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Thread: tigerbark noob question

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    Administrator SlimGenre has disabled reputation SlimGenre's Avatar
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    tigerbark noob question

    So, is a "tiger bark" ficus a microcarpa or a retusa?? I've gotten both answers searching online? Not that it makes much difference to me, but I want to make sure I know what I'm talking about.

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    - BonsaiZombie

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    Bonsai Apprentice Howard is on a distinguished road
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    SlimGenre....

    Morning..SlimG

    The Chinese banyan (scientific name is Ficus microcarpa or Ficus nitida)has many varieties . The Ficus microcarpa is sometimes called Chinese Banyans, Cuban Laurels, Ficus Ginseng, Ciz hilli, malayan Banyan, Ficus crassifolia, and many other names.. Some varieties of the Chinese banyan fig are Indian Laurel, Green Island, Green Gem, Green Spire, Green Emerald, Green Mound, Tigerbark retusa, and many others. All these are varieties of Ficus microcarpa show some variation in the bark or leaves from the typical tree.

    The Ficus microcarpa 'Tigerbark Retusa' or Ficus Kingman or Ficus Kin men was only discovered within the last 6o yrs or so in Taiwan. Because of the strip gray or white spots on the darkish trunk the Retusa has gained immense popularity. The first Bonsai tree I acquired was large Chinese Banyan with many aireal roots but only had the typical light grayish trunk. I recently sold it. Age at time of sale was approximately 80 yrs old. I had it 30 yrs. I now have a couple of mame retusa ficus which I find more attractive.

    I hope my rambling didn't confuse you.

    Howard

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    Administrator SlimGenre has disabled reputation SlimGenre's Avatar
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    I think I have a microcarpa... I thought it was a retusa for a while from what I'd read, but retusa's often have the fat base at the trunk, ginsing, so now I think I have a microcarpa... oh well, I love it no matter what it is

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    Bonsai Apprentice Howard is on a distinguished road
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlimGenre View Post
    I think I have a microcarpa... I thought it was a retusa for a while from what I'd read, but retusa's often have the fat base at the trunk, ginsing, so now I think I have a microcarpa... oh well, I love it no matter what it is
    Yes, I love the Ficus retusa for its markings. So a retusa is a variety of microcarpa. If it has the markings like the retusa below it is a retusa, the trunk size isn't the determining factor. The first pic is a microcarpa (drab gray trunk). The microcarpa is quite old and has been bleached even more by the sun. The next 3 pics are of the markings of a retusa. On 3 and 4 you can see me trying to obtain more roots by using moss to encourage root growth. The first retusa will be a ginseng type base , pics 3 and 4 will be a dragon style bonsai.
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    Administrator SlimGenre has disabled reputation SlimGenre's Avatar
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    Definitely the retusa then... thanks I've been working on those aerial roots and there are a few popping out around the trunk. For about two months now it's been in a small table-top greenhouse I built late this summer and lookin' good.

    Thanks again.

    Move at the speed of the tree
    - BonsaiZombie

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    Bonsai Apprentice Howard is on a distinguished road
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    You are welcome. My pleasure. Am considering building a small table top greenhouse also for inside to keep some of my tropicals warm in the winter.
    I have several that go dormant if the temp is under 60 degrees. My wrightia religiosa for example is dormant about five months out of the year here in South Florida.
    Post a pic of your retusa. Love to see it.

    Howard

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