Tag Archives: fusion

Ficus infectoria or is it Ficus virens


Multiple trunks fused together from separate seedlings

Ficus infectoria is an invalid name, according to the botanists, and should technically be called Ficus virens. This material shows a coarser grower than some of my other virens. It seems to be quite happy in container culture with no special needs.

This bonsai is actually 3 or 4 root fused trees that were grown from seed. The seedlings were never separated to their own containers so that over time the root and bases fused to form one tree.


Defoliated once or twice yearly to improve branching, produce smaller leaves and to allow visualization of the branches

As the trees grew they naturally fused to each other so that now this is one root connected tree.


Fusing figs

One way to get larger bonsai material is to fuse smaller figs together. Basically tieing together several figs that are genetically identical can produce larger trunks. Growing a tree in a larger container or in the ground will produce faster trunk growth but is often not suitable for indoor growers.

Fusion is a useful technique for rare or unusual materials and for adding in branches, roots etc. to a fig that needs these parts.

Bind the trees together with anything that will distribute the compression forces over a wider area to lessen scarring and use a binding material that does not stretch. Allow rampant growth of the materials to speed the fusion.

Marks left from the electrical ties can be reduced by allowing a year or two of un-restrained growth after the ties are removed.

For another article on this topic see http://www.bonsaihunk.us/FusedFig.html


Ficus natalensis only one year since the start of fusing


Lower trunk with fusion remaining to be accomplished with more growth

Ficus virens 'Thai' with multiple rooted cuttings pulled together with electrical ties

Ficus virens ‘Thai’ with multiple rooted cuttings pulled together with electrical ties


Close up view of the ties and some marks left from earlier ties that were removed


Ficus natalensis (type two) allowed wild growth to speed the fusion process


Close up of the lower trunk showing nicely fusing trees

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The evolution of a large Ficus microcarpa – Part One

This Ficus microcarpa, Chinese Banyan, was a gift from bonsai friend, bonsai grower and dealer Bonsai Jack of Florida –  http://www.bonsaijack.com

Jack sent me this tree after initially styling it in 2010. In the first few shots you can see how the top of the tree was totally removed and all the China grafted branches were removed leaving the wild form of Ficus microcarpa to sprout back and provide the new branches for the future structure of the tree.



The imported tree showing the small leaf cultivar grafted-in foliage


Trunk detail, with a very large and bulky aerial on the left


Jack removed all the grafts and the native larger leaf foliage has re-sprouted


The tree in my plant room showing robust growth of foliage


An approach graft was done on the right to create the first low right side branch


Overview showing the right sided graft and the apex undergoing fusion grafts to thicken it up


The first set of fusions to bulk up the apex

The apex was so thin and not believable that I brought up two or three additional branches from the trunk and used electrical ties to force fusion and thickening of the apex. This worked very well and by October of 2014 I felt that even more thickening would be needed

The apex fusions did very well and were completely fused but the apex was still too thin to be believable as a good transition of the topped trunk so about 6 rooted cuttings previously taken of this same tree were attached with electrical ties to the apex and their roots inserted into a plastic baggie of soil also attached to the top of the trunk.


Close up view of the second set of fusions to bulk up the apex, 2015


The baggie contains soil to allow the roots of the rooted cuttings to survive and fuse with the apex

In the process of doing this second fusion set to the apex my assistant accidentally bumped the previously grafted right main branch and it was broken off.


Close up of the right sided graft on its own


To replace this another previously rooted cutting was inserted into a hole drilled into the trunk. The root was draped out of the drill hole and into its own pot of soil and covered with sphagnum moss.


Hole being drilled to accept rooted cutting to become right lowest branch


Close up of the rooted cutting in place


Roots mossed and led into a container of soil

The new right sided branch graft soon failed and I made a third attemp to get a right sided branch by doing an approach graft from the thin back branch brought forward and inserted into a fresh groove in the trunk. The graft was secured with staples as you can see below.


This is the 3rd attempt to get a right sided branch – approach graft from the back

Time will tell how this all will turn out. So far I am quite happy with about 2.5 years of work and progress on this huge fig. Bonsai is a never ending process of refinement and change necessitated by how the plant grows.