COLORADO BLUE SPRUCE - SMALL NEEDLES VARIETY

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COLORADO BLUE SPRUCE - SMALL NEEDLES VARIETY

Post  immAGinoso on Sun Aug 28, 2016 12:09 pm

I  go to the nursery and find Colorado Blue Spruce with huge needles like in the pic below:


Is there a particular variety that has small needles and good for bonsai
Some pics attached as example below.
Thanks in advance!




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Re: COLORADO BLUE SPRUCE - SMALL NEEDLES VARIETY

Post  Marty Weiser on Sun Aug 28, 2016 3:19 pm

Could the bonsai you posted actually be blue atlas cedar - Cedrus atlantica 'glauca'. It is much better suited for bonsai that blue spruce - Picea pungens 'glauca' in my opinion. I have both as landscape trees and several cedars in training as bonsai.

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Re: COLORADO BLUE SPRUCE - SMALL NEEDLES VARIETY

Post  AlainK on Sun Aug 28, 2016 7:05 pm

Marty Weiser wrote:Could the bonsai you posted actually be blue atlas cedar - Cedrus atlantica 'glauca?...
(...)

I don't think so, to me it does look like a well-tended Picea pungens 'glauca', but yes, it's a very difficult tree to grow as bonsai.

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Re: COLORADO BLUE SPRUCE - SMALL NEEDLES VARIETY

Post  augustine on Mon Aug 29, 2016 4:18 pm

Here's some small needle spruce with which I am familiar, You may be able to find them online.

Picea Mariana Nana - black spruce, very hardy and should do well in your area. Tiny needles.

Picea Glauca densata - Black Hills Spruce.

Picea Abies 'Little Gem'

Personally I like spruce but they are not the easiest species to train for bonsai.

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Re: COLORADO BLUE SPRUCE - SMALL NEEDLES VARIETY

Post  M. Frary on Thu Sep 01, 2016 9:01 pm

Marty Weiser wrote:Could the bonsai you posted actually be blue atlas cedar - Cedrus atlantica 'glauca'. It is much better suited for bonsai that blue spruce - Picea pungens 'glauca' in my opinion. I have both as landscape trees and several cedars in training as bonsai.
Yes. I believe so.

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Re: COLORADO BLUE SPRUCE - SMALL NEEDLES VARIETY

Post  Leo Schordje on Fri Sep 09, 2016 7:05 am

Shop the rock garden conifer collector websites. There are a few blue spruce dwarfs that have shorter needles. They will be grafted.

I've shopped a few conifer collector type nurseries. Kigi is one I have dealt with, their service is good, they have lots of one and two year grafted plants available via mail order website. Just browsing their web page I found at http://www.kiginursery.com/picea-pungens-colorado-spruces/

Cultivars listed as shorter needles are
Picea pungens
'Bonny Blue' - short thin blue needles, will grow to a full size tree in time. Not a genetic dwarf or witches' broom.
'Monkey Puzzle' - short needles but weird irregular growth habit that might not work for bonsai.
'Montgomery Dwarf' - needles only slightly shorter than normal form, maybe 25% shorter - I have one.
'Roundabout' - dwarf WB - color is more green than blue, needles are short.
'Scottie' - nice blue and fairly short needles. Grows less than 2 inches per year.

Picea englemannii 'Bushes Blue Lace' - needles half the size of pungens, and a nice bright light blue. (I have one in my collection - young pre-bonsai)

Cultivars that may be dwarf trees but have BIG needles.
'Blue Pearl' 'Fat Albert', 'The Blues' - these are all nice but have big needles.

I have 'Montgomery' at home, its needles are about 2/3rds the size of normal with good blue color. Many of the dwarfs will have slightly shorter needles, and it might not be commented on in the descriptions. As ramification increases, usually needle size becomes smaller. Young blue spruces will have longer needles. However, needle length is not a BIG problem with blue spruce.

