Colorado Blue Spruce 'Globosa' Project

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Colorado Blue Spruce 'Globosa' Project

Post  RKatzin on Fri Apr 29, 2011 7:46 pm

As requested (do you know what an honor it is to be asked for a show-me by your betters?) here are some pics of my Globe Colo. Blue Spruce, one of two dwarf varieties, the other is the 'Fat Albert'. The Fat Albert is more suitable for bonsai, but a Globosa is what I could get. The main set back to these trees is the way that they've been grown before you get them. They've been grown and shaped into a globe, with little concern for interior branchwork. Most branches are way over grown and as you can see in the pics, all the foliage out on the ends of the branches. I had several to choose from and I looked for one that had at least some interior buds. This is the tree as I got it. The first year I only potted it up to this larger pot. It was rootballed in burlap and in mostly blue clay soil. I left it alone for a season and then transfered the tree to this container and then removed some branches that were definately not going to work into the style. I'd been keeping the tree in a full morning sun and then shady spot. The base of the trunk was actually about four inches below the soil line and I gained those inches inches in trunk when I cleared down to the roots. This is the tree this morning, a crisp spring morning in Oregon. The following are a few different angles and some back-budding on the trunkyou can see the discoloration on the trunk from being underground Lots of buds this spring. I'll let them grow till late summer and then pinch them back halfway. back-budding will occure the folling spring. A picture is worth a thousand words. Back-budding on Spruce? Well as you can see, they just don't do that. Or do they? It's a slow process, but I'll gradually reduce the length of the branches and then begin the process of developing the foliage on each branch and getting them positoned. Love to hear what you think of her, I've got a real affair going on with her, though she's not a real touchy-feely kinda tree. A wee bit prickley and stiff, but I think she's warming up to me.

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Re: Colorado Blue Spruce 'Globosa' Project

Post  Guest on Sat Apr 30, 2011 2:09 am

Thank you so much for posting this, I was looking forward to it! My birdsnest spruce also likes to backbud mainly at trunk branch intersections and Its heartening to see someone else run into the "It was planted too deep in the container" effect I often run into. How long do you think it will take for that dis-coloration to normalize and what factors influence it? Sun, cold? Excellent work in progress your a brave man for taking on a 'Blue'

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Re: Colorado Blue Spruce 'Globosa' Project

Post  sunip on Sat Apr 30, 2011 8:54 am

Hi RKatzin
Do you also have Picea Conica in training?
regards, Sunip;)

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Re: Colorado Blue Spruce 'Globosa' Project

Post  handy mick on Sat Apr 30, 2011 9:13 am

Thanks for posting RKatzin, your Blue spruce is quite nice, keep up the progression.
I too have a Blue, I bought it for $40.00 Australian last winter, awsome buy, this thing is as big as me in the pot, it is in drastic need of a re-pot so this needs to be done in a month or so. It will be a task though and i have idea on how to do it as it is huge.
The lady had this growing in a court yard for twenty years.
Here are some pictures




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Re: Colorado Blue Spruce 'Globosa' Project

Post  RKatzin on Sat Apr 30, 2011 1:10 pm

Hi sunip, Here is a Dwarf Alberta Spruce. This is one of my first trees, and one of only a few still with from the beginning days. It was one of those trees you see for sale at Christmas time, pot wrapped in colored foil and little decos stuck to the tree. Sadly, most of them die by New Years. I managed to get this out of a friends house before that event. He'd had it for only a few weeks and it was deteriorating rapidly. When I unpotted the tree I found it to be planted in mostly styrofoam, light weight shipping material or planned obsolescence? Starting my seventh year with it and it's finally shaping up.
and the other side

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Re: Colorado Blue Spruce 'Globosa' Project

Post  sunip on Sat Apr 30, 2011 2:15 pm

Hi Handy Mick,
Nice find.
After a good repotting this spruce will bud well i guess. Are you repotting spruce in the autumn?
Are you planning to reduce the hight of the tree?
Hi RKatzin,
Thanks for posting.
Nice convincing Spruce coming along, also the nerbari looks good (however not really good to see on the picture)
What are you going to do with the branch wheels, with those dwarf variety's there is the danger of bulbs on the trunk?
Looks not as a Picea Conica though, as you say dwarf Alberta Blue Spruce or maybe Picea Glauca Alberta Globe?
regards, Sunip;)

