Ezo Spruce pruning / development

yamins

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Hi all:

I've come into possession of a fairly old Ezo spruce. (At least, I think it's Ezo spruce, P. glehnii, not the similar but larger-foliaged P. jezoensis).

I've seen a few posts about Ezo spruces in various archives (I was inspired to write this by the previous post), but since the species is fairly rare in the US, I can't find too much specific information on it.

I repotted my tree in late March. It had been growing in extremely poor soil and no rootball to speak of. However, since then, it has been growing quite strongly, and clearly has been in need of pruning to maintain shape and develop foliage pad density.

Does anyone have specific information on the pruning times and patterns for Ezo spruce? For my other spruces (colorado and alberta) I have been following the detailed and clear directions here:

http://www.bonsai4me.com/AdvTech/ATPiceaPruningstylingandwiring.htm

Do these same directions apply to Ezo spruce? Is there anything special I should know? Btw, I obtained Saburo Kato's book on Ezo spruce, but it's not too specific on pruning details ....

Thanks!
Dan
 

Brian Van Fleet

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Hi all:

I've come into possession of a fairly old Ezo spruce. (At least, I think it's Ezo spruce, P. glehnii, not the similar but larger-foliaged P. jezoensis).

I've seen a few posts about Ezo spruces in various archives (I was inspired to write this by the previous post), but since the species is fairly rare in the US, I can't find too much specific information on it.

I repotted my tree in late March. It had been growing in extremely poor soil and no rootball to speak of. However, since then, it has been growing quite strongly, and clearly has been in need of pruning to maintain shape and develop foliage pad density.

Does anyone have specific information on the pruning times and patterns for Ezo spruce? For my other spruces (colorado and alberta) I have been following the detailed and clear directions here:

http://www.bonsai4me.com/AdvTech/ATPiceaPruningstylingandwiring.htm

Do these same directions apply to Ezo spruce? Is there anything special I should know? Btw, I obtained Saburo Kato's book on Ezo spruce, but it's not too specific on pruning details ....

Thanks!
Dan

Ezo = jezoensis
Sachalin = glehii

See Brent's for some info, here.
Bonsai Today has some Spruce articles in issues 12, 22, 24, 19, 20, 34, 35, 36, 43, 29, 50, 51, 62, 71, and 99.

Good luck, I have an Ezo coming from Brent this week...we'll have to compare notes.
 

yamins

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Right ... sorry for the confusion in the name. I had already ready Brent's statement on the issue in his plant catalog, but I came away from reading it under the impression that the "usual" reference of "Ezo spruce" is in fact P. glehnii, aka "Sakhalin spruce" (although the Sakhalin name never comes up on his page).

What I have is P. glehnii, I think. Like you, I also ordered two plants from Brent, one of which is P. glehnii and the other of which is P. jezoensis hondoensis. (Which one did you order? He doesn't seem to sell P. Jezoensis sp., at least not in the catalog.) The little P. glehnii that arrived from him has foliage much more like the large older tree that I have, whereas the Hondo spruce has much larger foliage.

I guess there's no clear information specific to pruning P. glehnii, or at least ... do you know if any specific one or two of the 15 Bonsai Today that you mention have such information? The reason that I ask is that its foliage is very different -- MUCH more compact -- that all the other spruces I've seen information for.
 

Brian Van Fleet

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I was trying for a Glehnii, but he didn't have any larger ones, so he's sending a Jezoensis. To my knowledge, I haven't seen a Jezoensis before, so I have no basis for comparison.

Brussel is quarantining some trees that Peter thought were imported for the Kennett Collection; one of which is a spruce that is probably a Glehnii...the only one I've ever seen, and the foliage is soft, and the color complimented the chocolatey color of the bark amazingly well. Here's a shot of that tree.

I've been reading all I can about these spruces, and Michael Hagedorn writes about them at his blog: http://crataegus.com/2009/02/24/ezo-spruce-clump/ writing that his teacher is fond of them.

It appears that they can be cut back pretty hard. I'll post a photo when I get home, and send the articles that deal with pruning/pinching. One issue has a great back-to-back with Kimura and Kobayashi each styling one. Another dealt with pinching.
 

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Articles on pruning ezo spruce:

International Bonsai 1990 issue #2, 1983 #1.
Bonsai Today #50: 11, #5:19, #9: 24 and #62: 24.

John
 

yamins

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John, that's really helpful .... Do you know where I might find these issues? -- Int'l Bonsai doesn't seem to sell back issues that far back, and the only Bonsai Today I was able to find on Stone Lantern was #50. (I'll ask later today if Hitoshi has some of them at NEBG? I could even photocopy some of the pages if they're not for sale ...)
 

Umeboshi

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John, that's really helpful .... Do you know where I might find these issues? -- Int'l Bonsai doesn't seem to sell back issues that far back, and the only Bonsai Today I was able to find on Stone Lantern was #50. (I'll ask later today if Hitoshi has some of them at NEBG? I could even photocopy some of the pages if they're not for sale ...)

Ebay is usually a good place to look for magazine back issues but you might need to be patient for specific issues.
 

Brian Van Fleet

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Here's my Ezo...thanks Brent!
 

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mcpesq817

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Wow, nice tree!!!
 

Pinenut

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Ezo spruce?

Right ... sorry for the confusion in the name. I had already ready Brent's statement on the issue in his plant catalog, but I came away from reading it under the impression that the "usual" reference of "Ezo spruce" is in fact P. glehnii, aka "Sakhalin spruce" (although the Sakhalin name never comes up on his page).

