In September 2016 I removed the plant, made some horizontal cuts in the bark on the coil nearest the bottom (closest to the tile), and dabbed-in some rooting gel in the wounds.
As you might also be able to see above, I decided to wrap two branches/trunks around the cone instead of the single leader that I had been doing to this point. The thinking here is that double the branches might mean double the places where backbudding will occur later when I want to focus on growing branches.
For now, though, it’s all about the trunk. Fast forward to the end of January 2017 …
Today I pulled the plant out of its pot, which by the way is so wonderfully easy (and clean) when you have only pumice for soil. I wanted to see how the root formation on the coils had progressed over the past three-to-four months.
Pretty well, I think, considering it’s “winter” here in coastal Southern California:
Nice and flat along the tile, too, just as planned. Oh, and this Clonex rooting gel is amazing! Roots appeared everywhere that I applied it.
The roots are definitely radiating out from the trunk at an angle:
In other circumstances this might bother me, but I think I’m going to just roll with it here. It definitely stays true to the coiled concept, anyway. All these roots might fuse together, anyway, which could be interesting.
If I were to do this over again, I would just thread a ficus cutting through a hole in the tile close to the cone. Anyway …
Since the roots are looking so good, it was time to separate the original trunk and roots
I applied more rooting gel on the coil above the cut so roots will cover where the trunk was cut below. I also applied more gel on the cut area. We’ll see what happens there:
Covered it up again, placed the pot in some bright shade, watered; now we wait. I’ll probably wait until summer to dig it up again.