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Can I Butcher a Banyan Fig in the Name of Beauty?

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
by mudpoet on December 21, 2006 02:00 AM
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.
by sibyl on December 26, 2006 02:52 AM
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

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by mudpoet on December 27, 2006 11:27 PM
Thanks so much for the tip, sibyl! And just when I thought no one wanted to hear about my silly fig tree [Smile]
by weezie13 on December 28, 2006 01:13 AM
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..

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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by papito on December 30, 2006 11:00 PM
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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