As with all bonsai, The most important part of the tree is the TRUNK, through to primary branches, NEBARI & BARK. Leaves are often an after thought. Look at all the Ponderosa bonsai out there. Great trunks & aged bark trumps needle size every time.

From all these nurseries, named Picea pungens cultivars will be grafted. I know from experience Kigi and Stanley & Sons put their grafts about 2 to 4 inches above the pot. This is not normally good for bonsai. At Dragonfly Farms, David Dewire is the main person doing the grafting. He is a bonsai artist of some note. All his grafts tend to be pretty low. They currently don't have any Picea pungens in stock but they do have a couple blue needle cultivars of Picea glauca and Picea omorika. Both naturally have shorter needs than blue spruce. Dragonfly also has Picea glehnii in stock which is the sakhalin spruce the Japanese use for bonsai. If you are looking for younger material, Dragonfly farms will have grafted trees with grafts as low and as expertly done as Brent Walston at Evergreen Gardenworks. Check out Dragonfly https://dragonflyfarmsnursery.com/plants-for-sale

Dragonfly has a good selection of pines mainly with bonsai in mind. Both JWP and JBP.

Another thought, find & collect or purchase a 100+ year old Colorado spruce with a great trunk and great nebari. Then graft on a blue needle cultivar with short needles. You only have to grow out the branches then. Grafting is not that difficult. I average about 25 to 50% success rate. Pick up one of the nice blue short needle cultivars with the high graft. Grow it out a couple years, and then use it as a scion donor. From old urban landscape collection or collected wild yamadori material you can get your tree with gnarly fat trunk, then graft on scions of one of the blue varieties for the branches. This project will take time of course. A decade or more from acquiring the scion source and understock. But if you enjoy the process, the time won't matter.



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Re: COLORADO BLUE SPRUCE - SMALL NEEDLES VARIETY

Post  M. Frary on Sun Sep 11, 2016 2:52 pm

Leo Schordje wrote:Shop the rock garden conifer collector websites. There are a few blue spruce dwarfs that have shorter needles. They will be grafted.

I've shopped a few conifer collector type nurseries. Kigi is one I have dealt with, their service is good, they have lots of one and two year grafted plants available via mail order website. Just browsing their web page I found at http://www.kiginursery.com/picea-pungens-colorado-spruces/

Cultivars listed as shorter needles are
Picea pungens
'Bonny Blue' - short thin blue needles, will grow to a full size tree in time. Not a genetic dwarf or witches' broom.
'Monkey Puzzle' - short needles but weird irregular growth habit that might not work for bonsai.
'Montgomery Dwarf' - needles only slightly shorter than normal form, maybe 25% shorter - I have one.
'Roundabout' - dwarf WB - color is more green than blue, needles are short.
'Scottie' - nice blue and fairly short needles. Grows less than 2 inches per year.

Picea englemannii 'Bushes Blue Lace' - needles half the size of pungens, and a nice bright light blue. (I have one in my collection - young pre-bonsai)

Cultivars that may be dwarf trees but have BIG needles.
'Blue Pearl' 'Fat Albert', 'The Blues' - these are all nice but have big needles.

I have 'Montgomery' at home, its needles are about 2/3rds the size of normal with good blue color. Many of the dwarfs will have slightly shorter needles, and it might not be commented on in the descriptions. As ramification increases, usually needle size becomes smaller. Young blue spruces will have longer needles. However, needle length is not a BIG problem with blue spruce.

As with all bonsai, The most important part of the tree is the TRUNK, through to primary branches, NEBARI & BARK. Leaves are often an after thought. Look at all the Ponderosa bonsai out there. Great trunks & aged bark trumps needle size every time.

