There are many ways to shape raw material into a bonsai. In this case the bonsai was created from a Ficus rubiginosa cutting. At first it was allowed to grow long and healthy in a large container. It was then chopped down to a short segment and it was allowed to grow for several years. Next stage is to select branches and apex.
In the last stages it was moved to a smaller container to develop secondary branches and reduce leaf size. This process has taken 7 years but can be accomplished in a shorter time if grown outdoors in a tropical or sub-tropical area and kept in a large container or the ground until the refinement stage of development.
Even raw materials can be transformed into nice bonsai with this sequence of development.
Large healthy cutting of Ficus rubiginosa has been grown with no trimming to develop trunk size
The plant was chopped back(reduction cut) and allowed to sprout out.
All new growth is allowed to grow to regain vigor. Tree is kept in a large development pot and not a small bonsai container during this phase.
Seven years after starting the cutting was beginning its transition to a bonsai. Further development will involve more secondary branches and leaf size control. Pot is about 8′ long.
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2011, at the start not looking too promising
This is a pretty typical plant. Ficus rubiginosa, that one can purchase in a nursery. It has had little or no training and seems unlikely to develop into a bonsai tree.
First step a chop to reduce the height
More growth, some trimming to shape, and wiring
2016, partially defoliated to encourage more twigging
At last one begin to see the potential bonsai emerging from its rather humble beginnings.