COLLECTED ENGELMANN SPRUCE

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COLLECTED ENGELMANN SPRUCE

Post  kevin stoeveken on Sat Oct 22, 2016 6:29 pm

i scored this tree from hidden gardens in willowbrook illinois while at the walter pall bonsai academy oktoberfest

it was collected by randy knight in spring of 2015



full story, more pics and video of walter discussing the tree are all here:

http://arborartscollective.blogspot.com/2016/10/engelmann-spruce.html

comments welcome here or there...

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AAC Original Milwaukee Wi. Chapter - North America

aka beer city snake
link to ARBOR ARTS COLLECTIVE BLOG

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Re: COLLECTED ENGELMANN SPRUCE

Post  Vance Wood on Sat Oct 22, 2016 6:53 pm

This one has the possibility of making a really fine and unique bonsai.  Just don't try to force it into a traditional mold/form.  Use the classic styles to just dress up the folieage pads and make them look natural from the wild.  The rest of it; let your imagination take you into the Mountains.  What I see is a tree I would plant on a stone use the upper portion as an upright with the branches being swept away from the tree off the top of the Mountain and from the lean of the trunk. While the bottom branch cascades off the side of the Mountain. The tree looks like it is leaning a shoulder into the storm day after day, it's position protests it's circumstance and its branches have little choice but to go with the wind and the bottom branch has been forced time after time off the cliff by avalanches and snow pack. Please don't try to make an informal upright or a failed wind swept like many attempt, or a crumby cascade that does not work either. This tree could be a show stopper like a naked lady at a chruch picnic.

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Re: COLLECTED ENGELMANN SPRUCE

Post  kevin stoeveken on Sat Oct 22, 2016 7:02 pm

see the post in the link...

i have no intention of trying to make this tree something it is not Wink

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AAC Original Milwaukee Wi. Chapter - North America

aka beer city snake
link to ARBOR ARTS COLLECTIVE BLOG

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Re: COLLECTED ENGELMANN SPRUCE

Post  Vance Wood on Sat Oct 22, 2016 7:47 pm

beer city snake wrote:see the post in the link...

i have no intention of trying to make this tree something it is not Wink

Appearently I missed something, I didn't mean to offend only help. I'm still impressed by the material and I have seen so many fine pieces ruined by someone who had some not so adventurous ideas-----sorry.

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Re: COLLECTED ENGELMANN SPRUCE

Post  kevin stoeveken on Sat Oct 22, 2016 9:57 pm

no need to apologize vance - i knew no offense was meant and none was taken...

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AAC Original Milwaukee Wi. Chapter - North America

aka beer city snake
link to ARBOR ARTS COLLECTIVE BLOG

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Re: COLLECTED ENGELMANN SPRUCE

Post  BrendanR on Fri Oct 28, 2016 10:35 am

You need a custom pot for this - steep and craggy to echo the tree growing on a steep hill.



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Re: COLLECTED ENGELMANN SPRUCE

Post  kevin stoeveken on Fri Oct 28, 2016 1:03 pm

yep - eggzachery what i was thinking...

will either make it myself or contract it out.

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aka beer city snake
link to ARBOR ARTS COLLECTIVE BLOG

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Re: COLLECTED ENGELMANN SPRUCE

Post  augustine on Mon Oct 31, 2016 12:48 pm

Kevin,

I like your tree very much. Remember that these are touchy, touchy so take it slow. What is the field soil like?

FWIW, I have a couple of black hills spruce from Andy Smith, one collected 2014, the other I don't know but it was before 2014. Andy advises that they grew in duff created by falling needles and other organic material. the field soil is kind of a hard chunk. I am supposed to remove it gradually over several repottings. I did however wire the tree in April with Andy's assistance. His main warning was to be careful with the rootball.

Now if your soil is granular you are probably in better shape than me. Good luck.



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Re: COLLECTED ENGELMANN SPRUCE

Post  kevin stoeveken on Mon Oct 31, 2016 5:00 pm

hey augustine - when i got it, it was in pumice, with some of the original soil remaining with the rootball, however, out of caution i did not pull it out of the nursery container to further explore the innards... i simply created its future grow box, slipped the nursery pot in there and surround/topped off the whole thing with more pumice just to give it a good home until spring which is when i plan on getting it out of the nursery can and into the grow box where it will reside until an appropriate permanent container can be secured.

and yes, i do plan on taking this one slow... Sleep  Wink

augustine wrote:I am supposed to remove it gradually over several repottings. I did however wire the tree in April with Andy's assistance. His main warning was to be careful with the rootball.

re the above, while andy's advice is sound, i would caution about numerous re-pots... i have been learning that we tend to repot our trees far too often.., usually doing it "as scheduled" rather than as needed... and this holds true especially for evergreens which typically take many years to actually fill a pot with roots...

walter pall even goes so far as to recommend getting it into its "final pot" as soon as possible, and then re-pot as little as possible (as a general rule).

of course all of that is assuming the use of modern substrates.

