Dwarf Alberta Spruce disaster prevention

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Dwarf Alberta Spruce disaster prevention

Post  jonkatzmail on Mon Aug 29, 2011 12:09 am

Okay, when I first tried buying things to start bonsai I bought a little Dwarf Alberta Spruce at Lowes and thought that with all those branches coming off the trunk that it would be easy to trim a lot off to shape it into something that looked at least remotely like some kind of older tree. So, then, reality hit and I ended up with something that looks like a diseased plant with a few tuft of needles. After the summer it basically looks the same, I don't think it grew at all, just the tufts of needles turned a darker green.
So, when you are doing a spruce tree what do you do to prevent disaster and keep it growing? Or is it like a pine tree and only grows a little in the Spring, and I am stuck with whatever I end up with after hacking it in the Spring? bounce

jonkatzmail
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Re: Dwarf Alberta Spruce disaster prevention

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Mon Aug 29, 2011 12:17 am

I am in Florida, but this has been a very hot summer all over the country. Some plants shut down in this kind of weather. Hopefully your tree will take advantage of the coolness of the fall and have a flush of growth, just be careful with over watering.

Billy M. Rhodes
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Re: Dwarf Alberta Spruce disaster prevention

Post  lordy on Wed Aug 31, 2011 4:12 pm

My experience with Dwarf Alberta Spruce is similar. First, understand that it is a dwarf variety which translates into very slow growth. Secondly, they are extremely difficult to train into shape with either wiring or guy wires. I guess they just have too much spring and the wood must take a LONG time to "set". Also, they do tend to create an "umbrella" of needles towards the ends of branches with less closer to the trunk. Opening up for light should help force some growth inward. Remember that a branch needs needles on it to pull life from the trunk. Otherwise you will have deadwood to work on.
Perhaps in your situation, given that yours may need time to recuperate, and also that the trees are not very expensive, maybe you should put your tree into the ground for a year or so, and go get another and try taking less off so quickly. But keep at it and you will gain respect for others here who produce great results on evergreens/conifers.

lordy
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Re: Dwarf Alberta Spruce disaster prevention

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