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Growing a Strangler fig on a trestle

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Nathan Gold Coast starts with ...
Has anyone grown a Strangler fig to strangle a trestle instead of a tree? Any advice for starting? I didn't want to use any non-degradable materials (eg. plastic pot) as I want everything to disintegrate once the roots enabled it to free stand.
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Nathan Gold Coast
Burleigh Heads
29th April 2018 4:39pm
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brad16 says...
Interesting idea. I had never even considered it. I like your Eco-Art concept :)

What scale are you considering? I'm thinking wine barrels. I don't know how long wine barrels last out in the elements, but there are many people who grow plants 'in' them. They'd know how quickly they decompose.

The hoops and hardware would be my next consideration. You could leave them and they could be interesting things embedded within the tree, or it may be possible to replace them. Maybe timber/plywood offcuts or something can be screwed across each stave (board) to hold them together, and the hoops can be cut off. I haven't done that before but they would be under tension, so I'd assume they have some spring in them. Probably a good idea to screw another piece of timber across the hoop, either side of where you cut, to prevent the hoop springing out and causing injury. The pieces of timber could then be unscrewed to release the hoop.

Whatever structure you build, it will need to stand and bare the weight of the fig until the fig can do that by itself, which will be many years.

In the wild, the bark of the host tree would be supplying moisture and nutrients for the growing roots. Their fissured texture would trap and absorb moisture and dust, whilst also being a source of nutrients itself. So whatever you build it out of would need to be somewhat porous I'd assume. You'd probably also have to supplement its nutrient supply by spraying the structure with fertiliser.

Another thought would be to not attempt this in direct sunlight. It would require a good canopy, or very good shade cloth and decent humidity to prevent the roots from drying out until they get established in the ground.

I can imagine it now. Your friends will come to visit, and ask 'So what's with the wine barrel in the yard?'.
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brad16
GOROKAN,2263,NSW
30th April 2018 1:27pm
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Original Post was last edited: 30th April 2018 1:46pm

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