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Ficus Defoliation

This is a discussion on Ficus Defoliation within the Beginners forums, part of the Bonsai category; I am new to the ficus and was wondering: A) If anyone knows of a good ficus "how-to" that talks ...

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Old 04-17-2008, 12:57 PM   2 links from elsewhere to this Post. Click to view. #1 (permalink)
 
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Ficus Defoliation

I am new to the ficus and was wondering:

A) If anyone knows of a good ficus "how-to" that talks in depth about the idiosyncrasies of the ficus bonsai and,

2) Is defoliation common, or conversely, detrimental to the ficus.
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Old 04-17-2008, 01:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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1. jerry meislik has a book on ficus and is very good.
2. they love to be defoliated and if it is hot enough for long enough in your area they like it more than once even up to 3 times in a growing season.
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Old 04-17-2008, 02:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I had an old Ficus, a huge nebari, it was under special lights, so i thought it would be okay, did a defoliate, dead as a do-do.
I would advise you to try a couple of branches just to see what happens, some of them can take a while to recover, so as this is your first time just go easy, you don't want a 700 buck disaster like i had. Cheers.
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Old 04-17-2008, 05:04 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Is it possible that it was timing? I have two ficus's, one for about 4mo and another for 9mo. I noticed a definate dormancy in the ficus's up till the end of february or begining of march. I doubt that defoliation in the dormancy is a terribly good idea...or perhaps it has more to do with humidity...I do know that humidity is important to the growth of fig trees.
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Old 04-17-2008, 06:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
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"Ficus The Exotic Bonsai" by Jerry Meislik. ISBN 0-9749524-0-0
www.bonsaihunk.8m.com

Great guy and is also a member here.

~Phil
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Old 04-17-2008, 11:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Why do you want to defoliate?
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Old 04-18-2008, 06:40 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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you never defoliate in dormancy thats for sure. rule of thumb for me is as the days are getting longer and the nights are not dropping under 12.c. this is a tip i got from pup and it has worked a pearler. mind you it will need less water with no foliage. i cant comment on light growing but outdoor if your conditions are right there should be no prob, just compensate for the tree being bare (water : protection) 3-4 weeks buds everywhere. we have hit fall and i am now just partially defoling the larger leaves sitting on top of newer shoots.it is loving it. the nights are colder so i bring them in.
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Old 04-27-2008, 07:32 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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There is no NEED to defoliate a ficus unless it is 100% healthy and growing really vigorously, it is "finished" growing out and you know you want it to now be refined and begin leaf reduction/ increase ramification, AND it is in the middle of the growing season. If you cannot say yes to all three criteria above you just might kill it if you defoliate completely. Even then some species of Ficus may die if you defoliate. There are dozens of different species of Ficus and unless you know for 100% certain what type you have and you are sure it is in the stage where defoliation would be prudent, you should just let it grow, keep it warm and happy and watch it turn into a tree you can be proud of!
As already stated: Jerry is one of the best ficus guys in the biz and he tends to visit this site from time to time. Read his site, try to find a book written by him and learn all you can before taking on a task like defoliation. defoliation of trees like Maple, Elm... is much easier to do without detriment than with a tropical species that does not normally lose its leaves. the normal response to defoliation from a tree like Maple or Elm is to mimic a dormancy period in the middle of the summer, thus giving two years worth of growth in one season. If you do it to a tree that does not normally lose its leaves during dormancy you run the risk of the tree kicking the bucket. It CAN be done, but I would not recommend it unless you KNOW that is what your tree needs.
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Old 04-27-2008, 11:36 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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I am lost, I was not aware that ficus went into dormancy? My first tree was a gift, which I thought was ficus and I purchased 3 more wal-mart wanna bees. Removed the glue and rocks and potting soil. Put back in the same pot with good bonsai mix, leave outside till winter and then bring inside. They do not have as many new leaves, but did not lose the existing ones. I could be incorrect, I may not have ficus at all. I am just learning. Here is a link that I found useful.
http://www.bonsaihunk.us/ficusforum/FicusForum.html
Just yesterday I did cut all the leaves from one of the small ones, the leaves looked dull and I wanted to give it a try. It may be a on the way out. It is still indoors, I will know in a few days-weeks.
ML

Opps!
After posting this I see the link Phil has is the same, stating at home page.
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Old 04-28-2008, 03:29 AM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Egroup View Post
There is no NEED to defoliate a ficus unless it is 100% healthy and growing really vigorously, it is "finished" growing out and you know you want it to now be refined and begin leaf reduction/ increase ramification, AND it is in the middle of the growing season. If you cannot say yes to all three criteria above you just might kill it if you defoliate completely. Even then some species of Ficus may die if you defoliate. There are dozens of different species of Ficus and unless you know for 100% certain what type you have and you are sure it is in the stage where defoliation would be prudent, you should just let it grow, keep it warm and happy and watch it turn into a tree you can be proud of!
As already stated: Jerry is one of the best ficus guys in the biz and he tends to visit this site from time to time. Read his site, try to find a book written by him and learn all you can before taking on a task like defoliation. defoliation of trees like Maple, Elm... is much easier to do without detriment than with a tropical species that does not normally lose its leaves. the normal response to defoliation from a tree like Maple or Elm is to mimic a dormancy period in the middle of the summer, thus giving two years worth of growth in one season. If you do it to a tree that does not normally lose its leaves during dormancy you run the risk of the tree kicking the bucket. It CAN be done, but I would not recommend it unless you KNOW that is what your tree needs.
im not too sure where you get your info but im under the impression it is far more stressful on your deciduous than it is a tropical. maybe you should read jerry's book too. maybe i will read it again as well.
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