Picea Glauca - Ideas

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Picea Glauca - Ideas

Post  spuker1 on Wed Sep 24, 2014 11:15 am

Hi,

I've got an Alberta Spruce I want to bonsai. So far so good, I took a lot of foliage/branching out and it's still alive and happy. I have to make it seriously bare though to make it look cool and I'm not exactly sure which way to go, I want it to have a lot of Jin stuff going on.

Have a look at what I was thinking and let me know what you recon:



Thanks,

Tom

PS. Yes I know it's a bad Bonsai material, but I want to make the best possible out of it. I just like it Very Happy

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Re: Picea Glauca - Ideas

Post  Guest on Wed Sep 24, 2014 11:39 am

Hi Tom!

I'll go for the "now" image with the foliage pads a bit compressed and closer to the trunk. Extending it outwards will create a younger looking tree (IMHO)

If you got more of this type, It will be a good forest style bonsai.

regards,
jun Smile

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Re: Picea Glauca - Ideas

Post  Guest on Wed Sep 24, 2014 11:44 am

Something like this maybe...



(tree by Wally Kunimuto)

regards,
jun Smile

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Re: Picea Glauca - Ideas

Post  spuker1 on Wed Sep 24, 2014 11:50 am

jun wrote:Something like this maybe...



(tree by Wally Kunimuto)

regards,
jun Smile

This is really nice! Although I'm not sure if I'll manage to get my Spruce to look like that. Firstly I've got a lot of bar branches, pretty much all of them are and to correct that I'd be left with a very bare tree. Second of all the infamous Alberta Spruce doesn't really back bud so I don't think I can get branches so compact and dense with foliage. Hence why I was hoping to get that battered, a bit dry, probably lighting struck look for it...

I could try to tie the branches down parallel to the trunk (to compensate for the tree's urge to grow upowards no matter what) and see what happens though...

The one on the photo is sooo nice though!!! Maybe I could do something like that but a little bit more bare...

What do you think?

Thanks,

Tom

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Re: Picea Glauca - Ideas

Post  Guest on Wed Sep 24, 2014 12:01 pm

Sure You can do it, your tree got all the branches you need.

Bar branches can be visually hidden along the trunk line by placing foliage pads on that spot.
A for the foliage pads, it can be moved closer to the trunk by bending with wires- "fore shortening" branches. Another way to deal with it is by pulling down the branches nearer to the trunk... I bet it will look much older than the sample photo I posted.

regards,
jun Smile

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Re: Picea Glauca - Ideas

Post  Guest on Wed Sep 24, 2014 12:04 pm

Pulling down the branches like this


(tree by Walter Pall)

regards,
jun Smile

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Re: Picea Glauca - Ideas

Post  spuker1 on Wed Sep 24, 2014 2:49 pm

jun wrote:Pulling down the branches like this


(tree by Walter Pall)

regards,
jun Smile


This is AMAZING!

I'm not sure if I know how to mask the bar branches. I get what you're saying but I'd probably need to see/read about it first... Regarding pulling branches down, I did that once when I first trimmed the tree but this tree is very stubborn, the branches are really flexible and they will grow right back up as soon as they can. As you can see even those brances that I've brought down with guy-wires bent themselves upwards anyway. Picea Glauca isn't as traineable as Junipers Very Happy

I'll do my best though, thanks buddy Smile

Although I think I still should go with something like option C on the picture I've originally posted...

Thanks! Smile

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Re: Picea Glauca - Ideas

Post  Guest on Wed Sep 24, 2014 3:16 pm

You are welcome Buddy!

Just remember. It is your tree, you do what you think will make you happy.

But, be sure you are decided on the design before you proceed. It is very easy to cut branches but it will need a miracle to glue them back.. Very Happy 

regards,
jun Smile

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Re: Picea Glauca - Ideas

Post  spuker1 on Wed Sep 24, 2014 6:21 pm

jun wrote:You are welcome Buddy!

Just remember. It is your tree, you do what you think will make you happy.

But, be sure you are decided on the design before you proceed. It is very easy to cut branches but it will need a miracle to glue them back.. Very Happy 

regards,
jun Smile

I am aware of that haha Very Happy That's why I'm asking in first place. All I want really at this point is making sure that whatever I decide to do, the chances of killing the tree are down to absolute minimum...

