5 tree forest from Dwarf Alberta Spruce trees

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Having never done any sort of bonsai I recently pruned, wired and planted a small 5 tree forest from Dwarf Alberta Spruce trees from a nursery. I have been watching and reading as much as I can to learn what to do as a beginner. I realize I still need to do additional cleanup work and pruning. I have planted this in a training pot and feel like I should add maybe additional smaller trees to fill in some space? My ultimate plan was to let the forest grow for at least a year before doing anything else. Any suggestions and/or feedback is welcome. Attached are some photos before, during and after.
 

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coltranem

Chumono
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You are thinking correctly. You need more trees of varying sizes. Right now they spaced to far apart.
 

RJG2

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and feel like I should add maybe additional smaller trees to fill in some space?

Agreed. Generally you want the larger trees towards the front center, getting smaller as you go out and back. This gives the perspective more depth.

More randomness to the spacing would also help.
 

Paradox

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Decent start, but I agree with the tree spacing and trunk sizing.

Let it grow for now, you can always rearrange in a year or two.
In the meantime, study information and pictures about forest development and arrangement.
It will help give you some perspective on what makes a good forest.
 

Bonsai Nut

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Having never done any sort of bonsai I recently pruned, wired and planted a small 5 tree forest from Dwarf Alberta Spruce trees from a nursery. I have been watching and reading as much as I can to learn what to do as a beginner. I realize I still need to do additional cleanup work and pruning. I have planted this in a training pot and feel like I should add maybe additional smaller trees to fill in some space? My ultimate plan was to let the forest grow for at least a year before doing anything else. Any suggestions and/or feedback is welcome. Attached are some photos before, during and after.
Welcome to the site!

I would recommend just doing a search on "spruce forest bonsai". What you are shooting for is regular irregularity. In other words, you don't want your forest to look like a nursery - you want it look like random trees in nature. However, you want to cleverly arrange the trees so that they are perhaps more regular and symmetrical than trees in nature.

Avoid trees that are the same height. Avoid placing trees equidistant from one another. Use the tallest tree as the focus for your design, but never place it directly in the center. Group your trees into smaller groups - each of which is carefully arranged almost as if it was a separate planting.

Here is a nice example... though I think it is perhaps too regular.

virt1.jpg

I think it might be better with a shorter tree in the center(?)

virt.jpg

Either one is a nice composition.
 

ghues

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Having never done any sort of bonsai I recently pruned, wired and planted a small 5 tree forest from Dwarf Alberta Spruce trees from a nursery. I have been watching and reading as much as I can to learn what to do as a beginner. I realize I still need to do additional cleanup work and pruning. I have planted this in a training pot and feel like I should add maybe additional smaller trees to fill in some space? My ultimate plan was to let the forest grow for at least a year before doing anything else. Any suggestions and/or feedback is welcome. Attached are some photos before, during and after.
Welcome to this site and the wonderful world of Bonsai. Like most of us, as you explore, you’ll soon have many trees. If you are serious, then devote yourself to the other Bonsai websites and especially the Bonsai blogs.... there are a number of professions which is sound advise. If you are old school get some Bonsai books and study them. Consider your ability to put the energy and time into each tree/project for if you don’t you’ll be adding to the wood pile....it’s a passage and lesson.
You’ll get lots of advise even different opinions which can sometimes be very confusing.
Check around to see where the closet club is.
ONE IMPORTANT THING:
Please put your location in your avatar!
 
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Thank you all for the advice and feedback. I really appreciate the comments.

I love the example shared above by @bonsai-nut.3 great looking forest.

One of the issues I faced with my initial attempt here was stock nursery plants were all so similar in size. I completely agree, I wish I had a better variation in sizes.

So, I guess the biggest question will be should I let this grow for a year or so and then separate and add larger/smaller trees? These have now only been planted a couple of weeks so I hate to pull them up and risk killing them as they are just getting roots established.
 

sorce

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How do select which one to plant first?
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Duck Duck, Goose!

Welcome to Crazy!

Sorce
 

ghues

Omono
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Thank you all for the advice and feedback. I really appreciate the comments.

I love the example shared above by @bonsai-nut.3 great looking forest.

One of the issues I faced with my initial attempt here was stock nursery plants were all so similar in size. I completely agree, I wish I had a better variation in sizes.

So, I guess the biggest question will be should I let this grow for a year or so and then separate and add larger/smaller trees? These have now only been planted a couple of weeks so I hate to pull them up and risk killing them as they are just getting roots established.
I would definitely recommend growing them for at least this year and next. Maybe get a few more and work them as individuals, maybe in big pots to grow them out. Good luck.
 
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That looks great. I just recently made a Dwarf Alberta Spruce forest too.

Great job! I've still got to put moss on mine :)
 

HENDO

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Thank you all for the advice and feedback. I really appreciate the comments.

I love the example shared above by @bonsai-nut.3 great looking forest.

One of the issues I faced with my initial attempt here was stock nursery plants were all so similar in size. I completely agree, I wish I had a better variation in sizes.

So, I guess the biggest question will be should I let this grow for a year or so and then separate and add larger/smaller trees? These have now only been planted a couple of weeks so I hate to pull them up and risk killing them as they are just getting roots established.
Even though I'm from Alberta I don't have much experience with Alberta Spruce... but if it is not too harmful to the trees I would be trying to clump them a bit more on one side of the container - create negative space on the other side. If you can get one slightly larger tree to use as your primary in the meantime and create some perspective that would be a big bonus. If not, pick a primary and stunt the others?

Surely the roots haven't done much since this initial planting so you still have time? I've re-arranged Bald Cypress plantings like this twice in one winter without issues, just not 100% sure about these Spruce.
 

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