by Jerry Meislik
This Willow Leaf Fig, Ficus salicaria, was originally in the collection of my bonsai buddy Dustin Mann of Michigan. I acquired the tree in 1997 or a year or two earlier. Dustin's front is in the first shot of the tree taken in 1998.
After a year or two I decided to change the front to the other side. My decision was based on how the rootage displayed and formed the base of the tree. The root flare seemed more attractive on the other side.
For its first few years I needed to add bulk to the branches as they were all fairly small. Also the apex was allowed to elongate and to ramify.
After some branch thickness was developed it became apparent that the tree was now too long and the trunk line did not follow the taper suggested in the lower trunk.
The whole top of the tree was then removed and a small branch was brought up as the new apex.
The last several years were used to fill out the new apex so that it would be in scale with the rest of the trunk.
The lowest branches were growing up a bit so they were moved down, a new pot was selected that was a bit less in volume.
The tree as it appears now, shown below. The future is to developt more secondary and tertiary branching.