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Re: Colorado Blue Spruce 'Globosa' Project

Post  RKatzin on Sun May 01, 2011 6:32 am

Hi sunip, this is a Dwarf Alberta Spruce, Picea glauca 'Conica'. I have removed many of the hub branches to reduce them to two or three at each juncture. This has eliminated alot of the 'bulbing' that was developing. I believe one of the main reasons this tree has survived is that I've left it alone most of the time, only doing a little work each year and giving it a full recovery between sessions. I want to expose more of the lower trunk, removing all the branches in the first four or five inches. Once I'm done cutting branches I'll begin to trim and shape the remaining branches and do a little wiring. Spruce always have upwardly angled branches and I try to stay with that look rather than trying to make it look like a pine or other conifer that have more horizonal branching.

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Re: Colorado Blue Spruce 'Globosa' Project

Post  RKatzin on Sun May 01, 2011 6:50 am

Hi Man on the Mountain, glad you like the globosa. I'm not certain what to do with the discoloration. I'm hoping the elements, wind, rain, sunlight will take effect over time. Some suggestions have been shoe polish and watered down wood stain. I have a long way to go with the tree, I have time before I really need to address the issue if it doesn't work itself out. After working several ten dollar spruce to learn their particulars I took the bite on this $60US (on sale) tree. I also have twenty P. pungens that I'm growing for group plantings. I found a nursery going out of business and they were dumping them for $7US each. I can never resist deals like that. I bought most of what they had and a friend bought the rest.

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Re: Colorado Blue Spruce 'Globosa' Project

Post  Guest on Sun May 01, 2011 2:56 pm

I've thought of watering down some acrylic paints, turning them almost to a watery stain and then possibly applying thin "washes" to my discolored Eunymous trunk, It was buried 5 inches deep last year and emerged after root wasing, Bare white..ghastly.. but it is slowly greying up. I also have to repot a nursery Mugho in a few monts and I fully expect to find the same thing as you did with your Blue.

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Schedule for spruce

Post  Carolee on Mon May 02, 2011 4:02 pm

I have a Colorado Blue Spruce 'fat albert', 3 gallon from a nursery. It was our Christmas tree, 2009. I had planned on planting it in the yard, but we moved. Since I cut it down to accomadate the move, I've decided to make it a bonsai. I've left it alone, and it has new growth this spring. What schedule are you using for pruning branches and re-potting. Yours is doing very well. Thanks for the info.

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Re: Colorado Blue Spruce 'Globosa' Project

Post  RKatzin on Wed May 04, 2011 5:10 am

Hi Carolee, Slowly with everything I do. Branches were removed a couple at a time. The candles I let grow all season and removed them in the fall for the past two years. This allows full benefit of the growing season without adding any length to branches that will be shortened when I begin shaping the tree. So far I've only thinned out and layered the branches. Spruce, as are most conifer, are slow to recover and it is very important for the continued health of the tree to allow full recovery between episodes. I'll repot the tree every two to three years. I bare rooted the tree the first year (08) and potted it in a large pot. In 2010 I move the tree to the pictured container where it will stay for two more seasons. By then I'll have the upper part where I want it and I can get on to getting it potted down. If I seem a bit over cautious, it's the pile of dead Spruce I've hauled out of here while trying to do insta-bonsai with them. They're great trees, they just need a bit more romancing. Slow and easy.

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RKatzin, Update Please

Post  Carolee on Mon May 28, 2012 7:35 pm

I have been following your advice, and my Alberta Spruce (Christmas tree 2008, still in original nursery pot from a box store) is doing very nicely. I'll repot this fall. The Colorado Blue Spruce 'fat albert', 3 gallon from a nursery, Christmas tree, 2009, has had some branches removed to allow more light into the interior, but otherwise left alone. I would love to see pictures of your two trees as they this year. Thanks for the good advice! Carolee

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Colorado Blue Spruce

Post  bonsaisr on Mon May 28, 2012 8:04 pm

Dwarf Alberta spruce was found to be a hybrid. Picea ×albertiana ‘Conica’ (glauca × engelmannii).
Colorado blue spruce is Picea pungens, a different species altogether.
Iris

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Re: Colorado Blue Spruce 'Globosa' Project

Post  RKatzin on Mon Jun 25, 2012 4:06 am

Here's a couple of update pics from this spring. The Globosa was transfered into a 24"x 24" x8" gro-box with a change of soil mix.

