I’m keeping a few consistencies with this new project:
-Genetics: keeping identical donor material is a given here since this is one tree (ficus microcarpa rooted cutting). As mentioned before, I no longer plan to use seed-grown material because of genetic variability (manifesting in leaf shape and bark texture differences, for example). This tree will be comprised of one tree fused to itself, essentially;
-Tile method: growing on top of a tile has yielded nice, flat roots in other projects that should benefit the look of this tree later; &
-Wood cone: this method seems to be working well with an earlier project, so I will again use the wood base and small nails to fix the tree to the base.
New ideas being tried:
-Vertical growth: I have several ficus microcarpa “trees” that are growing straight up in very long, single-trunked styles. The occasional branching doesn’t seem to stop that single leader from growing straight up;
-Bendable: these trees are fairly pliable when young, and can be wound around a circular base as used here even when woody;
-Quick fusing: by winding the single trunk around the base–essentially coiling on top of itself–and securing with an occasional nail when there’s enough caliper (and “wood”) to hold it, I expect the trunk will fuse very quickly and completely. These trees also thicken considerably from the bottom-up, so the trunk should have a pleasing triangular silhouette when done;
-New Roots: once the tree trunk has been wound several times around the base and its roots have deepened, I will reorient the tree right-side-up and encourage rooting around the base with some organic soil and rooting hormone. Once I have grown enough roots, I will cut off (layer) the existing trunk and roots and develop the nebari on the tile; &
-Pumice: I’ve only recently starting using this as soil.