dwarf blue spruce... what can i get away with ?

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dwarf blue spruce... what can i get away with ?

Post  beer city snake on Sat Oct 11, 2014 4:58 pm

i just scored this dwarf blue spruce (globosa) for a song ($30) and because of the price i feel a bit of testicularity in what i would like to do... and so was looking for advice if i can get away with a couple things at this time of year, in (SE wisconsin, USA, zone 5)

i would just like to clean up the interior, remove the obvious branches to let some light into the interior (leaving deadwood behind, natch'), use medicated cut paste and then repot it into a big mica pot with minimal to zero root pruning (probably more root rearranging from the the tall nursery pot to the squatter mica pot) and then mulch it, pot and all, into the garden after a nice superthrive bath... all to be done in the next week or 2... it does appear to be healthy as a horse... reckon that won't stress it too much ?

heres some pics (and thats an american 25 cent piece for scale - but thats not even the fattest view angle of the trunk, just the one i could photograph easily at the time)



















as always, any help would be appreciated !

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Re: dwarf blue spruce... what can i get away with ?

Post  JimLewis on Sun Oct 12, 2014 2:29 pm

I can't advise on what you can do in Wisconsin at this time of year to this species, but I will say, FORGET the Stuporthrive!

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Re: dwarf blue spruce... what can i get away with ?

Post  appalachianOwl on Sun Oct 12, 2014 3:27 pm

Winter is the best to wire and prune a spruce from my understanding. Sap flow is down. I know it gets a bit boring this time of year, but this is a game of patience. Do whatcha want, but I would suggest waiting for winter for your pruning and spring for your repot. Maybe try to remove some of that top soil to see what your root base is looking like for now, and start talking with the tree about how it wants to be. Smile There is potential there for sure, but it would look beter alive than not.

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Re: dwarf blue spruce... what can i get away with ?

Post  beer city snake on Sun Oct 12, 2014 5:58 pm

thanks for the thoughts mr. owl-man

thing is, it really really needs to get out of the nursery pot which is why i want to repot sooner than later, but retaining most, if not all, of its roots and a good deal of its native soil...

my second thing is that it has 2 possible trunks and i already know which one i want to go with, so my thinking is to get rid of the other one so it doesnt block sunlight to, nor take nutrients from, the one i want to keep as the single apex... and from what i read, they do not back bud easily (if at all) on old wood, so it probably wont waste any energy trying to do so...

probably gonna go for the removal after a bit more research...

and sorry jim, but superthrive does work...
i know because i once spilled some in my lap and... affraid What a Face affraid

Razz

sorry - couldnt resist

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Re: dwarf blue spruce... what can i get away with ?

Post  RKatzin on Sun Oct 12, 2014 6:32 pm

Hi Kevin, you see what I mean about all the lumber being about the same size? I would clean up the base and see how much trunk is below ground. It looks like it could be a twin trunk, but if there's too much down there it kind of blows the image for me. I'd like to see if its got the same formation at the base as mine, which seems to be barking up now that it is above ground. Very slowly though. It started with just a few specs and these are spreading.

I would remove a third of each branch that you will be removing as not part of your design. Leave the ones you're going to keep alone. Here in Oregon I get less bleed cutting now, end of summer, beginning of fall, than I do by cutting in end of winter, beginning of spring. I've been working some Alberta Spruce and not getting any bleed at all.

You have to decide the best time for you, but sometime in that time frame. BTW, all those dead twigs inside are a testiment to those who say these don't backbud. Those are all backbuds that starved out for lack of light. Open her up and those will live. They don't grow fast like a normal CBS, these are dwarfs and all dwarfs are slow growers, so be ready for some long days and lonely nights while she fills back in for you. Most dwarfs resent ant kind of prunning and will generally pout for at least a season before beginning forward movement again. Best of luck, Rick

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Re: dwarf blue spruce... what can i get away with ?

Post  beer city snake on Sun Oct 12, 2014 6:47 pm

thanks rick !
solid sounding info as you have experience with these...

i will go ahead and open her up a bit

(after a little tete-a-tete as suggested by the owl man)

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Re: dwarf blue spruce... what can i get away with ?

Post  Precarious on Sun Oct 12, 2014 11:00 pm

Do I hear engines revving in Milwaukee?

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Re: dwarf blue spruce... what can i get away with ?

Post  beer city snake on Mon Oct 13, 2014 12:10 am

Precarious wrote:Do I hear engines revving in Milwaukee?
yep - and those aint harley's Evil or Very Mad

pics in the next day or 2...

even though i was conservative, i bet rick is right and she ends up pouting for a year or so pale

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Re: dwarf blue spruce... what can i get away with ?

Post  giga on Mon Oct 13, 2014 2:54 am

Have to say nice find for the $$. I would wait a month to due some major prunning. I've killed to many spruce wanting to "do" something. You could be fine as ur in a colder area then me. Then i would repot in spring. I find spruce to be more fickle about being worked on.

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Re: dwarf blue spruce... what can i get away with ?

Post  beer city snake on Mon Oct 13, 2014 12:23 pm

hey G... yes i am colder here (Z 5), however:

Embarassed its too late to wait Embarassed

Wink

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Re: dwarf blue spruce... what can i get away with ?

