would try something new….hence the wood base. I used a brad gun, which fires inch long pins normally used for small woodwork items. It worked a treat, particularly when I needed the ficus whips to mould into certain shapes. Very easy to handle and once the base was secured to a bench, managed to attach around 40 whips from a quarter inch to half an inch in diameter in a little over 2 hours. Growing on a batch of trident seedlings from last year which will get the same treatment. Update pics to come.
Update pics as of 4/1/13
September 19th 2013 UPDATE
This fusion project has been putting on a ton of new growth for being in a pot and not the ground. I have also had the pot sitting in a deep tray of water full time which it certainly seems to like. As far as fusion of the trunks goes… well they have all fattened by at least 20-30% since the day of assembly, and some fusion has taken place, but still a ways to go. Normally I would just let the trunks grow taller and taller, but I have found with this variety of ficus, that they get very tall but with little taper, so I am shortening the trunks back to around finished height, and will let the side branching go unpruned, as fusion has occurred where the lower branches were allowed to thicken. Lots of chicken manure and Powerfeed over the coming months for this one…. stay tuned for more updates.
DECEMBER 14th 2013
Being the start of summer down here, its the perfect time to work on ficus, so today I decided to defoliate my Ficus Fusion project, to see just what was going on under all those healthy leaves.
There is some definite fusing going on but I can’t say it is fully welding together just yet. I really believe had I planted this in the ground or a big grow box, I would be seeing quicker results…. but hindsight is a wonderful thing isn’t it.
An interesting thing to note also is for the period up to the repot, the pot it was in sat permanently in about 4 inches or 10cms of water, and the whole thing powered…. what is also interesting is this variety of fig is remarkably drought tolerant. I have cuttings from this project which have gone a couple of weeks without a drink and not the slightest signs of stress. Tough variety this one.
I underestimated the swelling of all the whips combined, when leaving an open space for the eventual hollowed trunk look to the finished tree. I wouldn’t be surprised if by the time these are all welded together, the opening will have all but fully closed. Oh well, at least I know what lies beneath, in case I choose to carve a new opening down the track.