Ficus Techniques : 39

The too thick branch

by Jerry Meislik

One very common problem in many bonsai is the branch that is just too thick. This often happens near the apex of the bonsai, as the top of the tree often grows much more strongly than the bottom and over time the top branches are too thick and the lower branches are too thin. There are many techniques to handle the overly thick branch.

One of these is to remove the thick branch and hope for a replacement bud to form close to where the thick branch was removed. Another less drastic technique is to remove only part of the branch, leaving perhaps half of the branch diameter and hoping for a new bud to grow and to create the new thinner branch.

With Ficus this type of injury often heals well and can solve the problem.

The tree that I am showing is a Ficus fubiginosa with a heavy branch on the left side of the tree.

Ficus rubiginosa looking very nice with foliage

Without foliage the heavy branch is seen on the left side

Branch is partially removed; upper half of the branch remains
covered with orange cut paste

Close view of the remaining stub covered with orange cut paste

New sprout growing from the cut stub of the branch!

Three red lines show new branches that can replace the removed branch;
black cross hatching is the remains of the old branch


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