Post  giga on Mon Oct 13, 2014 2:12 pm

are there more you could buy? I just got 2 eastern white pines-one nice one and one test bed. That way I can practice and see what works and what doesn't, and not kill the nicer tree.


Last edited by giga on Mon Oct 13, 2014 7:40 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: dwarf blue spruce... what can i get away with ?

Post  beer city snake on Mon Oct 13, 2014 6:09 pm

good idea G !!!

but there were only 2 and one of our guys is grabbing the 2nd one...

i bet his lives Wink

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Re: dwarf blue spruce... what can i get away with ?

Post  beer city snake on Wed Oct 15, 2014 4:22 pm

in my few years doing this, i have never seen a root bound mass like this...
had to be surgically removed from the plastic nursery pot...
(as you can see, every contour of the nursery pot was firmly embedded into root mass)



without DRASTIC root work there is no way in hell i was able to get into the roots,
so i spent an hour spraying them with water and still very little penetration





ended up just getting into a much wider, but slightly shorter heavy duty nursery pot for the long term

so, like I said, I was conservative in the branch removal  Wink
(but I was lying… so please don’t judge me... and let those without sin cast the first etc etc )











i know i probably went too far, and if so, then so be it...
but now i will just bury it in the garden for the winter and then baby it and not touch it for a year or two so it can regain its vigor...

i hope  Rolling Eyes

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Re: dwarf blue spruce... what can i get away with ?

Post  giga on Wed Oct 15, 2014 4:27 pm

Good luck! make sure stop update to let us know if it survives. I feel though with all those healthy roots you set it back a few years in terms of development with all the work right now, though I could be completly wrong Rolling Eyes

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Re: dwarf blue spruce... what can i get away with ?

Post  Precarious on Wed Oct 15, 2014 5:01 pm

A bold stroke, Kevin! Er...strokes. Well, if you don't test the limits, how do you know they really exist right?

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Re: dwarf blue spruce... what can i get away with ?

Post  beer city snake on Wed Oct 15, 2014 6:11 pm

hey David... thats what i was thinking...
but having said that, i do have strong feelings for the health of my trees, regardless of price,
if i would have paid the original $100+ price tag i would not have been so bold.

G - i dont mind a developmental set back as long as she survives...
and i only sawed off about an inch of the very bottom of the roots,
along with a small bit around the upper edge in an attempt to loosen them up, but to no avail.

i do have a definitive design idea in mind based on a tree that may have been ravaged by nature at one time,
but has since overcome and outgrew that adversity which would be most evident in the upper portion of the tree...

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Re: dwarf blue spruce... what can i get away with ?

Post  Leo Schordje on Fri Oct 17, 2014 8:13 pm

good thing blue spruce is not an endangered species lol!

For a relative newbie, your horticulture techniques are better than many I've met. You might just get lucky. Or you might learn that the old farts like me, preaching "go slow" really did know what they were talking about.

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Re: dwarf blue spruce... what can i get away with ?

Post  giga on Fri Oct 17, 2014 11:58 pm

Who me?

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Re: dwarf blue spruce... what can i get away with ?

Post  beer city snake on Sat Oct 18, 2014 3:43 am

hey G... although it flies in the face of logic, i believe he meant me Embarassed

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Re: dwarf blue spruce... what can i get away with ?

Post  giga on Sat Oct 18, 2014 3:45 am

Lol I just got threw for a loop, u have the same avatar. Never mind forget I said anythign Razz

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Re: dwarf blue spruce... what can i get away with ?

Post  beer city snake on Sat Oct 18, 2014 5:52 pm

yes - we have this little sub club called the Arbor Arts Collective and that is our logo...
we have a chapter in milwaukee wi, one in louisiana and one in south africa (andre on this forum)

many of our members dont post here but they should


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Re: dwarf blue spruce... what can i get away with ?

Post  Forbes on Fri Oct 24, 2014 7:55 pm

Can I ask some newbie questions?

1. I thought in your earlier posts, you said the blue spruce doesn't backbud well, if at all? Is that just on the trunk, or will the same be true of the branches?
2. This feeds of of question 1. If the tree DOESN'T back bud well, why leave branches as long as you did, instead of cutting them close to the trunk?

I'm sure these are stupid questions to a lot of you, but I didn't know. The plants I've been learning on all push out buds lower and vigorously when a chope or hard prunning is done. In time, will these smaller branches you left push out new buds, or will they be trimmed back even more?

Just curious... and Beer City Snake, thank you for all the information thus far. I do appreciate it very much.

Jason

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Re: dwarf blue spruce... what can i get away with ?

Post  beer city snake on Fri Oct 24, 2014 8:14 pm

in answer to your questions:

i dunno... beats me. Wink

i think your answers are to be found in earlier posts to this thread from those with more knowledge than i,.,.,.

and when i said i got alot of good info from folks,
it does not necessarily mean that i am smart enough to always listen.

seriously though, i had to stop pruning at some point, so i left it at branch removal for now
and didnt shorten anything yet... but the removal will allow light into the interior which will encourage back budding

and yes, many species back bud very very very easily, but these spruce are not one of them

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Re: dwarf blue spruce... what can i get away with ?

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