Darn douglas fir ---

buddhamonk

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I don't particularly like Douglas Fir but I do have one - The thing is that I have never been able to get it to budback or ramify - all it does is grow a single bud at the end of each branch every year

Anybody know how to get one to produce more than 1 bud and possibly buds on 2yr/3yr old wood? Should I trim the buds in the fall and hope for new ones by springtime.

Anyway I gave the shimpaku a break - probably won't work on it until this fall just to make I don't kill the thing - probably lost 40% of its foliage already.

Anyway here goes -



















Manny
 

grouper52

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Nice tree, Manny! I like what you've done with it so far.

I'm not familiar with specifics techniques for this specific tree, which is somewhat unrelated to types of trees more commonly used for bonsai, but let me venture a guess based on what I do know, and others can chime in with more expert opinions if they've worked with DFs before.

First, I assume that second to last photo is a recent one, with new, lighter green growth budding out? If so, it looks like it's growing at least somewhat vigorously this season, and would probably tolerate removal of the new growth right now, either cutting or pinching it off, and hopefully will respond like other conifers by putting out a new, second flush of growth on latent buds at the bases of the old needles, giving you the back budding and ramification you're looking for. Alternatively, and not as good a choice, IMHO, you could wait until early fall as it's forming buds and then either trim the buds, or, more powerfully, remove all this year's growth, which would then force the same response onto the remaining 2 and 3 year old needle's latent buds for next season.

grouper52
 

buddhamonk

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Yes that's what I've been wondering - Do I pinch in the spring like a spruce or in the fall like a pine -again this is my only douglas fir - I've had it for 5 or 6 years and I've been working on the roots since, trying to get it into a smaller container - I've only now considered working on foliage.

Anyway, with so many US members - I bet someone has had some success with this species.

Manny
 

grouper52

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As a further theoretical extrapolation from what i already know, (which is always a bit risky!), DF is a Pseudotsuga, "false hemlock", and therefore perhaps (I'm not certain on the taxonomy) closest among trees I HAVE worked with to hemlocks. Hemlocks respond well to springtime pinching.

Heck, I've got dozens of DFs in my yard. They're bursting out right about now - ought to pinch a few branches on young ones and see what they do! :)

grouper52
 

rschlafer

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Yes that's what I've been wondering - Do I pinch in the spring like a spruce or in the fall like a pine -again this is my only douglas fir - I've had it for 5 or 6 years and I've been working on the roots since, trying to get it into a smaller container - I've only now considered working on foliage.

Anyway, with so many US members - I bet someone has had some success with this species.

Manny
Hi, I live in colorado and collects firs. I have gotten them to bud back quite well. I pinch them in the spring and then in the fall knock off any terminal buds in the fall. I have also found that branches with no buds usually die.
 

chrisbotero

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Manny, how aggressive have you been with removing old soil, root prooning, etc? I have a big boy I collected last spring that is sitting in a box in mountain soil surrounded by pumice and I will probably start removing native soil this fall or next spring depending on root growth.

I agree with the pinching of spring growth. Depending on how healthy it is, maybe leave a few sets of new needles and remove the rest. It fits with hemlock, spruce and sub-alpine fir so why not the dougies?

Chris
 

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