Al, Im going to need your help with this one!

grrr4200(z3 MI)February 4, 2013

6 or 7 years ago i received a ficus benj. from someone who no longer wanted it. It was large, about 7 feet with multi trunks. I've taken it out of its pot and gave it fresh dirt but unlike my other trees i have never fully removed all the soil and gave fresh.

Al, this thing is a mess! No wonder why it has been steadily declining. I think this was one of my trees that i said 'oh i'll do it next' and never got around to it.

Well about a month ago i had a mealy bug outbreak from a plant i got at a nursery that was hanging by this large ficus... next thing i know... their everywhere! and instead of trying to battle the little fuzzy white guys in the canopy i decided to chop it. So i did. Left the main stalk tall and the other multi stems short. I said to myself 'i will separate these and make 2 ficus tree's. Well im just NOW getting around to splitting the two.

The soil is so compact where the old dirt (original i would have to say) is, i am literally hammering away at it. (delicately though to ensure i dont damage what roots it has) I will be posting pictures of the root mass for you to look at. I've seen you do some amazing work with roots (thinking back on a thread of yours). And i am in desperate need of your help!

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grrr4200(z3 MI)

i took pictures, i just have to upload them and post them.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 6:10PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Haven't been around much lately, but I did see your post. I'll be watching for the pictures & any other info you offer. I think I asked you before, but you must be inda UP, eh? ;-)


    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 8:59PM
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grrr4200(z3 MI)

I've been attempting to put the images directly into this message as well as uploading them regular. They wont work. Heres a link to flikr where i posted the pics of the roots.

currently put the stumps and root section in a bucket of water to try to get it some moisture.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 9:02PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Because of the time of year, I would saw or prune off only the bottom 1/4 of the root mass. If you use a saw, be sure to clean up the ragged ends of the cuts with a sharp pair of bypass pruners (not anvil type). In the end, you want your root mass to look like the stays on an umbrella - the area immediately under the trunk will be entirely free of roots. You can't do that all at once, but you can get started.

First, prune any roots that are abnormally formed with j-bends or are iobvious conflict with other roots, as well as any girdling or encircling roots. Prune off any roots growing upward or back toward the center of the root mass. Start hollowing out the underside of that umbrella, but don't remove more than 1/2 of the total root mass now. Repot into a FAST draining soil and keep the soil damp, not wet. Give it good light & try to keep soil temps above 65*. Humidity around 50% is great if you can manage it, but I know that's tough. Water the new planting in with a half strength dose of MG 24-8-16, 12-4-8, or FP 9-3-6 if you have it. Secure the tree to the pot so it can't move in relation to the pot.

Further questions?


    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 9:46AM
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grrr4200(z3 MI)

thank you so much Al! You're a life saver!

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 2:06AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)


    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 9:12PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Lol - I just happened to think ..... That's not me taking a bow, it's me bowing to you for your kind words. ;-)


    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 9:14PM
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grrr4200(z3 MI)

I say bow! Thank you so much! and im sorry i put you on the spot on this one. I just knew you'd be the one who'd give me the best advice regarding this plant :)

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 12:01PM
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