A big hello to all and my birdnest spruce

Taylor Brown

Sapling
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Hello my name is Taylor Brown, my Dad is Tachigi. I've read this forum for a while along with some others and found that this gives the best info. so with Dad's permission I have joined. I hope you will help me with my love for bonsai, Dad's advise is getting old.:p Please don't take it easy on me because I'm a kid I want to learn

This is a picture of a birdsnest spruce I collected. I think the trunk is awesome. I don't know how to get the branches to bud back on a spruce closer to the trunk. Can anyone help me out?
 

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Welcome to the forum!

I'm not really the one to ask for horticultural advice, but I can tell you to be very proud of your tree! It's way better than any of mine!
 

irene_b

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Hello my name is Taylor Brown, my Dad is Tachigi. I've read this forum for a while along with some others and found that this gives the best info. so with Dad's permission I have joined. I hope you will help me with my love for bonsai, Dad's advise is getting old.:p Please don't take it easy on me because I'm a kid I want to learn

This is a picture of a birdsnest spruce I collected. I think the trunk is awesome. I don't know how to get the branches to bud back on a spruce closer to the trunk. Can anyone help me out?
Welcome Taylor....
We hope your experiances here will be good learning ones!
Irene
(Mom):D
 

bonsai barry

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Hi Taylor,

If you're not sure about the branch back budding you might try experimenting with a branch you don't like. You're young enough that if you experiment now, you'll be a lot smarter than your dad by the time you're his age!
 

Vance Wood

Lord Mugo
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Hi Taylor, let's try to decide what to do about your spruce. Birds Nest Spruce generally back bud fairly well if they are vigorous and healthy. This tree you have looks like it has been recently harvested, maybe in the last two years? You need to take really good care of it. Make sure it gets a lot of fertilizer this summer, and enough water so that it does not become totally dry. Spruce like more water than Pine trees.

If you do that it should start growing really well and you will start to see some back budding. Once that starts to happen you can shorten the really strong growing branches a lot as long as you leave some needles on them. They should back bud, and force back budding in other places. But, the important thing is that the tree has to be healthy and strong. Leave the weak branches alone. This may take several years. With a trunk like this it is worth the wait. If you are anxious to work on something find something new to work on and leave this one alone except for what I just told you. Please keep us informed and we will continue to try and help.

PS. Tell your Dad he should be proud of you and that he has a cute kid.
 
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Taylor,

Welcome to the forum.


I showed this post to my own daughter, Anna. She was excited to see another young person in bonsai, especially a young girl.

Anna is five years old and has been to two club meetings so far (which she says has a lot of grandpas attend). At our last meeting she took in one of her mames and they asked her to come up front and tell them about her bonsai. She did very well answering the questions, even though she was nervous. At home she has started calling Vance Wood, Mr. Vance and thinks he is funny.

Being five, she doesn't yet have a complete command of writing and reading, but she did want me to tell you that she likes your bonsai very much and she wonders if all your bonsai are so big? How do you carry them?

Attached is a couple of pictures of Anna, one with a ficus group I orginally made (she later fell in love with it and I gave it to her) and which she cares for herself along with her many mames and a picture of her eyeballing one of my bonsai.

She also hopes to see more from you.

Thanks in peaking her interest on the forum world, I think you have a fan.



Will
 

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Taylor Brown

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Ms. Irene / Mr. Barry / Mr. No
Thank you for you for greeting me to bonsainut. Mr. Barry my Dad says that I'm smarter than him already :)

Birds Nest Spruce generally back bud fairly well if they are vigorous and healthy. This tree you have looks like it has been recently harvested, maybe in the last two years? You need to take really good care of it. Make sure it gets a lot of fertilizer this summer, and enough water so that it does not become totally dry. Spruce like more water than Pine trees.
Hi Mr Vance, have you been spying on me because you knew how long its been since I collected my tree. Dad said you were smart. I promise I'll leave it alone for this year. I'll feritlize it and keep the soil moist. Should I keep this in full sun or should it get some shade? I hope it buds back this year. It drives me crazy looking at this awesome trunk with the long ugly branches. Thankyou for your advise. By the way Mr. Vance I like your maple thats in the gallery.

Hi Mr Will, I like your saying about riding horses backwards. Say hi to Anna for me.

she wonders if all your bonsai are so big? How do you carry them?
Please till her thats what Dads made for. I only have 3 big ones and 4 small ones. I had more small ones but I sold them on ebay with Dads help so I could get money to buy better material.

Attached is a couple of pictures of Anna, one with a ficus group I orginally made (she later fell in love with it and I gave it to her) and which she cares for herself with her many mames and a picture of her eyeballing one of my bonsai.

She also hopes to see more from you. Thanks in peaking her interest on the forum world.
Wow those are really nice. She is really lucky I like the slab planting. Heres a picture of the slab I did with a cotoneaster I put on a piece of pennslyvannia flagstone it turned out kind of fat and ugly I still need to learn how far I can reduce the roots. Tell Anna I will see her around and good job.
 

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Vance Wood

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Wow, kids make and break your hearts at the same time, you stole mine. Wonderful beautiful children.

