Tiger-bark ficus (Ficus microcarpa)

I’ve been colonized by ficus. Tiger-bark figs, rock figs, strangler figs, willow-leaf figs, and other fig species. When I first began working with figs I would place the cuttings in spare pots with soil whenever I pruned. This is the recipe for filling your bonsai bench space with figs. I have finally accepted that I need to throw away the cuttings when I prune, even though, with minimal care, they could become small trees. I need the room for other trees!

My first ficus was a Tiger-bark (Ficus microcarpa) that I bought in March 2012 from Walter Andersen nursery in San Diego. It was sold as a “houseplant ficus”.

October 14, 2019:
The tree after a summer of growth since it was first posted on this website.
A pre-bonsai forest of the trees started as cuttings from this one (at the top of the pile on the right).
January 11, 2019:
The tree on the first day it was posted.
March 10, 2012:
The “houseplant ficus” when purchased in spring, 2012.
March 10, 2012:
Initial potting.
July 16, 2012:
Four months of growth.
August 4, 2013:
One year of clip and grow.
November 16, 2013:
Second autumn.
May 4, 2014:
Barerooted, new pot.
May 6, 2014:
Branch-pruned, tree establishing itself in new pot.
November 23, 2014:
Forked trunks.
December 12, 2015:
Nebari forming.
May 21, 2016:
Roots. The long straight root on the right was removed later.
May 21, 2016:
Repotting.
August 20, 2016:
Still hadn’t decided on the front, or even an overall structure for the tree.
September 17, 2016:
New growth after August pruning. Leggy branches.
December 4, 2016:
Still unsure of overall structure or front.
January 14, 2017:
Some branch pruning.
January 14, 2017:
Possible front.
May 13, 2017:
Bare-rooted.
May 13, 2017:
Too many large roots.
May 21, 2017:
Awkward shape. I began considering removing one of the main trunks.
September 3, 2017:
An alternative front using both trunks.
September 3, 2017:
One trunk removed (and a new tree!).
September 3, 2017:
New design, back in garden.
August 4, 2018:
Back root of nebari is very straight.
September 22, 2018:
Removed straight back root, re-scarified trunk wound.
October 27, 2018:
Tree back in garden. I may carve the trunk scar in the future.

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