Ficus carica....Bonsai Training
Creating a "bonsai-style" edible fig tree has its charm, and probably many difficulties, the least of which, is reducing leaf size. I have never tried the edible fig as a bonsai subject, and I was wondering if any growers have trained a fig in this way?
I have a no-name fig growing in my front hard, with a very crooked trunk, and I think that I would like to try to train this tree into a respectable, large-scale "bonsai". I will leave it planted in-ground while using training techniques over the next years. Refinement will come later once the basic tree is formed.
I am not too worried about the top end of the tree because with pruning, new buds will pop out and I could regrow the branching system. It's the rootage that needs work.
I want to form a wide, flaring root base, called "nebari" which will give the illusion of a well anchored, buttressed root system. Standard bonsai techniques call for cutting the downward-growing tap-root, and selecting some horizontally-growing roots to thicken and age. These roots will grow near the surface of the soil, half-exposed, so the roots will form bark, and blend with the trunk-base. I read the root-trimming posts and looked at all the interesting photos posted by Al Tapla. Anything else I need to know.
Any tips on leaf reduction techniques other than pinching out overly large leaves? My guess is that under the best conditions, these figs will always have a very coarse, unrefined look because of the large, stiff, leaves. Will edible fruit form under bonsai training?
Any pointers/hints/caveats would help me.