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AAC Original Milwaukee Wi. Chapter - North America

aka beer city snake
link to ARBOR ARTS COLLECTIVE BLOG

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Re: COLLECTED ENGELMANN SPRUCE

Post  augustine on Tue Nov 01, 2016 4:48 pm

I try to give all my trees the maximum time between repottings. In this case, however, I'll need to see how easily the field soil can be removed with chopsticks and the garden hose.

My ideal would be to bareroot about 1/3 of the rootball at a time.




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Re: COLLECTED ENGELMANN SPRUCE

Post  Leo Schordje on Mon Dec 05, 2016 9:30 pm

Hi Kevin
I would not repot until the year after you have had a burst of vigorous growth. I learned the hard way, loosing several Ponderosa and a Black Hills spruce by repotting old collected trees too soon after they were initially collected. If it was collected in 2015, it might not take off with good growth until 2018 or even 2020. IF you don't have a good burst of growth from the ends of most branches, your best bet is to leave it alone. This tree is over 100 years old, it is not going to do anything quickly. But look at the tree, and let its growth guide your decision. But if it has not grown much the previous year, it won't have the strength to survive a repot.

And then, after repotting, don't do anything to it for 12 to 24 months. Give it lots of time to recover. It is too nice a tree to rush it.

I like the idea of holding off on repotting, then when you do, put it in its final show pot. That way you can leave it alone for upwards of 10 years between needing to repot. You have a couple years to find a perfect pot for it.

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Re: COLLECTED ENGELMANN SPRUCE

Post  BobbyLane on Mon Dec 05, 2016 10:43 pm

I only just saw the video critique on this tree, interesting to hear WP's comments on the tree in regards to styling and going forwards, i guess you'll have a better idea once the nebari is uncovered. i noticed he wouldnt have a problem slipping it into another container, the soil actually looks ok to me. i think these trees look really good on stone slabs, if that be the case, you wouldnt really need to disturb the root ball too much. its hard to tell, but are there much buds at the ends of the branches?

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Re: COLLECTED ENGELMANN SPRUCE

Post  my nellie on Mon Dec 05, 2016 11:37 pm

Hi Kevin!
Really nice tree you have found! I am glad for you!
And its price (I heard Mr. Pall saying) I could say is rather ridiculous!

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Re: COLLECTED ENGELMANN SPRUCE

Post  kevin stoeveken on Tue Dec 06, 2016 12:53 pm

general reply regarding repotting:

those of you who watched the video may have heard walter speak of how these are handled immediately upon collection...
(at least i think its in that video)

so, i am probably doing it no favors by leaving it in the nursery can longer than necessary

when i speak of re-potting this, i mean doing so in the most gentle way possible...
right now it is still in the small nursery can, which i have slipped into what will be its temporary home (a couplafew years), and then i filled all the space between the walls of the nursery can and the larger container with pumice... just to get it through winter...

in spring (or thereabouts) i will then just remove it from the nursery can and get it into the "training pot" (which i crafted to simulate and encourage its new orientation)
this will be done gently and carefully so as to disturb the roots as little as possible.

then it will sit.

alexandra - yes, this is the most i have ever spent on a tree...
again, a really good reason not to play it fast and loose. Wink

as an aside, it appears some have visited the arbor arts blog to see the mentioned videos...
feel free to post comments on the blog as we have opened it up to public comments
(though only members may post a new topic)

thanks for all the input on this tree !!!

(one thing about bonsai: it is hard to keep excitement on a low simmer for such a long time - years !)

_________________

AAC Original Milwaukee Wi. Chapter - North America

aka beer city snake
link to ARBOR ARTS COLLECTIVE BLOG

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Re: COLLECTED ENGELMANN SPRUCE

Post  Thomas Urban on Tue Dec 06, 2016 7:13 pm

I enjoyed the video analysis that you had with Walter and the tree is quite interesting too!

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Re: COLLECTED ENGELMANN SPRUCE

Post  kevin stoeveken on Wed Dec 07, 2016 12:37 pm

thanks tom... i believe i have more video from the weekend that i need to post... someday Rolling Eyes Razz

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aka beer city snake
link to ARBOR ARTS COLLECTIVE BLOG

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Re: COLLECTED ENGELMANN SPRUCE

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