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Can I Butcher a Banyan Fig in the Name of Beauty?
#60708 December 21st, 2006 at 02:00 AM
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Hi, I have inherited what I think is a banyan fig (I think). It has that interesting trunk with the roots growing above the soil. The trunk is small and thick, but thing has big bushy branches with lots of leaves. I think its last owner bought it as a baby bonsai, but put it in a deep pot in front of a sunny window and let it go wild. I think it would be a beautiful bonsai, tho.

I've never grown a bonsai, but I know they like shallow pots. My question is this: Can I cut off all the branches on this plant and try to make it a bonsai, or is it too late? Can I repot it in something shallower or will the roots make this impossible?

It's a nice plant and I don't want to kill it, but it looks like it has a lot of untapped potential.

Re: Can I Butcher a Banyan Fig in the Name of Beauty?
#60709 December 26th, 2006 at 02:52 AM
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this site sayes somethin about em likin a hard pruning! its got lots of other stuff in there too! hope it helps ya
web page

Re: Can I Butcher a Banyan Fig in the Name of Beauty?
#60710 December 27th, 2006 at 11:27 PM
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Thanks so much for the tip, sibyl! And just when I thought no one wanted to hear about my silly fig tree smile

Re: Can I Butcher a Banyan Fig in the Name of Beauty?
#60711 December 28th, 2006 at 01:13 AM
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I'm not sure if we have anyone here who's grown figs'...
I'll see if Papito does..
He goes alot of different types' of fruit trees..

Re: Can I Butcher a Banyan Fig in the Name of Beauty?
#60712 December 30th, 2006 at 11:00 PM
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I have several edible fig trees, plus f. benjamina. I have no experience with bonsai, but here's some links with info about banyan fig:

from
http://www.bonsai4me.com/SpeciesGuide/Ficus.html

Quote
FICUS RETUSA VAR. MICROCARPA/ Chinese Banyan
Bears oval, glossy, dark-green leaves upto 10cm long though these reduce with ease. The Chinese Banyan is the probably the classic fig for bonsai especially favoured for its ability to regenerate from very hard pruning, its vigour and willing to cope under poor growing conditions.
Quote
PRUNING Hard prune in Spring ideally though most figs will tolerate this year round, trim new growth back to shape during the growing season. Figs bleed a milky, white sap (latex) when pruned and this can be used to seal wounds by dabbing with paper or a cloth. When pruning back smaller branches, leave a short stub which will dry out over the following days, removal of this dry stub is easy and leaves a far smaller scar in the bark.
Here's another site to look at:

from
http://www.bonsaisite.com/gbanyan.html

Quote
Prune throughout the whole year by cutting back to about two or three leaves. Thin out larger leaves. It is possible to defoliate in spring.


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