From all these nurseries, named Picea pungens cultivars will be grafted. I know from experience Kigi and Stanley & Sons put their grafts about 2 to 4 inches above the pot. This is not normally good for bonsai. At Dragonfly Farms, David Dewire is the main person doing the grafting. He is a bonsai artist of some note. All his grafts tend to be pretty low. They currently don't have any Picea pungens in stock but they do have a couple blue needle cultivars of Picea glauca and Picea omorika. Both naturally have shorter needs than blue spruce. Dragonfly also has Picea glehnii in stock which is the sakhalin spruce the Japanese use for bonsai. If you are looking for younger material, Dragonfly farms will have grafted trees with grafts as low and as expertly done as Brent Walston at Evergreen Gardenworks. Check out Dragonfly https://dragonflyfarmsnursery.com/plants-for-sale

Dragonfly has a good selection of pines mainly with bonsai in mind. Both JWP and JBP.

Another thought, find & collect or purchase a 100+ year old Colorado spruce with a great trunk and great nebari. Then graft on a blue needle cultivar with short needles. You only have to grow out the branches then. Grafting is not that difficult. I average about 25 to 50% success rate. Pick up one of the nice blue short needle cultivars with the high graft. Grow it out a couple years, and then use it as a scion donor. From old urban landscape  collection or collected wild yamadori material you can get your  tree with gnarly fat trunk, then graft on  scions of one of the blue varieties for the branches. This project will take time of course. A decade or more from acquiring the scion source and understock. But if you enjoy the process, the time won't matter.


Or forget about blue spruce and look into white spruce. Still a blue color and it's consistent unlike blue spruce with shorter needles naturally. Takes transplanting better and is less susceptible to disease and insects.
You do know blue spruce don't always stay blue. They change colors from deep green to silver.

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Re: COLORADO BLUE SPRUCE - SMALL NEEDLES VARIETY

Post  immAGinoso on Tue Oct 11, 2016 9:54 am

Thanks for all the recommendation guys!
The blue bonsai tree look is very appealing to me..
Now that we are talking about Blue Atlas Cedars, I was fortunate to have chatted with Jim Gremmel and he recommended the variety called Sapphire Nymph for Blue Atlas Cedar
Nice gentleman.. Thanks Jim!

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Re: COLORADO BLUE SPRUCE - SMALL NEEDLES VARIETY

Post  augustine on Tue Oct 11, 2016 2:07 pm

Hello Imma,

I'm curious, did Jim Gremel say anything about if/how much winter protection a true cedar will need in Toronto?

Thanks and best regards

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Re: COLORADO BLUE SPRUCE - SMALL NEEDLES VARIETY

Post  seano on Fri Oct 14, 2016 10:01 pm

They need quite a bit. Most cedars Dont like anything below -10

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Re: COLORADO BLUE SPRUCE - SMALL NEEDLES VARIETY

Post  seano on Fri Oct 14, 2016 10:03 pm

Great info Leo. I've been tossing around the idea of growing a few of those cultivars. Do you have any pics of the specimens you're working with? I'd love to see them

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Re: COLORADO BLUE SPRUCE - SMALL NEEDLES VARIETY

Post  Marty Weiser on Sat Oct 15, 2016 2:38 am

-10F or -10C. There is a significant difference. The reason I ask is that this is an international forum and most folks in the US are still stuck back in Fahrenheit.

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Re: COLORADO BLUE SPRUCE - SMALL NEEDLES VARIETY

Post  immAGinoso on Thu Oct 20, 2016 8:37 pm

Didn't have enough time to ask Jim about winter protection of Blue Atlas Cedars in Toronto. I'll try asking. One elder lady from my club told me to stay away from that species due to difficulty wintering.

Very interesting suggestion of grafting Blue Atlas Cedar Foliage onto a Colorado Blue Spruce.
If successful, one zone will the tree will now classify under?


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Re: COLORADO BLUE SPRUCE - SMALL NEEDLES VARIETY

Post  M. Frary on Sun Oct 23, 2016 1:56 pm

immAGinoso wrote:Didn't have enough time to ask Jim about winter protection of Blue Atlas Cedars in Toronto.  I'll try asking.  One elder lady from my club told me to stay away from that species due to difficulty wintering.

