I had the great pleasure of spending a few days with Hank Miller. He is a bonsai grower, artist and bonsai teacher. Hank grows mainly species in his greenhouse but he loves working with Ficus natalensis and Ficus burtt-davyi. These clones of Ficus were selected by him for strong growth, small leaf size and responding really well to bonsai culture.
First, Hank took this fused Ficus natalensis and shortened it back. He felt this was necessary since the middle of the tree had a long straight segment with little or no branching. By shortening the tree he improved its overall flow and design. It will take a year or two for the new apex to mature but it will then be a really wonderful bonsai tree. Hank will root the removed top as another tree!
Tree two is another of Hank’s fused Ficus natalensis that is a completed bonsai and requires mainly maintenance work. I think you will agree that it is a lovely and naturalistic deciduous tree design.
To see more of Hank’s work visit his website. He has a number of trees for sale as well as lovely wood bonsai stands. See www.tandamiti.com