6 years into development and I finally see at least to me satisfactory results 🙂
The ramification increased substantially especially due to 2 particular measures:
- Earlier I would lose 50% of fine twigs, they somehow would dry. Even f. microcarpa shouldn’t be sensitive to it mine, under indoor LED lights, is. Not sure if that is the reason though. A hint from Antony Smith was to leave the most terminal leaves (which I even cut to half) in order to keep the sap flow towards the end of the branch. As the result, I lost at most a couple of fine twigs compared to 20-30 each time.
- Eisei-ei broadleaf video instructs to cut until the last 3 leaves instead of 2.
These 2 changes in my practice made a huge difference on the tree. If I have just known it earlier 🙁
Symmetry. Got several comments that the tree is too symmetric. True, that it is. When I look at some ficus old tree photos they really do look symmetric. That alone does not say every tree nor a ficus bonsai should be symmetric. Several reasons I have though:
- Pot: Tree is in the center. Practical reason. I have very thick roots on both sides which I am not willing to butcher too much yet. Also, I am trying to grow more aerial roots on each side and letting them have same space to reach the “free” ground.
- Trunk: Well, hardly anything can be done there. I inserted several stones asymmetrically to soften the “problem”. The tall stone which kind of forms the apex is in the total center. I tried to shift it slightly but the shape of the trees back is such that it just fits there.
- Branches: Yes, this is something which will change. At the moment I am still struggling with branch positions and tertiary ones are not willing to listen to me. Additionally they are too soft to force them anywhere. So, plan is to let them first harden a bit and then let new buds grow upwards when shaping of the branches bottom will start so I can then make asymmetry for an example by slightly shifting right branches bottom upwards and letting the left ones drop still more so the tree flows to the left.
- Apex: Well, it kinds of follows the center stone. Not yet decided. It should look into left if the point above will make true and branches drop on the left.
Honestly, I am not too bothered by symmetry though.
Anyway, the photos below are of different angles, display experiments and backgrounds.
The black one is definitely my favorite and the idea with the Buddha “meditating under the tree” (yeah, well it was ficus religiosa but who cares for this particular purpose) for 7 weeks (7 step stones between Buddha and the tree, 7 falling leaves on the scroll behind) on which place a shrine was constructed (also slightly visible on the scroll) succeeded in my opinion.