Thanks.

Tom

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Re: Picea Glauca - Ideas

Post  Pcagliari on Thu Sep 25, 2014 2:14 pm

hello Tom,

Nice tree, good brenches, in my opinion the option "now" is the way that your tree should follow... Sorry my bad english, i think its more natural and have good balance, take advantage of the formal upright trunk, compact the branches, give them the same "down" angle, and try to make the branches more thin when you are looking the tree front, greating well defined "negative" areas...

Congratulations for its progression, you are doing very good !!!

regards,

Pedro.

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Re: Picea Glauca - Ideas

Post  JimLewis on Thu Sep 25, 2014 8:40 pm

I see no image of your tree on your first post. I see the images Jun posted, but not yours.

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Re: Picea Glauca - Ideas

Post  bottasegreta on Thu Sep 25, 2014 9:13 pm

If you wanted to push the foliage back closer to the trunk but you didn't think you could prompt the species to back bud, you could always try grafting. Do you know if Picea grafts easily or at all? You said it yourself, the tree doesn't have much potential. You could use this opportunity to try to learn a new technique, and if the grafts fail, or, worst case scenario the lower branches die, you can use the "C" direction as a backup, and by that time the tree will be that much more established.

I just mention it because I've got more than a few trees on my bench now that rhyme with your "C" design because at the time I thought "Well, the lower branches are too leggy, I'll never be able to compact them, better cut them off and do a literati-like design, something stressed, lightning strike, etc..." and now I wish I'd been more ambitious. Cutting off the lower branches, jinning the top and wiring the remaining foliage into an isosceles triangle is simple, easy, and plenty rewarding, and you can apply the techniques to a lot of easily accessible material, but you won't expand your skill set, and that option is always available to fall back on. What do you think?

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Re: Picea Glauca - Ideas

Post  spuker1 on Fri Sep 26, 2014 9:38 am

Pcagliari wrote:hello Tom,

Nice tree, good brenches, in my opinion the option "now" is the way that your tree should follow... Sorry my bad english, i think its more natural and have good balance, take advantage of the formal upright trunk, compact the branches, give them the same "down" angle, and try to make the branches more thin when you are looking the tree front, greating well defined "negative" areas...

Congratulations for its progression, you are doing very good !!!

regards,

Pedro.

Thank you!

I think this is the way forward really... To re-wire all the branches again and make them go seriously downwards and leave them until they start cutting into the bark again and then after couple of months in the middle of the winter, If I still want it maybe I could do a bigger branch chop...

JimLewis wrote:I see no image of your tree on your first post. I see the images Jun posted, but not yours.

ermm....

FIRST PICTURE

How about now? (Click on the link)

bottasegreta wrote:If you wanted to push the foliage back closer to the trunk but you didn't think you could prompt the species to back bud, you could always try grafting. Do you know if Picea grafts easily or at all? You said it yourself, the tree doesn't have much potential. You could use this opportunity to try to learn a new technique, and if the grafts fail, or, worst case scenario the lower branches die, you can use the "C" direction as a backup, and by that time the tree will be that much more established.

I just mention it because I've got more than a few trees on my bench now that rhyme with your "C" design because at the time I thought "Well, the lower branches are too leggy, I'll never be able to compact them, better cut them off and do a literati-like design, something stressed, lightning strike, etc..." and now I wish I'd been more ambitious. Cutting off the lower branches, jinning the top and wiring the remaining foliage into an isosceles triangle is simple, easy, and plenty rewarding, and you can apply the techniques to a lot of easily accessible material, but you won't expand your skill set, and that option is always available to fall back on. What do you think?


I think I'm going to make this one into an option C)... Probably tie everything down first and make some jins already and later on this winter if I'm still not too happy with it I'll take off couple of branches more.

Although I really like the idea with grafting branches. I haven't got a clue about this tree's grafting capabilities but I really like the infamous Alberta Spruce and I think, considering the low cost of material, I could experiment with this species a bit more. Maybe I could get another one and start graft branches together so I get more foliage towards the center. This species when you buy it it has got A LOT of branching that you'd just cut off straight away. They come as cone-shaped christmas tree like trees...

