Spruce from Home Depot

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Spruce from Home Depot

Post  Rob C on Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:35 pm

Was at a Home Depot the other day and noticed this tree among a ton of awful potential trees. This one had a nice base, some taper and lots of low growing healthy branches.. So $25 and 6-7 hours worth of work later.. Here it is.. 10 inches tall with a close to 2 inch base. I know that spruce is not that popular in bonsai. I haven't really been able to find any pre bonsai, shohin spruce material so I have been looking in places that you would not normally find good material.

Rob

As purchased



After pruning away what I didn't need



After wiring





Last edited by Rob C on Mon Apr 23, 2012 11:07 pm; edited 3 times in total

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Re: Spruce from Home Depot

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:46 pm

nice work.

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Re: Spruce from Home Depot

Post  Orion on Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:52 pm

Really nice work.

How are spruce to work with?

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Re: Spruce from Home Depot

Post  JimLewis on Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:54 pm

I think I'd get rid of that bottom branch. It's too heavy. And awkward. And low. Otherwise, there's some possibiities here, I think.

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Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Spruce from Home Depot

Post  Poink88 on Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:00 pm

I agree with Jim. The lowest branch need to go.

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Re: Spruce from Home Depot

Post  coh on Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:01 pm

Any idea what is under the soil? Does the trunk extend another 3" before any roots, or is there a decent nebari buried there? I agree the lower right branch doesn't need to be there if the tree will be potted as shown, but if there's another 3" of trunk, it could turn out to be useful.

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Re: Spruce from Home Depot

Post  drgonzo on Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:09 pm

coh wrote: Does the trunk extend another 3" before any roots,

Chris is astute to mention this;

This is VERY often the case with box store landscape plants. They are almost always over potted as they are mostly sold by pot size thus a half gallon plant stuck deep into a one gallon pot can be sold for twice the price! Find the nebari first before you take branches off.
-Jay

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Re: Spruce from Home Depot

Post  Rob C on Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:30 pm

Thanks eveyone..One of the first things I did was check under the soil for the nebari.. It seems that after I brushed some soil away. This is the actual base.. Nothing really hidden under there.

After looking at the pic I posted. I am kind of agreeing with getting rid of the bottom branch. However, I think that the angle that the pic was taken is making it seem sort of out of place. Here is a straight on pic of the tree. In this pic, the branch seems proportionate and provides a nice anchor. Either way, I will assess it again in the future.

p.s. The bottom branch probably should stay if for no other reason except a sacrifice branch.

Rob



Last edited by Rob C on Mon Apr 23, 2012 11:15 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Spruce from Home Depot

Post  Rob C on Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:48 pm

Hello Orion... Spruces have a horrible reputation... straight, bulbous trunks, no taper, die back, hard to form branches that take a long time to set et.. This is only like the second spruce I have worked on. I am getting familar with the species myself. I hope to learn more from this tree in the future. I will say it was difficult getting this tree to look like this. I had to do an extreme amount of bending with the branches and also foliage manipulation. Not necessailly hard to bend as in physical work, but having to be crafty and creative to make the tree flow.

Rob

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Re: Spruce from Home Depot

Post  coh on Mon Apr 23, 2012 11:00 pm

Looks pretty good. I wouldn't remove that branch until I got the tree potted into a more suitable container - make the decision at that time. Easy to remove, not so easy to put back...

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Re: Spruce from Home Depot

Post  lordy on Tue Apr 24, 2012 1:51 am

Nice find! Well hidden. I think the lower branch should stay until you are sure it should go, and as you said, it can always be removed later. It's not ready for display yet, so why not?


Last edited by lordy on Tue Apr 24, 2012 10:42 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Spruce from Home Depot

Post  CraftyTanuki on Tue Apr 24, 2012 2:55 am

Great work.

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Re: Spruce from Home Depot

Post  sunip on Tue Apr 24, 2012 7:01 am

Hello Rob,
Nice little tree.
Im am not sure on your climate condition but i would have repotted it now and start with pruning- wiring after the autumn.
Spruce does not take pruning-wiring and repotting at the same time very well.
Leave the lower branch for now and wait till after a repot some more trunk thickness would be good i think,
you never now what is under the soil level.
I do not know much about this specific sort but in general spruce has some guidelines i think.
Be careful with fertilizer on spruce and never on the needles.
Spruce loves water in the summer.
Because the finer feeder roots die in winter time, they need to have mist or a humid atmosphere outside,
that way the needles get some water. They are frost hardy so no problem with that,, in spring new fine feeder roots grow.
Another thing with spruce is that they do not like to placed elsewhere they can react with sunburn.
Wiring can take ages.
Bonsai4mespeciesguide gives some information about branch structure work.
Sunip Wink


Last edited by sunip on Tue Apr 24, 2012 4:05 pm; edited 3 times in total

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Re: Spruce from Home Depot

Post  Sakaki on Tue Apr 24, 2012 9:13 am

Nice piece, Rob!
I agree with you about lowest branch that should stay at the moment.
You may even think about han kengai in the future depending on tree's tendency also, who knows!?

Taner

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rob

Post  tap pi lu on Tue Apr 24, 2012 10:38 am

bounce bounce worthwhile achievement

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Re: Spruce from Home Depot

Post  Rob C on Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:21 pm

Thanks everyone.. The lower branch will stay for now.

Hello sunip..Thanks for the info... This tree will not be repotted this season. I only wanted to do one thing so I chose to style this year and repot wither next year or the year after. Also, I did check underneath the soil for more trunk. Actually it was one of the first things I did Very Happy. I have read that it is best to work on these species closer to fall or while the tree is not in it's growing phase. I decided to go ahead with it now becasue the tree is just barelystarting to push growth and buds and was not in it's full growing period yet. I have read the bonsai4me article about spruces before. It is a very good article and a very good website in general.

Hello Sakaki.. A han kengai is an interesting future possibility back up plan. The way these things tend to die back and be stubborn. I think one needs to have a back up styling plan.

Thanks again everyone.

Rob

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