Abies Lasiocarpa information wanted

StoicGardens

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I have recently collected some awesome naturally restricted material. I cut a cross section from the jin i created to count rings to estimate age. I estimate 15 to 20 years old. Another much smaller but what i believe is much older due to the fact the bark is much harder cracking and deeper in color. I am thinking this is the tell tale sign of age. Could environment compact the cambium to create a tighter more firm bark on a younger tree? Or is the bark going to be gradually maturing at the rate genetics dictates? making the smaller much older than the larger.
A secondary question: how long does this tree live in the wild? What are going to be my biggest concern as far as pest and disease. (other than the fir blight which is controllable and preventable now that proper research has been conducted) This blight infects one year old buds very easily but older branches and buds seem to not be affected as much. Older trees are much more resistant to it that young ones. These trees are NOT infected and i plan to keep them outside of the zones that could possibly have it nearby and following up with preventative disease controls.
And last but not least this tree seems to bolt with very little fertilizer. Does it bring in nitrogen through the air into the plant to help it out? I know it will bring in water through the needles. Or is it just really efficient at foraging for its nutrient? I know it likes dry cooler conditions and prefers a bit more shade through the day. I would think very limited food is the key here for growth management even if i am still in the phase of development in a growing pot. I fear with a strong bolt i could start to lose movement in the trunk with too many explosive growths. And with the way the tree can reverse taper and swell at growth nodes it could be near impossible to regain that. Any thoughts?
 

rockm

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Bark is the worst way to estimate age in any tree. It grows in response to local conditions. "Aged" bark can somtimes develop on relatively younger trees, while some old trees can sometimes have relatively featureless bark.

Size is another misleading measure of age. I've collected small trees that were 100 years older than a larger tree of the same species 100 yards away.

Best way to tell is counting rings. This can be difficult, especially in trees growing in challenging conditions, which can lead to rings that have sometimes microscopic spaces between them.

Age is really kind of beside the point anyway. If it looks old, what's the real difference? Of course actual age can make a difference in how you collect, but not a whole lot...

As far as how trees get nutrients, it's through the roots. Foliar feeding is a sometimes controversial subject...It's unclear from the post if you dug these up, removing some of their root mass. If that's the case, you might want to lay off the fertilizer for a few weeks. The plants can't get much "food" through a root mass that is not functioning at 100 percent capacity.
 

StoicGardens

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collection

The trees were collected two years ago from mount hood. I did not collect them myself. I found the trees at a local nursery. They have quite a few pines and hemlocks as well that are collected from various points but all of them are somewhat small in size. They are all very vigorous and happy it seems. Not one of the trees in the group seems to not be growing well. I am estimating these trees got to grow for maybe 3 to 5 months a year. The rest of the time they are in cold conditions. Bringing them down elevation also seems to have allowed much stronger growth. I tend to think the largest in the group I have is 45. the youngest few about 7 to 10.
 

ghues

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Do you have any photos?
They (abies lasiocarpa) are a slow growing species in their natural envirio's but like you've stated you've given them a longer growing season so you will have to balance the water and nutrients.... so you don't get a huge flush of spring growth....... however, if you are diligent you can pinch them to reduce it.
Cheers
 

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