Picea sp. - needing advise

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Picea sp. - needing advise

Post  capo_regime on Tue Dec 27, 2011 4:05 am

Hi all!

I bought this picea in 2008 every I carry only one intervention. Here are a couples of photos of its progression.

2008





2009:





2010 (no interventions, only free grow):



2011:








First of all, can you identify the species? So what do you think? Feel free to criticize. I need some help in order to better orientate it from here. Can you give me a hand? Very Happy

thanx all

capo_regime
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Re: Picea sp. - needing advise

Post  Marty Weiser on Tue Dec 27, 2011 4:09 pm

It appears to be Dwarf Alberta Spruce, Picea glauca 'conica'. My experience is that the branches will will lift up from where you place them for many, many years. At the nursery they look like a great specimen for an formal upright, but making a good bonsai is problematic in my opinion.

The biggest issue I see with your tree is that the branches are coming out in whorls - several at the same level. This will result in swelling at this point. Try to work the tree so that you only have one branch at each level. Sometimes they will pop buds between the main branches when opened up and exposed to light, particularly when growing strongly with good soil, fertilizer, and water.

Marty Weiser
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Re: Picea sp. - needing advise

Post  capo_regime on Tue Dec 27, 2011 6:08 pm

Well, next year I will cut the excess branches that come in pairs. I will also need to contol the excess growing of the buds because the green mass (needles) are becoming too far away from the main branches. I don't know what to do with the apex, what do you think of a complete jin? For now I will push more the branches to achieve a 45º between them and the trunk (In upper third I will let a more soft angle like 60º).
Any suggestion/critic??

thanx

capo_regime
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Re: Picea sp. - needing advise

Post  Marty Weiser on Wed Dec 28, 2011 3:59 am

My limited experience with spruce is that they will bud back given good light and pinching out the tips. Spruce tips should be pinched when they are just going from closed bud into opening needles - sort if an elongated green fluff ball.

It is not not wrong to pull the lower branches to horizontal or lower, but it will take time to get there. You should also make sure they leave the trunk at the same angle as the overall branch or at least close to it. Mature conifer branches then to grow out and the trunk will expand to cover the upward growing juvenile phase. With bonsai we don't get the trunk expansion over many years to cover that initial upward growth.

You could jin the apex, or you could grow it out into the rounded dome of a mature conifer. Which story do you want to tell - a tree in a severe environment that may have been struck by lightening or one that has reached full maturity in the forest. Make sure that the branches tell the same story.

Marty Weiser
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Re: Picea sp. - needing advise

Post  sunip on Wed Dec 28, 2011 10:05 am

Hello Capo-Regime,
Cheque page 12 of the bonsai Questions
on sat 30 april 2011.
Paulr9 had a thread about Picea Conica.
Sunip Wink

sunip
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Re: Picea sp. - needing advise

Post  RKatzin on Wed Dec 28, 2011 3:54 pm

Hi capo, I'm working on several of these trees and I've taken a different approach on these new trees than I had previously. I can try for some pics later today, but for now I can tell you how and why. I have always worked with what was on the tree, selecting the branches I want and removing the others ect. I've never been really happy with the result so far, and had suspicion that the situation would only worsen as the tree aged, that being that the leave branches out grow the tree and end up looking too big for the size of these trees. I acquired a dozen at a close out sale. First I planted all in the garden in a full sun position and gave them a season to come out of the pots and get their roots set. This season I am removing almost all existing branches, especially the bigger ones, starting with the biggest and working my way down in size till only smaller branches remain with only one branch at each hub. These will be used to build a more realistic tree, me thinks. It's also been my experience that guy wires have little effect on spruce, other than positioning a wired branch. You have to break some fiber in the wood and then hold it there. Give it some time and do it again and maybe again. Spruce is very resilient. I do alot of hand manipulation, but you got to be careful as I broke alot of branches before I got the hang of it. Once you get to know your tree you know just how much manipulation they can take, spruce can take alot. I often pin a branch behind the trunk and leave it for a year. This bends them down and then a little wire for adjustment. This season coming up should tell the tale of my efforts. I'll keep you posted, oh I'd say by mid-summer we should see whats going on with these trees.

RKatzin
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Re: Picea sp. - needing advise

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