Norway Spruce

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Norway Spruce

Post  BobbyLane on Sun Dec 04, 2016 11:52 am

There seems to be a lot of Spruce interest here, so thought i'd share my recent work on a field grown, nursery bought, Picea abies, im very fond of Spruce and learning more about them...
20161128_144449 by Bobby Lane, on Flickr
20161128_144524 by Bobby Lane, on Flickr

There is some wire scarring on the trunk that can be obscured with foliage for the time being, it doesnt bother me much, from my chosen front...
20161128_182702 by Bobby Lane, on Flickr
2016-12-03_06-01-26 by Bobby Lane, on Flickr
IMG_3114 by Bobby Lane, on Flickr
IMG_3119 by Bobby Lane, on Flickr

Ive left more branches than i need really, but the tree will be left to settle now for a few months and in spring it will be slipped onto a landscape slab.
this is just a first, very basic styling, less is more in regards to the work you do on spruce.
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Re: Norway Spruce

Post  kevin stoeveken on Sun Dec 04, 2016 4:49 pm

i like the double dead apex thing you have going...

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Re: Norway Spruce

Post  Thomas Urban on Tue Dec 06, 2016 7:20 pm

I like this tree very much even though it's still young. The double apex is much better than if you just kept one I think.
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Re: Norway Spruce

Post  BobbyLane on Tue Dec 06, 2016 8:35 pm

Hi folks, yes i think the double dead apex gives the tree a little interest and character, it is quite a young tree and will most likely never get the aged bark of a yamadori Spruce, but i think i can add one or two features to give it some character. in time the branching will be thinned in favour of more negative areas. maybe a thin shari will be introduced at some point. there is a little flare in the base which will be uncovered in spring.
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Re: Norway Spruce

Post  steveb on Tue Dec 06, 2016 9:54 pm

I collected 8 spruce seedlings from a drainage ditch that was being mowed about 8 years ago.  I arranged them in a forest in an oversized pot and pretty much watered and fertilized.  They all received nearly the same treatment.  Well, I'm down to 5 now. The five look healthy but about every couple of years, one will just die.  Or a branch will suddenly brown and die.  One died this past summer and it hadn't been repotted, wired, or hardly moved in over a year.  The others right next to it, in the same pot, look great.  

Do you have any problem with branches on a spruce suddenly dying?  Have you every had a spruce suddenly die for no apparent reason?  I'm in zone 7b so it may get a little warm here in the summer even though I move them to the shade during this time.  

Thanks for sharing.
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Re: Norway Spruce

Post  BobbyLane on Tue Dec 06, 2016 10:38 pm

Hi Steve, im not really an expert on spruce and certainly not collected ones, sorry i can't be of help there....i do know that if you prune a branch without leaving a bud for sap to flow to, that branch will likely die.  to learn about spruce, you should check out WP's blog http://walter-pall-bonsai.blogspot.co.uk/search?q=spruce tons of info

this isnt a collected tree, been field grown on UK soil and been in a pot 4 years and re potted 2 years ago. came into my hands only recently..
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Re: Norway Spruce

Post  steveb on Wed Dec 07, 2016 1:22 am

Thanks for providing the link Bobby. Looks like spruces tend to naturally lose lower branches. Maybe we should do what Bill Valavanis said to do with Chamaecyparis pisifera, wire down the branch above it to fill the empty space.
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Re: Norway Spruce

Post  BobbyLane on Wed Dec 07, 2016 9:55 am

Thats because the lower branches tend to get shaded out by more vigorous branches higher up the tree. i jinned a few of the low branches on my tree because they were weak and without any buds, then wiring down the stronger, thicker ones in there places, there are still one or two branches i feel are a little weak and may not make it, which is why i left lots of branches on the tree for further options down the line. also, looking at many stunning examples of spruce bonsai, the experts dont always use many branches on the the trees, just a few strong primary branches wired into position is usually enough. less is more on this species ive observed. this tends to mimic the wild spruce trees high up on the timber line ravaged by wind, snow, lightening, harsh conditions.
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Re: Norway Spruce

Post  my nellie on Wed Dec 07, 2016 9:13 pm

Nice going, BobbyLane!
What bothers me, if I may comment, is the almost identical height of the two apexes. I believe that if the one at the right side was shortened, the tree would be upgraded aesthetically. Personal opinion of course.
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Re: Norway Spruce

Post  AlainK on Wed Dec 07, 2016 10:55 pm

Hi Bobby,

my nellie wrote:Nice going, BobbyLane!
What bothers me, if I may comment, is the almost identical height of the two apexes. I believe that if the one at the right side was shortened, the tree would be upgraded aesthetically. Personal opinion of course.

I think that Alexandra's got a point there...
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Re: Norway Spruce

Post  Vlad on Thu Dec 08, 2016 11:04 am

"Get a wire and make bends on the two tops to follow the movement of the lower part of the trunk  and to disrupt the parallels": that would be the first item on my  " to do list " if the tree ends up on my shelves.  

