THE FICUS FUSION PROJECT

I had a few ficus retusa, or tiger bark ficus, sitting around in pots so I decided to do something with them.  I have read numerous articles on the internet on ficus fusion so I thought I would give it a try.

What is ficus fusion?  It is, in a nut shell, wrapping seedlings or cuttings together tightly and letting the trunks fuse.  This allows you to create a larger trunk quicker and with a lot of character.  There is a little more to it, but that is the simplified version.

I started with these cuttings:

I started by removing the cuttings from their pots and washing all of the soil out of the roots:
Next, I arraged them in a group, finding the best way to put them all together to form the "trunk".  For a binder, I am using wax paper, electrical tape, and some bonsai wire.

Wax Paper

Folded, Ready to Apply

All Wrapped Up

Tape and Wire Applied

Make sure that you apply the wrappings as tightly as possible so the trunks of the seedlings are pressed close together.  Some people use raffia for the wrapping, I did not have any so I used what I had on hand.  Plus, I was worried that the raffia would not last as long as I needed it too.

After wrapping the trunks, I prepared the pot.  I decided to plant this one on a board to keep the roots flat and to increase the flare at the bottom of the trunk.  I like to use plastic cutting boards, if you have an IKEA in town, they have some nice ones for $1.99.

I started by cutting down the cutting board to fit in the pot.  The board cuts easily so I just use a hand saw.
Next, a few holes are needed.  One in the middle for the screw that will secure the trunk and a couple on each end for the anchor wires to hold everything in the pot.

Trunk Screw Hole

Anchor Wire Holes

The trunk was fastened to the board with a stainless steel screw and more scews were used to spread the roots out.  A small pilot hole was drilled in the board to help get the screws started that were used to spread the roots.

Bottom Side

Stainless Steel Screw

Screwed to the Board

Roots Being Spread

More Root Spread

Ready for the Pot

When I was trimming the roots I got several decent root cuttings.  I decided to fish them into group around the lower trunk.

Root Cuttings

Root Cuttings in Position

Time to put it in the pot.  The anchor wires were fished down through the holes in the pot and twisted tightly.  Then the soil was added.

Wires Fished Through

Close-up of Wires

In Place

Twisted In Tight

Side View

Very Secure

Soil Added

Ready for Fusion

I will leave it alone for a bit and then maybe wire some of the upper growth to give it some direction.

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