Very interesting suggestion of grafting Blue Atlas Cedar Foliage onto a Colorado Blue Spruce.  
If successful, one zone will the tree will now classify under?

Blue atlas cedars are expensive and grow slow. They also don't like cold.

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I saw you referal to Dragonfly DONT ATTEMPT IT!

Post  Go-Bonsai on Sat Oct 29, 2016 12:32 am

I recently Tried to purchase from Dragonfly Farms Nursery and it turned into a nightmare X 10 After waiting a month for any kind of reply after paying, I finally got a response from Dragonfly Farms saying it must be someone else I ordered from as they haven't received my payment. I then proved my payment went into her PayPal account and received another message saying she no longer is in the nursery business and it was Dave at Wabi Sabi Bonsai who had my Money and that they were not affiliated in any way!(they are together on their website however so I knew something was fishy) I had had enough at that point and did a little research adn then Posted a very negative post on Dragonfly Farms Facebook page which got a response from them and Dave at Wabi Sabi Bonsai. Dave told me he was sorry he hadn't received notice From Dragonfly I had made the purchase and he would send me the plant next day. The next day however Dave responded again saying because of my post on Facebook I wasn't going to get my plant and that he was going to send my money back (6 weeks later) I waited 4 days butr no money was returned So I went all out and contacted the newspaper in their small town as well as their neighbor businesses and let all these people know how I was being treated. I also posted more info proving I had paid Dragonfly for the plant until she replies via private message that she wasn't going to do anything and I must be confused then she stopped her Facebook page allowing posts! After raising a huge stink in their community with the newspaper and businesses Dave at Wabi Sabi Bonsai finally contacted me again and said he felt bad for handling it the way he did and he said he would send my plant nest day. I received a very nice Pine 3 days latter!
My take on this is that Dragonfly Farms is no longer in business and Wabi Sabi Bonsai is using the website to sell his plants but Dragonfly isnt notifying him when payment is received. Either that they are just so incompetent that they cant even sell and ship a single plant correctly or they are just crooks! Not sure which applies but I do know if I hadn't had the ability to get their entire community involved in this I would never have received my plant or my money back!

I Don't recommend dealing with these people at all but if you do beware and remember you were warned!

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Re: COLORADO BLUE SPRUCE - SMALL NEEDLES VARIETY

Post  Vance Wood on Sun Oct 30, 2016 1:47 am

This just points out the reason I do not deal with mail order bonsai dealers unless I have had experience with them. If I want a particular tree I will try to find them vending at a show or I will personally visit their nursery if I can.

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Re: COLORADO BLUE SPRUCE - SMALL NEEDLES VARIETY

Post  Go-Bonsai on Mon Oct 31, 2016 1:11 am

I can understand that, however I have dealt with some very reputable online dealers for "pre-bonsai" material like Zack at Bonsai South www.bonsai-south.com and Evergreen Gardenworks www.evergreengardenworks.com
I have never had an issue with either and never heard of anyone who has. I will have to agree however that Dave at WabiSabi bonsai has very nice and rare conifers. It's too bad they can't get the customer service corrected! The pine he sent me was top quality material with a nice low graft

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Re: COLORADO BLUE SPRUCE - SMALL NEEDLES VARIETY

Post  immAGinoso on Tue Nov 01, 2016 4:07 am

Vance Wood wrote:This just points out the reason I do not deal with mail order bonsai dealers unless I have had experience with them.  If I want a particular tree I will try to find them vending at a show or I will personally visit their nursery if I can.  

I am jealous of Americans who have all these nurseries with so many varieties of this, that and those species, dwarf, variegated, golden, etc.. you name it. And you can mail order as well!

I am having a hard time here in Toronto just to find a decent Kingsville boxwood or a Black Olive (Bucida Spinosa) for example.