Is it the same I will share on this forum as a thing to consider?  
No.
Why?  
We know you Bobby quite well.  It is a Nature that gives you the inspiration...
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Re: Norway Spruce

Post  BobbyLane on Thu Dec 08, 2016 11:14 am

Thanks for the suggestions Nelly and Alain, it always helps to hear other enthusiasts thoughts. ill see how it reacts in spring before doing much more at this stage. i havnt stripped any bark off the tips yet, but the plan was to jin maybe the first 1.5in off the tops. so just to have the tips barely peeking through the foliage in the main apex. will see
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Re: Norway Spruce

Post  BobbyLane on Thu Dec 08, 2016 11:21 am

Vlad wrote:"Get a wire and make bends on the two tops to follow the movement of the lower part of the trunk  and to disrupt the parallels": that would be the first item on my  " to do list " if the tree ends up on my shelves.  

Is it the same I will share on this forum as a thing to consider?  
No.
Why?  
We know you Bobby quite well.  It is a Nature that gives you the inspiration...

I quite like the parallels Vlad, it was actually this Yew i saw that made me want to try this, i also like how the dead tips poke through the foliage


I look at the ones in nature and also draw inpiration from these naturalistic trees


The reason i didnt want to mirror the trunk, is i feel that the two apex's shooting up from the same area kind of mimics how they would of grew in the wild, as if racing with each other to see who gets more light. maybe ill change my mind in the future Laughing
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Re: Norway Spruce

Post  BobbyLane on Wed Jan 25, 2017 8:35 pm

Been tweaking this little Spruce, has a long way to go in terms of development and i hope i havnt overworked it. the tree has a strong an established root system having been in a pot for four years and re potted 2 years ago, i think it will be fine. ive removed a lot of branches that had no buds at the tips and have simplified the design. less is more they say! there was some wire scarring on the trunk which i first decided to cut out with a scalpel, i decided to extend the resulting shari the entire length of the trunk....it works for me and gives a 'young' looking tree a little more character....

IMG_3662 by Bobby Lane, on Flickr

I think there is one or two design options, i think i could just as easily remove the right branch and work with the left side for a literati type image, i think the long slender trunk has movement and grace. without the shari i wouldnt have been able to have the trunk on show like this, because the wire scarring was too ugly. removing and jinning one of the apex's i think has enhanced the best trunk line...
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Re: Norway Spruce

Post  Richard S on Wed Jan 25, 2017 10:06 pm

I like that a lot. It's much improved in terms of design. You've removed a lot of foliage from this tree though, I hope it can take it!

Personally I might have been inclined to leave a bit of jin at the very top of the trunk because the transition between the long slender trunk and the dramatically descending top branch is quite abrupt. The shari is very good though, very natural looking.

I've often thought that the fashion for full length shari on conifers (and especially junipers) can look very clichéd if not done well. No worries here though, you've nailed it.

Cheers

Richard
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Re: Norway Spruce

Post  BobbyLane on Wed Jan 25, 2017 10:39 pm

Hi Richard, thanks. I see what you mean, i do plan to jin the tip at the top though(above last branch) and maybe it will transition into a short shari at the side. ill wait and see if i get some back budding up there though. i think being at the apex i should get some back budding there and i will likely build a mini crown, the abrupt dip would become less obvious then.
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Re: Norway Spruce

Post  Thomas Urban on Fri Feb 03, 2017 5:33 pm

I liked it before but now it's a whole other animal. I really like it and I think you did a great job and I would be happy to take this and place it on my shelf somewhere, but that would be stealing Very Happy

I am a spruce fan but for the love of god I can't find a good one and a great one I found last spring didn't make it Sad

I hope you didn't overdo it either and I really hope it pulls through for you. Regarding your post about the carving, I think it looks great here.

Keep us updated on this one.

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Re: Norway Spruce

Post  Vance Wood on Fri Feb 03, 2017 8:40 pm

BobbyLane wrote:
Vlad wrote:"Get a wire and make bends on the two tops to follow the movement of the lower part of the trunk  and to disrupt the parallels": that would be the first item on my  " to do list " if the tree ends up on my shelves.  

Is it the same I will share on this forum as a thing to consider?  
No.
Why?  
We know you Bobby quite well.  It is a Nature that gives you the inspiration...

I quite like the parallels Vlad, it was actually this Yew i saw that made me want to try this, i also like how the dead tips poke through the foliage


I look at the ones in nature and also draw inpiration from these naturalistic trees


The reason i didnt want to mirror the trunk, is i feel that the two apex's shooting up from the same area kind of mimics how they would of grew in the wild, as if racing with each other to see who gets more light. maybe ill change my mind in the future Laughing

These two trees are uniquely different and beautiful. Some great ideas there.
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Re: Norway Spruce

Post  Vlad on Fri Feb 03, 2017 9:47 pm

Apart from being an absent minded yamadori hunter I am also a kind of a freak who tries to listen and to understand  the stories that the trees tell us via their surface roots, trunks .... about the hot summer middays, chilly winter nights,  storms, lightning, long periods of drought, ..., and yes indeed about  woodpeckers and other tenants...

    Some of the stories are great and you sit in front of such trees with a deep respect and admiration.  

    Some others a bit dull...

    I try to remember the good ones and then I am doing my best to transfer them to my trees in pots.   ( Frankly, I am not very good on that part  Cool  )

Gosh!  Talking about myself I have nearly forgotten to mention what I would like to say to the yew in this thread:

I do feel sorry for you my friend .  Your story is much more about the gardener than about YOU.

That's freakish, isn't it?
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Re: Norway Spruce

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