This is how it looked like when I've bought it:

PICTURE 1


And this is how it looked like when I've chopped it for the first time and did some wiring:

PICTURE 2

I definitely have got much more luck with this Spruce then with Pines. I really want to train a shohin pine and I've bought tree different ones and I've killed two out of three in 2 months. Third one lives because I haven't done anything to it yet except watering and putting nutes in it's pot...


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Re: Picea Glauca - Ideas

Post  JimLewis on Fri Sep 26, 2014 12:54 pm

ermm....

FIRST PICTURE

How about now? (Click on the link)

At least I see the link this time, but the link doesn't work for me.

_________________
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Re: Picea Glauca - Ideas

Post  Leo Schordje on Sat Sep 27, 2014 6:56 pm

Glad you are diving in to Bonsai, Its a great hobby. You have gotten some excellent advice. About bar branches, don't worry about them now. The tree is young, you will be able to fix them with time. The obvious solution is where you have a bar branch, cut one off. But don't do it this year. First you need to keep this tree growing vigorously, cut too much off and it will stop growing. Experiment with the bar branches, one side of each bar reduce one of the two back to just a tufft of foliage as near to the trunk as possible. Wire and bend dow to match the rythum of the rest of the tree. See how well it does back bud. Young Sruces can back bud a little, see what you get. But remember, if you cut all the foliage off a branch it will certainly die.If these shortend branchs become shapely enough, they could become your final branches. If they don't compact, later you can turn them into dead wood features.Do your pruning late winter, early spring when the tree shows signs of waking up. Most important is plenty of sun and keep it growing. Take your time, think of styling as a 5 year plan rather than a one day event.

About failure with pines. My guess you are trying to do too much too soon on your pines. Even when I get nursery material pines I do nothing for one or two years before doing anything more than cleaning out dead needles. My focus is to get a big, vigorous flush of growth with many new candles in spring. The year after I see this is when I will begin styling a pine.Too much too often and even the most vigorous pine will die on you.

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Re: Picea Glauca - Ideas

Post  ironhorse on Sat Sep 27, 2014 8:19 pm

Get a couple more to play with after Christmas, my two cost me £3 and £5 as unsold small Christmas trees

Dave

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Re: Picea Glauca - Ideas

Post  spuker1 on Mon Sep 29, 2014 3:34 pm

Thanks for all the good ideas!!!

I'd definitely love to get couple of these and do a group planting. But for now I'm going to probably just re-wire this tree so all the branches are going seriously downwards... I think I'm going to wire tips of the branches to the trunk then leave it for as long as it takes to get them stay there... It should improve the tree a lot even though it has got a lot of bar branching, with lumps on the trunk etc... Maybe I'll manage to mask it. I have an really big and old conifer tree just outside my window and it's branches are alos mostly bar branches but they all sort of bend dramatically down and go almost parallel to the trunk downwards just to bend up again around the tips... That includes a lot of dead branches too, which make it look seriously majestic. I think I'm going to see where this looks takes me. Also I might get another one of these and make similar one but instead cutting out A LOT of branches (like I did with the current one already) I'd probably try to train them to go downwards and then make them into deadwood like on the tree out my window.

Well at least I've got half of a plan for it.

Please feel free to chip in though!

I think I might actually get the wiring done tonight as it was couple of good months when I last chopped branches off and since then the tree was just watered and fed and left alone. It looks really healthy now... It's probably not a big amount of shock for it anyway since the branches on those are really really really bendy.

Also here are some more pictures I've taken today:








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Re: Picea Glauca - Ideas

Post  Oliver Muscio on Mon Sep 29, 2014 4:30 pm

JimLewis wrote:
ermm....

FIRST PICTURE

How about now? (Click on the link)

At least I see the link this time, but the link doesn't work for me.  

Hmm, Jim, I wonder what the problem is. I had no problem seeing the photos in the first post, and the links in this later post work fine for me. Could it be your browser? I remember a discussion about this some time ago when I was having problems. I switched from I.E. to Chrome and my problems went away. I think at the time you were using something other than either of those two?
Just a possibility...
Oliver

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