Saturday, June 1, 2013

Ficus sycomorus

English common name: Common Cluster Fig
This is a large evergreen tree (10 – 25m in South Africa, but grow up to 45m in tropical Africa), with
a spreading crown and a yellowish trunk that is usually buttressed. It is the largest indigenous fig in South Africa and is associated with a high watertable, occurring along rivers and on seasonal floodplains throughout the subtropical and tropical regions of Africa.

Some examples of the tree:

The figs are large (25-50mm in diameter), yellow to red when ripe and borne in large, branched bunches on the main trunk and older branches.

The Ficus species of South Africa is grouped as rock-splitters, stranglers and trees and although the
Ficus Sycomorus is grouped under trees and there-fore not as popular as the other two groups for training as bonsai it still produces a fine bonsaitree. The roots are not as strong as the stranglers and rock-splitters but it can be used as root over rock.
 Here is a very nice example of a root over rock by Charles Ceronio:

 The trunk is strong with a greenish color especially when young. With care an excellent taper can be achieved.
 An example of a dug tree with massive taper:

The leaves are large on natural trees but they do reduce in size with the correct training over time, it is more suitable for larger trees.

The Sycomorus likes to be well watered especially in warm summer weather but more sparsely in winter. It is not frost hardy and should be protected in winter in areas receiving frost. It is suited for more informal styles such as informal upright and also root over rock. This tree should be kept outside in full sun to semi shade.
Repotting should take place every one to two years for young trees, and every three to four years for mature specimens. Medium to deep containers are preferred.

Normal fertilizer should be applied at a regular interval.

Heavy pruning should be done during the warm season when healing will be at its best.

Propagation is easily done by cuttings and truncheons.