.

The Alberta Spruce was planted into the garden last spring.

.
Both trees have shown marked improvements in color and bud production this season.

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Re: Colorado Blue Spruce 'Globosa' Project

Post  Gary Swiech on Fri Jun 29, 2012 7:34 pm

RKatzin,

Wow, that Picea pungens "Globosa" really popped!

It's a very nice tree.

I was wondering if you could post a close-up photo of the trunk and nebari?

I work in the nursery business and "Fat Albert" are sometimes grown from cuttings but "Globosa and "Glauca Globosa" are usually grafted.

That could account for the different color etc. on the trunk.

Thanks


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Re: Colorado Blue Spruce 'Globosa' Project

Post  RKatzin on Fri Jun 29, 2012 9:26 pm

Hi Gary, thanks for comment. I'm glad you like the tree. With all her faults she's one of my favorites.

There is a definite line of demarcation at the color change and I had come to the same conclusion, that it is a grafted tree, although it doesn't look like a usual graft with the angled cut and remaining stub of the rootstock. If it's a graft it is very cleanly done.

I have the nebari covered in turface to get some finer rooting on the surface. I'll see if I can gently flush it back for a pic. Thanks again, Rick

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Re: Colorado Blue Spruce 'Globosa' Project

Post  Steven on Fri Jun 29, 2012 11:45 pm

Great progress, the color is looking great. Always wondered how these would do as bonsai, can't wait to see it progress

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Re: Colorado Blue Spruce 'Globosa' Project

Post  Carolee on Mon Jul 02, 2012 4:59 pm

Thanks so much for the update. I really like how they are developing.

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Re: Colorado Blue Spruce 'Globosa' Project

Post  kevin stoeveken on Fri Oct 10, 2014 8:46 pm

old post, but i just got one of these globosas and was wondering how yours is looking now and what else you have learned in the past couplafew years...

thanks !

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Re: Colorado Blue Spruce 'Globosa' Project

Post  RKatzin on Sat Oct 11, 2014 1:29 am

Hi Kevin, this tree has not done much, but has made some forward movement. I didn't do much cutting back of the limbs in the beginning and in hindsight I think I should have gone right at it and reduced it to only the limbs that are part of the design. It's hard to see that because there's usually so many factors and most are about the same size. I was a bit timid of the tree at first, but now feel confident to work on it with harm, they're quite hardy and didn't even bite it's lip when I took a couple of big chunks off.

It's still a pretty chunky little tree, but I'm working on bringing some reduction to the limbs that remain. It's painstakingly slow growing tree, true to the nature of dwarf varieties, but producing lots of back budding once the trunk gets some light on it.

She's camped in full sun all day and just really growing well. it is one of the trees the was planted in a turface mix at last repotting. She didn't seem to mind as much as other trees, but growth the past two seasons has been minimal. Consequently, not much new work. This year I balanced the mix by adding in alot of pumice and the tree has given of good crop of new growth as a reward.

I've been watching the lower portion of the trunk now that it is above ground. It doesn't appear to be a graft, it just seems to be that the trunk under the soil line atrophied, or just did not develop the normal plate-like bark. It is slowly beginning to cover that area with black bits of bark.

Next season I will repot it again and remove the remaining turface mix. I'd like to do some work on it, but it needs to just shine for another year and it will get a major reduction and some trunk carving. It's one of the best trees for just sitting there and looking pretty, and she does that real nice.

Hope you enjoy yours as well, Sincerly, Rick

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Re: Colorado Blue Spruce 'Globosa' Project

Post  kevin stoeveken on Sat Oct 11, 2014 3:45 am

well, dang rick... i appreciate your time for an informative follow up !

this is the part i liked the best,
(because i had heard some unsubstantiated thoughts to the contrary) :

RKatzin wrote:...but producing lots of back budding once the trunk gets some light on it.

you'll see what i mean when i post some pics of her...
but for now, i'm-a-gonna go with what you say rather than what they said Wink


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Re: Colorado Blue Spruce 'Globosa' Project

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