Dwarf Alberta Spruce, two trunk

Atom#28

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Just documenting my work on a nursery stock DAS. The wiring was done in July, and the tree never skipped a beat in terms of growth. Backbudding very easily!82872B24-C9C6-42BA-A3C5-DA4FB693B8C4.jpeg098EC5DA-C463-40B7-BF2C-BB54FA483D54.jpeg954AFBA1-2A2A-4095-A718-264031B6C8F8.jpegC1277045-9C14-4B3F-8F1D-33CFCB18A896.jpeg
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sorce

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Hell yeah!

Sorce
 

Atom#28

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For repot in spring: reduce root depth/planting depth in pot, re-orient the tree so the trunks are not on the same visual plane, let it GROW.
 

Leo in N E Illinois

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I really like what you have done, nice tree, seriously a great start from nursery material.

How much time from day 1 to present?

If it is less than 2 or 3 years since the last repot, I would recommend letting it grow. You want at least 2, preferably 3 years between disturbing the roots. At least that is my conservative advice. You might get away with more frequent repotting, but there is the risk you will weaken the tree. Spruce seem really tough and vigorous, until they get weakened past a critical point. Then they go into a "death spiral" that you can not stop. Might take a couple years to die, but once the death spiral starts, there is no stopping it.

RIght now your tree looks healthy. No "death spiral" in sight. My suggestion to keep at least 2, preferably 3 or more years between repotting is to avoid stressing the tree to the critical threshold.

Just my 2 cents. You have been a member for over a year, you may already know about what my warning is about. I try to let my personal spruces go about 5 years between repotting.
 

Atom#28

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Just my 2 cents. You have been a member for over a year, you may already know about what my warning is about. I try to let my personal spruces go about 5 years between repotting.

Thank you for your input, man! I DEFINITELY needed that reminder! I am still working to be mindful and trying my best to get into “bonsai rhythm”, for sure. I will let him rest. Wait till you see the torture I beset on my other DAS.....
 

Potawatomi13

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One thing: Branches should bend down from base. Not arch up then down for more natural appearance;). Consider on second trunk removing apex but letting branches grow out as normal branches. Normally apex would be shaded out by upper branches but branches not so shaded still will grow.
 

Atom#28

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One thing: Branches should bend down from base. Not arch up then down for more natural appearance;). Consider on second trunk removing apex but letting branches grow out as normal branches. Normally apex would be shaded out by upper branches but branches not so shaded still will grow.

Yeah, that will be my biggest challenge....the branches were all coming from the trunk at a really steep upward angle, so I brought them down as far as I could without damaging the branch/trunk junction. As I get more interior growth, pretty much every branch is scheduled for reduction. My hope is that after a couple seasons, I can do more work on lowering the branch angles at the trunk.

On the smaller trunk, I have a new leader selected, about 2” lower, and it’s brand new growth, pushing out and away from the parent trunk. I think it will look more believable With time.
 

Adair M

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The longer you go with the arch in those branches, the harder it will be to fix.

DAS are notorious for branches growing up, not out or down. And, the branches are “springy” enough to slowly overpower aluminum wire. Yes, they will slowly return back to growing up because aluminum just isn’t strong enough to resist their upward pressure.

My suggestion is to remove the aluminum wire, and replace it wit copper, and while you’re doing that to utilize this technique:

Pay attention to Fig 16:


D23E3A2E-39DE-4E51-818B-2F3F9CE23862.jpeg

This keeps the branches from making “rainbow” curves. Heavy branches, you can use a piece of rebar. Thinner branches, a dowel or even chopsticks will work.
 

Atom#28

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The longer you go with the arch in those branches, the harder it will be to fix.

DAS are notorious for branches growing up, not out or down. And, the branches are “springy” enough to slowly overpower aluminum wire. Yes, they will slowly return back to growing up because aluminum just isn’t strong enough to resist their upward pressure.

My suggestion is to remove the aluminum wire, and replace it wit copper, and while you’re doing that to utilize this technique:

Pay attention to Fig 16:


View attachment 328125

This keeps the branches from making “rainbow” curves. Heavy branches, you can use a piece of rebar. Thinner branches, a dowel or even chopsticks will work.

Thank you so much for this! Do you think it’s safe to do that work now, even after having wired so recently? I have a bunch of copper wire I have been saving for just such an occasion!
 

Adair M

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If you are careful as you remove the old wire, I don’t see why not.
 

canoeguide

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That's a pretty awesome piece of stock and good work on it so far. Definitely don't rush this one, since (unlike every other $5 DAS) this one has a lot going for it already! Seriously nice find.

I have a crappy little DAS which is at least healthy but as yet unstyled. I keep wondering if this species is better styled up (with its natural tendency) or down (as we want to see it in bonsai cultivation), or some middle ground.
 

thatguy

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Dig it!! Great job on a very cool tree. I love seeing dwarf albera spruce turn out well. I've got one I'm fiddling with too but havent gotten as far as you yet.
 

Atom#28

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@Adair M, thanks for the tip! The bamboo dowels helped stabilize the branch and allowed me to “pivot” the branch downward waaaay closer to the trunk. And this is my first time using copper wire (I LOVE it). 743811EA-078C-410F-9C21-C9A55A9A10DB.jpeg
Hard to get any quality pics of the result, but I am happy with how it turned out :)
I did not have to use this technique with every branch, only 6, for now. Adjusting the turnbuckles felt like tuning a vintage Les Paul. Easy-peasy


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Adair M

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@Adair M, thanks for the tip! The bamboo dowels helped stabilize the branch and allowed me to “pivot” the branch downward waaaay closer to the trunk. And this is my first time using copper wire (I LOVE it). View attachment 328351
Hard to get any quality pics of the result, but I am happy with how it turned out :)
I did not have to use this technique with every branch, only 6, for now. Adjusting the turnbuckles felt like tuning a vintage Les Paul. Easy-peasy


View attachment 328354
View attachment 328353
That’s great!!! I’m glad I could help!
 

BobbyLane

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i like that. very powerful trunk on it. i can't help thinking the height takes away some of the power though. i think the material is suited to a stouter more powerful spruce image. this type of thing
WP

dont lose the second trunk tho!

this
 

Atom#28

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i can't help thinking the height takes away some of the power though

Yeah, the whole upper 2/3 of the trunk is virtually taperless. I guess I planned to obscure that with lots of smallish pads. But you got me thinking.... hmmmmmm

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canoeguide

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As I understand it, the hard part isn't chopping these down... it's waiting the 3 decades for the branch you wire up to blend in as a new apex. Personally, I don't mind the height of this one.
 

Atom#28

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I’ll probably keep this guy tall, and go the WP/ @BobbyLane route with the other DAS I have; an early beginning cliché attempt at the ol’ “struck by lightning” trope
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