Ficus Obliqua

This is a F. obliqua I collected growing out of a sandstone wall in Rushcutters Bay, Sydney, around 20+ years ago. It had a canopy about 3ft across, and these 2 slender trunks holding the whole mass up. No idea how old it is but it must have been growing in the crack in the wall for at least 10 yrs or so to get to the size it was.??? I removed all the branches at the time and ran a saw against the wall and base cut it free. It now stands around 15ins tall and 16in wide canopy. The nebari is my biggest issue with this tree…. very one sided due to its original growing angle. Never really known how to correct or improve it, so have learned to live and work with it.
First pic was November 2011.
Frustrated and neglected for a few years.
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Here is the same tree August 2012 after a season of more attention and a regular fert program instead of neglect.
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Another year on….October 2012

 I restyled this fig with the original rear view as the new front. There is some lengthening of the RH primary branch to happen, but so far it is powering along. I shouted it a new bigger pot as well and it looks like it is enjoying the extra room….so pretty happy with the progress so far.
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January 2014

We are smack bang in the middle of a hot summer down here which is perfect time to work on our figs…. here is the result after defoliation and full rewire, sitting on one of my own home made stands.

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Overhead view below, showing good ramification developing.

Obliqua overhead ramification 11-1-14

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My first cascade stand

A few months ago, I put the word out locally to see if anyone knew of a good supplier of nice affordable bonsai stands….. replies came back with a few leads, but nothing too reliable, so I thought I would investigate the option of making my own. I have limited wood working experience, but like anything, if you seek good advice, and know how to follow it, you may have a chance. I have turned my hand to many things I have no formal training in over the years, and have had success with most I’m proud to say. I turned one into a 30 year professional career strangely enough. Anyway, as it turns out, a few weeks ago, I stumbled upon a blog from a fellow bonsai nut from Fresno, California, who also makes his own beautiful bonsai stands and has been incredibly generous with sharing his knowledge and skills on how he goes about making these bespoke pieces. Referring to his tips and using some of my own skills, I embarked on my first project…. this cascade stand.

A few years ago I began making “one off” longboard skateboards using exotic hardwoods, such as Mahogany, Birch, Maple, Black Bean, Ebony & various others. I bought a few slabs of ”hairy oak” which is a she-oak (Allocasuarina inophloia) from dry areas up in Queensland, and this is what I chose for my first project. It has amazing grain patterns and I know some purists out there will say it’s too flashy for a bonsai stand ‘cos it will distract from beauty of the tree….. I couldn’t care less about that to be honest, as I also have stands I display purely for the beauty of the stand. It doesn’t have to have a tree on it to be admired. Anyway, here it is….. the dimensions are 3.5ins x 3.5ins x 11ins tall.Image

Top detail… the top is a solid ”one piece” with routed profiles and the internal border was carved by hand. My new projects have a central ”foot print” piece plus boarders, following the traditional methods, however I will still work on some designs using a solid one piece top.

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I thought I would show the incredible variety of grain patterns in this amazing species. These pics are all from the one 6ft. piece of Hairy Oak, from both sides of the piece.

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This is why it got its name.The bark literally looks like aYetti.

This is why it got its name.
The bark literally looks like aYetti.

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These next few pics are from the one 4ft length of Silky Oak. This is sold in the USA under the name ” Australian Lacewood” .

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