Spruce Yamadori from the Black Hills

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Spruce Yamadori from the Black Hills

Post  Guest on Sun Apr 01, 2012 9:13 pm

Here is a Black Hills Spruce (Picea glauca x densata) I got from Andy last year at the Midwest Show.



And here is a portion of the tree (2010 fall) that I thought would become the main tree



During winter the main branches were cut, and the rest of the tree wired. Below is the spring (2012) picture with tons of fresh buds and shoots



Let me know your thoughts.
- S

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Re: Spruce Yamadori from the Black Hills

Post  crust on Sun Apr 01, 2012 9:37 pm

Cutting off this much green on a relatively fragile collected tree can be risky so your task will be to balance retaining the dwarf wild character and to get it to grow. If you don't get foliage and root growth it could slowly decline. so I think gentle and persistent feeding and foliage feeding leaving the buds go this year is in order. strategically give it late summer/early fall cut back just within the buds that extend this year perhaps leaving some sacrificial foliage--try to retain green until you know it and have settled it down. My experience is these spruce trees are PH sensitive (they need mildly acidity) and appreciate water that is not alkaline and full of minerals (like my well water)--especially with denser soils and long re-potting intervals. Handle the needles with care. with so little greenery the roots could sulk so I hope its in good soil and ready for development--if not, water carefully and wait until you can get it in a good substrate.

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Re: Spruce Yamadori from the Black Hills

Post  Guest on Sun Apr 01, 2012 10:01 pm

Thanks for the feedback Crust. The soil is mostly turface so there is lots of drainage (there is some older soil packed around the inner rootball). The fact that there is lots of new shoots indicates that there is root growth taking place at the moment. I don't intend to do anymore work on this tree for this year... I'll let it recover until next summer.

- S

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Re: Spruce Yamadori from the Black Hills

Post  Guest on Tue Oct 09, 2012 9:11 pm

Below is the latest update. This tree is far from showing but I think it is in the right direction (let me know your thoughts). The foliage needs to fill in more, and so re-wired to define the pads. The jin needs some additional refinement, and this tree needs a planting angle to show the front properly.



- S

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Re: Spruce Yamadori from the Black Hills

Post  crust on Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:05 pm

So far so good.The trunk detailing is nice at least down to the base--very bonelike. Hopefully you can get rid of the black sponge native soil next spring.

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Spruce Yamadori

Post  bonsaisr on Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:35 pm

The botanical name is Picea xalbertiana (glauca × engelmannii).
Picea glauca var. densata L.H.Bailey is a synonym of Picea ×albertiana S.Br.
This means that Black Hills spruce is the same natural hybrid as dwarf Alberta spruce.
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Iris


Last edited by bonsaisr on Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:46 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : correction)

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Re: Spruce Yamadori from the Black Hills

Post  carlos on Wed Oct 10, 2012 3:09 pm

It seems that you cut over 100 years off the tree.

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Re: Spruce Yamadori from the Black Hills

Post  Russell Coker on Wed Oct 10, 2012 3:41 pm




I have to admit I've been thinking the same thing, and how - or if - I should respond. So here goes...

Please understand that this isn't a criticism, but rather an honest question. It looks to me that there were some interesting possibilities in that entire left side of the tree. Was there NOTHING to work with? I can't help but think that it was collected for a reason other than the young shoot on the right side. I know this material couldn't have been cheap. Obviously, it's yours to do with as you please, but couldn't you have ended up with the same thing as you have now with a lesser piece of material?

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Re: Spruce Yamadori from the Black Hills

Post  crust on Wed Oct 10, 2012 4:23 pm

Hmm, I'd say regardless of what was developed on this tree is has a base and trunks that really are not filled with aged detail so no matter. This seems to be the case with most of these mass collected spruce. One has to seek out gnarly structured trees when buying collected stock but sometimes just having a collected tree with a history is meaningful though not to mention it was no doubt modestly priced anyway.

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Yamadori Spruce

Post  bonsaisr on Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:24 pm

I have to agree. I don't think I would have cut off that whole left side.
Iris

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Re: Spruce Yamadori from the Black Hills

Post  Velodog2 on Thu Oct 11, 2012 12:59 am

I like it. A little shocking perhaps, but if done by a Japanese master would instead be considered "bold". Perhaps he could have used the left side, but why? Someone once said, "Make the smallest tree possible".

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Re: Spruce Yamadori from the Black Hills

Post  Russell Coker on Thu Oct 11, 2012 1:01 am



Seriously?