Keep the Spruce where it gets a lot of sun until the weather starts getting hot, the move it where it is out of the afternoon sun. I think you probably dug this tree from the ground. Trees like this one are worth waiting on and sometimes it takes three growing seasons to really get going. Just remember time is on your side there is no hurry. The longer it takes for the tree to start doing something the more you will have learned before the time comes to start working on it. You have a tree anyone in bonsai even possibly Mr. Pall would like to have. Not many are fortunate enough to have a tree of this caliber to start on, and a father that knows what he is doing to help. Give the tree time and in a few years you will have a world calss bonsai---that's something.
 
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grog

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This is really great and all but I'm depressed knowing I'm going to be asking Taylor and Anna for advice in a couple years....


That is a fabulous looking spruce Taylor and I would be willing to bet that if you asked really nice your dad would be more than happy to find other things for you to work with while you wait for the spruce to take off. (Don't hate me Tachigi ;) )
 

Tachigi

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I hope you will help me with my love for bonsai, Dad's advise is getting old.
It only can be old if your awake to hear it :p

(Taylor on point :rolleyes: at a 6 hour Demo / Lecture on Black Pines at Bonsai West. She did well till the 4th hour and her eyes crossed studying wiring technique)
 

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Jon Chown

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Hi Taylor, Welcome to the wonderfull world of Bonsai, I am not sure who is the luckiest one, you or your dad. You to have a dad able to give you direction or you dad for having a child with the desire to learn and perhaps take over the collection and continue when he is ready.

I can't help with your tree except to say that it appears to me that you have learnt your first lesson. Start with good stock and the chances of producing a good bonsai are greatly increased.

I do hope that you maintain your interest in the art form as you grow in years and I look forward to seeing your name on the leader board in the future.

Jon
 

Dale Cochoy

Shohin
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Hello Taylor,
I have been looking for a few pictures since I first read your post.
Just last night while in chat with your dad I remembered where they were hiding.

This Birdsnest Spruce was a demo that I did for the Susquehana bonsai club 10 years ago!
I had collected this pretty large BS about 2-3 years earlier from landscaping and placed it in a big plastic training tray and cut it back pretty severely.
It spent the 2-3 years recouperating and rooting very well and filling back out wth foliage. Foliage that re-grew was pretty thick.
It originally had a large dead center in the plant with broken off branches, like something heavy had fallen into the plant in the landscaping ( Maybe a person!) . Most of the dead stuff I just broke off and left alone as I knew I would work with it later.

I did the demo during a 2-21/2 hour meeting of the club at a nursery near Baltimore. The tree was potted and wired at the meeting. After the tree was raffled at the meeting I returned with it to Jim Doyles "Natures Way Nursery" to spend a couple more hours carving the dead wood and to do some finer wiring.

I took these old print photos in Jim's Tokonoma in his shop. I'm sorry about the quality but they are scanned prints which were pretty crummy to begin with.
The pot was like one I have outside now which I just measured and it is 21" across, soooo, with some careful measuring on the photo I can determine the finished styled tree was pretty close to 39" across.

I have no idea what ever became of the tree after I left it to the winner.

This is/was as my teacher used to say, "A bonsai beginning". A first styling from collected material.

Several years before this my teacher, Keith Scott, and I had purchased 30 very large birdsnest spruces with anticipation of retail sales. A few of these I still have planted in my garden landscaping and they have grown enourmous trunks over the 17ish years since I planted them. They require HEAVY pruning every few years and grow back to fill in wonderfully.

I have found that they do well in MY full sun all summer ( NE Ohio) and that they can be kept on the drier side as compaired to most plants. Basically, I treat them like most of my conifers. They do seem to grow roots quite quickly and fill a pot pretty quick. The roots are thick and fleshy and not really very attractive, but the buttresses get pretty nice. I always thought that these spruce roots looked like a bowl of spaghetti!
Heavy branches can be slowly moved over a few years using guy wires. You can cut back each season to produce back-budding but do not go beyond the foliage limits.
Hardiness is NO problem in your zone.

Please, enjoy bonsai and keep up the collecting. I wish my boys had shown your interest!

Regards,
Dale
 

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Taylor Brown

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Hi Mr. Dale,
I am sorry it has taken me so long to write back. I only get computer privilages if I have all my home work done. I had a lot of homework this week:( . Dad tortured me by telling me about your pictures.I think your bird nest spruce is awesome, I hope that I can have one that good looking in a few years. I am getting tired at lookig at the branches that are long and skinny with no foliage. I hope it doesn't take long to get it where yours is. I can't believe that you have these planted in your yard and there 17 years old....need help digging them up:p Thank you for sharing your pictures, it helps me.
 

Dale Cochoy

Shohin
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Thank you Taylor.
This tree was not planted in my yard for 17 years , others where/are. They are still there, four.
This tree was collected by me from someones landscaping and chopped back and planted in a training pot ( as yours is). After collecting and potting up it didn't look much different than yours does now, except it had a big hole in the middle of it which was full of dead/broken branches.
After a couple years I did this demo on it. These pictures are from 10 years ago! not now. This was the from the first styling and potting of the tree from collected stock. The tree then was raffled off, so, it left my hands.
Good luck with your Birdsnest Spruce

Dale
 
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