Can you help identify this tree?

Discussion in 'New to Bonsai' started by Mainely Jazz, Jul 17, 2017.

  1. Mainely Jazz

    Mainely Jazz Seedling

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Portland, Maine
    A friend gave me these trees about five years ago. Each was in a small plastic pot. I transferred them to this bonsai pot about three years ago, and the trees have been doing well ... I think. The problem is, I don't know what they are.

    The leaves are about an inch long, a little stiff, and sticky. The roots grow from a disk-like pod or seed that's around an inch in diameter. It's not a terribly full tree, but I don't know if that's the species or the care. (It stays inside near a north-facing window, gets watered twice/week and fertilized once/month.) I'm also not sure how to cut it or train it, since I'm not sure what it is. (Ignore the small white flowers at the base. They're just decorative.)

    Can anyone help?

    Thanks.
     

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  3. Stan Kengai

    Stan Kengai Chumono

    Messages:
    821
    Location:
    North Georgia
    It's either poison sumac or ficus benjamina.
     
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  4. Bonsai Nut

    Bonsai Nut Administrator

    Messages:
    5,540
    Location:
    OC, CA
    I think it's either poison oak or ficus benjamina :)
     
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  5. moke

    moke Yamadori

    Messages:
    51
    Location:
    Utah
    I am pretty sure it is Solanaceae, but it does have Ficus Benjamina traits. I belive you may have a hybrid Solanaceae Benjamina ;)
     
  6. Starfox

    Starfox Omono

    Messages:
    1,280
    Location:
    Costa Blanca, Spain, zone 10b
    A Ficus should bleed white sap if you pluck a leaf, that said if the other species bleeds white sap too then it is not much of a test. :p
     
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  7. Mainely Jazz

    Mainely Jazz Seedling

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Portland, Maine
    Were it poison sumac, I'm pretty sure I'd know by now, so, although funny, I'm going to cross that one off the list of possibilities. From what I can see online, it does look more like a Ficus Benjamina than a Solanaceae Benjamina. So I'm going to go with that (until I break out in itchy hives.)

    That said, would a Ficus Benjamina have those large pod-like seeds below the trees?

    Thank you!
     
  8. MichaelS

    MichaelS Omono

    Messages:
    1,059
    Location:
    Australia
    Ficus benjamina cv ''Shorty''
    Difficult to keep going for long periods unless in a tropical climate.
     
  9. Bonsai Nut

    Bonsai Nut Administrator

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Ok, no more joking around :)

    No, ficus benjamina will not have large pod-like seeds. Ficus is Latin for "fig", so what you have is a group of tropical fig trees. They don't always fruit (I have some that have gone years without fruiting) but when they do fruit, the figs are small and round and about the size of a large pea. They remind me more of berries than figs.

    Ficus benjamina fruit.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017
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  10. Mainely Jazz

    Mainely Jazz Seedling

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Portland, Maine
    The large nut/pod-like thing is in the roots, not on the branches. From the photos I've seen, it does appear to be a ficus benjamina. I'd have to dig it up to get a photo of the roots.

    As for the tropical weather, that shouldn't be a problem at all, seeing as how I live in the tropics of Maine.

    Thanks, everyone, for your help.
     
  11. Paradox

    Paradox Masterpiece

    Messages:
    4,373
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Welcome to BNut @Mainely Jazz

    We would ask that you please update your profile with the state you are located in so that when you ask questions, we are better able to give you appropriate advice.

    Thanks
     
  12. sorce

    sorce Nonsense Rascal

    Messages:
    16,041
    Location:
    Berwyn, Il
    Welcome to Crazy!

    Kinda wanna see the nut!

    Sorce
     
  13. Bonsai Nut

    Bonsai Nut Administrator

    Messages:
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    Location:
    OC, CA
    From the photos, I was unable to see what you are referring to. I can only see some decorative rocks. I am now curious :)
     
  14. Mainely Jazz

    Mainely Jazz Seedling

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Portland, Maine
    Okay, these look a little different than I remember from two years ago. They're just fat roots ... or something. They're all bent because they are growing into the bottom of the pot. Ficus Benjamina?

    I'm getting ready to repot them so the largest tree is closer to one end, with the other two near it. Essentially, they'll all be on one half of the pot.

    I'm open to any ideas on pruning and repotting.

    Thanks, all.
     

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