Ficus Techniques : 74

Balancing the Foliage Masses


by Jerry Meislik

Starting point
Ficus tree, 2013


Michael Bross of France writes about his Ficus microcarpa tree for suggestions.

My feeling is that overall this is quite a lovely bonsai tree. My thought agrees with Michael that the foliage in the top tiers of the tree, zones 2 and 3, in the second photo are too heavy in foliage.

foliage Zones
Zones 2 and 3 are too heavy relative to zone 1

If you compare zones 2 and 3 with zone 1 it is apparent that the upper portions of the tree are becoming too visually heavy. This will cause the upper branches to get too much out of scale with the important first and lower branches. If this imbalance is allowed to persist the lower branches will weaken and then die ruining the whole composition.

So my advice is to thin out the heavy zones and allow the weak zones to grow lots more foliate to try and bring the tree back in balance.

In addition the crossing aerial roots shown in the last photo are distracting. I would consider removing the one on the left sideand the one that crosses the base of the trunk.

crossed roots
Right side crossing root and lower crossing root marked with red X's

Congratulations to Michael on his wonderful tree.


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