And bringing plants from the US to Canada requires a difficult permit. A friend said that it is easier to immigrate to Canada than bring in plants.

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Re: COLORADO BLUE SPRUCE - SMALL NEEDLES VARIETY

Post  immAGinoso on Tue Nov 01, 2016 4:16 am

[quote="Leo Schordje"]
Another thought, find & collect or purchase a 100+ year old Colorado spruce with a great trunk and great nebari. Then graft on a blue needle cultivar with short needles. You only have to grow out the branches then. Grafting is not that difficult. I average about 25 to 50% success rate. Pick up one of the nice blue short needle cultivars with the high graft. Grow it out a couple years, and then use it as a scion donor. From old urban landscape  collection or collected wild yamadori material you can get your  tree with gnarly fat trunk, then graft on  scions of one of the blue varieties for the branches. This project will take time of course. A decade or more from acquiring the scion source and understock. But if you enjoy the process, the time won't matter.


[/

I wish I could get good material from those nurseries but almost impossible to bring in a plant from the US to Canada.

So to try a grafting experiement like you have suggested. Let's say I find a Colorado Blue Spruce stock in a big nursery pot, about 3 inches diameter trunk but with huge Christmas tree like needles and it is labeled zone 3.

And I graft branches that are cuttings from a live Blue Cedar variety with much smaller needles thats nnd labelled zone 6, 7 or 8.

If it is successful, and starts to produce more foliage in the form of the Blue Cedar Atlas Needles. What hardiness zone now is the "Frankenstein tree"?

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Re: COLORADO BLUE SPRUCE - SMALL NEEDLES VARIETY

Post  Leo Schordje on Sat Dec 03, 2016 9:06 pm

immAGinoso wrote:
Leo Schordje wrote:
Another thought, find & collect or purchase a 100+ year old Colorado spruce with a great trunk and great nebari. Then graft on a blue needle cultivar with short needles. You only have to grow out the branches then. Grafting is not that difficult. I average about 25 to 50% success rate. Pick up one of the nice blue short needle cultivars with the high graft. Grow it out a couple years, and then use it as a scion donor. From old urban landscape  collection or collected wild yamadori material you can get your  tree with gnarly fat trunk, then graft on  scions of one of the blue varieties for the branches. This project will take time of course. A decade or more from acquiring the scion source and understock. But if you enjoy the process, the time won't matter.


[/

I wish I could get good material from those nurseries but almost impossible to bring in a plant from the US to Canada.

So to try a grafting experiement like you have suggested.  Let's say I find a Colorado Blue Spruce  stock in a big nursery pot, about 3 inches diameter trunk but with huge Christmas tree like needles and it is labeled zone 3.

And I graft branches that are cuttings from a live Blue Cedar variety with much smaller needles thats nnd labelled zone 6, 7 or 8.  

If it is successful, and starts to produce more foliage in the form of the Blue Cedar Atlas Needles. What hardiness zone now is the "Frankenstein tree"?

I am certain Spruce to Spruce grafting works. I have no idea if Cedar to Spruce would work, I don't know if they are compatible at all. They may or may not, I just don't know. Picea to Picea - yes, Cedrus onto Picea - no clue. They are in different genera, even in different families.

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Dragonfly Farms

Post  Leo Schordje on Sat Dec 03, 2016 9:13 pm

I've ordered 3 times from Dragonfly farms, and had no problem at all. First order was in 2014, again in 2015 and again in early 2016. I also have had email exchanges with David Dewire, and had a 100 % good experience with them. I find it hard to believe the negative experience, seem so different from mine. Not saying you didn't have trouble, but it is very unlike my experience. I will still order again in 2017, in spite of your review. Your experience must have been a freak accident that your style of response may have not helped to mitigate. Persistent but polite follow up perhaps would have gotten you quicker results?

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Re: COLORADO BLUE SPRUCE - SMALL NEEDLES VARIETY

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