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Re: Spruce Yamadori from the Black Hills

Post  Guest on Thu Oct 11, 2012 1:50 am

I appreciate everyone's criticism. I did consider the option of keeping the larger portion of the tree... I actually spent a good amount of time studying both options.

But I had a choice of either a larger, boring, less aged, smaller trunk (compared to height), full round canopy (un-characteristic of spruce) tree, or a smaller more aged and dramatic look with a an actual spruce like look from nature. As I mentioned, there is a long way to go for this tree... there is a lot of foliage development and some finer jin work to make something special out of this tree.

In the end it does boil down to personal taste. And trust me, the tree is healthy with new buds waiting for spring.

Thanks,
- S

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Re: Spruce Yamadori from the Black Hills

Post  Russell Coker on Thu Oct 11, 2012 2:42 am

Thanks... and thanks for understanding.

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Re: Spruce Yamadori from the Black Hills

Post  Leo Schordje on Thu Oct 11, 2012 5:48 pm

I can see by the choice of making the main trunk jin, you have a couple inches of very thick trunk, which after a number of years, will transition with a nice dramatic taper to the smaller trunk. I imagine over the years you will make the jin much lighter by carving. It will take time, but eventually this will be quite nice. Spruces often don't have much taper, this tree will have it. Keep posting as the tree develops.

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Re: Spruce Yamadori from the Black Hills

Post  Guest on Thu Nov 01, 2012 5:50 pm

After some more deadwood work:



And here is the overall picture... still a long way to go.



The story or image I am trying to capture is that there used to be a large tree that got burnt in the forest fire long time ago, and since then a new shoot has developed into a smaller tree next to what used to be the main trunk, now a deadwood. Hopefully this image will be more clear after some future refinement.



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Re: Spruce Yamadori from the Black Hills

Post  Leo Schordje on Sun Nov 11, 2012 7:14 pm

I like where you are going with this.

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Re: Spruce Yamadori from the Black Hills

Post  jason_mazzy on Sat Jun 14, 2014 12:53 am

updated pics?

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Re: Spruce Yamadori from the Black Hills

Post  fiona on Sat Jun 14, 2014 1:36 am

The original poster has now left the forum.

For future reference for those who don't know it, the name Guest is given to all members who leave the forum.

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Spruce from the Black Hills

Post  bonsaisr on Sat Jun 14, 2014 4:50 pm

People are having a lot of trouble with the botanical name of Black Hills spruce. The correct name is Picea xalbertiana (glauca x engelmannii). Please note that it is now considered the same hybrid species as dwarf Alberta spruce, Picea xalbertiana 'Conica.'
Oddly enough, this name was originally published in 1907. But then the species was bounced around for years until the taxonomists finally decided that this was correct. Happens a lot, particularly with orchids.
Iris


Last edited by bonsaisr on Sat Jun 14, 2014 5:02 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Additional comment)

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Re: Spruce Yamadori from the Black Hills

Post  kevin stoeveken on Sat Jun 14, 2014 6:21 pm

well if guest pops back in, i was wondering if he/she considered attempting to get the smaller trunk to graft onto the larger one... ?

like a phoenix graft even though they are past of the same stock

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Spruce from the Black Hills

Post  bonsaisr on Sun Jun 15, 2014 2:04 am

Ain't gonna happen. The tree is probably dead. They are temperamental in captivity, especially in warmer climates & lower altitudes.
For some reason, the 'Conica' cultivar from Alberta is far easier to grow.
Iris

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Re: Spruce Yamadori from the Black Hills

Post  juniper07 on Sun Jun 15, 2014 12:58 pm

Hi Iris,
I am curious to understand why you think this tree is 'probably' dead. This tree is currently in my posession and it is very healthy and going strong. Yes, there was a setback last year with the top-growth coming to almost a halt due to the excessive heat without any protection. With extra caution this year, the tree sprouted lots of new shoots all over. I'll try to squeeze time to snap and post some new pictures amidst my crazy work and family schedule.

By the way, Chicago is not really a warmer climate. It is a zone 5a USDA climate where we get around 7+ months of growing period. I wish I were in a slightly warmer zone because I would love to grow Trident Maples in the ground.

Hi Beer City Snake,
Can you clarify why I would do a graft? That's an interesting thought, but not sure why I would do it.

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Re: Spruce Yamadori from the Black Hills

Post  Fore on Sat Jun 21, 2014 6:40 pm

I'm also in Chicago, and have 2 Tridents in their 3rd yr from seedlings. No problem other than this spring when it started pushing growth....cold snap...lost the top leader on one.

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Re: Spruce Yamadori from the Black Hills

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