What I have is P. glehnii, I think. Like you, I also ordered two plants from Brent, one of which is P. glehnii and the other of which is P. jezoensis hondoensis. (Which one did you order? He doesn't seem to sell P. Jezoensis sp., at least not in the catalog.) The little P. glehnii that arrived from him has foliage much more like the large older tree that I have, whereas the Hondo spruce has much larger foliage.

I guess there's no clear information specific to pruning P. glehnii, or at least ... do you know if any specific one or two of the 15 Bonsai Today that you mention have such information? The reason that I ask is that its foliage is very different -- MUCH more compact -- that all the other spruces I've seen information for.

Hi, I was going to order a "Ezo spruce" from Brent but not sure which cultivar to purchase.
From what Brent is saying, I want the p.glehnii for bonsai. What is the size of the one gallon
p.glehnii Brent sent you. I thought about sowing some Ezo seeds until I came across Brent's Evergreen Gardenworks. Any information on this would be much appreciated.
Frank
 

Vance Wood

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None of you seem to mention that this tree supposedly grows well from cuttings. I guess what I am saying if you have a P.G you might want to consider striking some cuttings every time you prune the thing. It sure would be nice to have a source for this tree in the future.
 

Brian Van Fleet

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None of you seem to mention that this tree supposedly grows well from cuttings. I guess what I am saying if you have a P.G you might want to consider striking some cuttings every time you prune the thing. It sure would be nice to have a source for this tree in the future.

Will definitely give it a try. Peter pruned mine back very hard in October, and Brent said to repot it after pruning, in the dead of winter so the roots could be worked properly, so I repotted it last weekend. As it grows out, will strike some cuttings. It definitely looks rough right now, but with about 6 guy-wires this fall, it will be pretty convincing.
 

amkhalid

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Some general tips for spruce which you have probably already heard... the "one insult a year" rule seems to have been invented for spruce. No matter how strongly it grows after a rough repotting, don't thin it. I had an old engelmann spruce up and die on me over two weeks after a summer thinning the same year as a repot. It grew like crazy and then just died after I cut it back a bit.

Also... avoid fondling the foliage more than necessary... apparently the oils in your hands can easily choke up the stomata, irritating the tree. They have very tiny stomata, being a tree-line species. Sounds silly, but its something Marco Invernizzi told me and I have kept it with me. Possibly a myth, but who knows.
 

Brian Van Fleet

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Some general tips for spruce which you have probably already heard... the "one insult a year" rule seems to have been invented for spruce. No matter how strongly it grows after a rough repotting, don't thin it. I had an old engelmann spruce up and die on me over two weeks after a summer thinning the same year as a repot. It grew like crazy and then just died after I cut it back a bit.

Also... avoid fondling the foliage more than necessary... apparently the oils in your hands can easily choke up the stomata, irritating the tree. They have very tiny stomata, being a tree-line species. Sounds silly, but its something Marco Invernizzi told me and I have kept it with me. Possibly a myth, but who knows.

Thanks, good intel...Brent mentioned giving it a haircut and working the roots this winter (VERY pot bound). Peter also said to just let it grow wild this year, which I will do...and could easily give it 2 years if needed. But that was the first I've heard to not touch it, which is going to be tough. It has foliage that is hard to resist, and is one of those trees I habitually touch when walking by...kind of like shimpakus and white pines...
 

JudyB

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Some general tips for spruce which you have probably already heard... the "one insult a year" rule seems to have been invented for spruce. No matter how strongly it grows after a rough repotting, don't thin it. I had an old engelmann spruce up and die on me over two weeks after a summer thinning the same year as a repot. It grew like crazy and then just died after I cut it back a bit.

Also... avoid fondling the foliage more than necessary... apparently the oils in your hands can easily choke up the stomata, irritating the tree. They have very tiny stomata, being a tree-line species. Sounds silly, but its something Marco Invernizzi told me and I have kept it with me. Possibly a myth, but who knows.

This is great info to have. Thanks. Does this apply to all spruce?
 

amkhalid

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Thanks, good intel...Brent mentioned giving it a haircut and working the roots this winter (VERY pot bound). Peter also said to just let it grow wild this year, which I will do...and could easily give it 2 years if needed. But that was the first I've heard to not touch it, which is going to be tough. It has foliage that is hard to resist, and is one of those trees I habitually touch when walking by...kind of like shimpakus and white pines...

I wouldn't go as far as saying don't touch it. Just don't fondle the heck out of it :) Marco recommended wearing nitrile gloves and/or misting them when working on them.

Both of the tips I suggested are probably open to interpretation. I bet a practical person like Walter Pall who has over 100 spruce would say both of these rules are nonsense. And he may well be right. But I think it is safe to say spruce can be very finicky until they are well established and even then the one insult rule is a safe way to go.
 

Bill S

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I'll check our library when I get home tonight, there is a book on forests and Ezo spruce by a Japanese practicioner, lots of Ezo info in it, I'llget the name etc.
 

amkhalid

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I'll check our library when I get home tonight, there is a book on forests and Ezo spruce by a Japanese practicioner, lots of Ezo info in it, I'llget the name etc.

Ezo Spruce and Forest Plantings by Saburo Kato?

Excellent book, even if its not the one you are talking about. Worth having for anyone interested in forests, spruce, or just beautiful old bonsai books in general. Stone Lantern has it.
 

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