Late Spring Tropical Styling


I am often asked if I ever wire a tropical tree in my collection and I say, certainly. I do all my wiring on these trees early in the season because as summer comes these trees grow so aggressively that I would have to check them every few days for wire cuts.  These trees shown here have been wired with aluminum wire, not my standard copper, because it will not remain on the trees for very long. Both of these trees, ficus and schefflera, have been moved to bigger pots to pump up trunks and branches.  They are normally shown as shohin size trees. I am expecting the schefflera has finally pushed beyond that classification as it passes the 10″ mark.

The goal of for the work today was to open up the structure, bring branches pointing up to more horizontal directions and to elongate the horizontal profile of the trees.


Schefflera after wiring. You can find this tree on the site in its untouched version. The wire opens up the structure, brings down branches into a plane.
Schefflera viewed from the top shows an opened domed apex which will allow more light and air to the center of the tree.
Detail of the aluminum wire on the schefflera. Wire is applied with a delft hand ensuring not to make it too tight.



















The ficus pictured here is a “ginseng” grafted ficus. Not ginseng at all but rather it was bulbous roots of a tiger bark ficus. I have buried and reduced those roots to create a spectacular nebari. It has come a very long way from the original tree but it has taken many years.   If you look closely to the leaves you will find mineral build up. Welcome the water we drink here in Santa Clara, CA which has a high mineral content. This is carefully removed from leave with leaf bright before a show or by a we soft cloth during the year. The water also causes me to repot these trees more often.

Original view shows all the branches aiming for the sky and the structure closed off.

After wiring the structure is open and more horizontal. Still a long way to go to get this to an idea shap.
Detail top view shows that the branches no move out and make space for light in the canopy.

3 comments on “Late Spring Tropical Styling”

  1. Thank you for sharing. I think the use of shots from above is very useful to check on depth of the tree as well as light penetration. Great to see it being used here.

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