Huge Monster Birdsnest Spruce

JasonG

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I thought I would post this big ol' spruce to maybe stir up some positive bonsai discussions. Lets see how it goes :D

This was dug from a landscape almost 2 years ago. Since then it has done pretty well, pushing lots of new growth. I left this out at the farm under some large oak trees and the leaves that fell blocked out any sunlight to the right trunks apex. That in combonation with the sprinkler not hitting the soil 100% made it kinda weak and lots of tiwggy growth died off. This is ok though.

I brought it home the end of this summer knowing I would keep it wet, fed and happy. THis also allowed me to look at it and start to put a game plan together. This is a huge tree....the base is over 2' across at the soil and the tree stands around 5 foot tall.

From the get go I decided a trunk had to go, I need to get rid of the slingshot look that it has. With the left side bieng very healthy and the right side less healthy I think I will jin the right side. This will require a bunch of chainsaw work followed up with a die grinder and a dremel.

These pictures are pretty bad, very busy background etc... But the question is, if this were your tree what would you do? Would you make it a very large bonsai, would you get rid of a trunk, would you just use it in the landscape, burn it, how would you style it?

I just want to get some discussion going here and figured this would be a good tree with many options to start such a thing....

So, what would you do?
Proposed FRONT


BACK


By the way, my doggies say HI!!!
 

buddhamonk

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now that is a big one!!!

The trunk on the right side appear to straight and doesn't have any distinguishing characteristics. Also the two trunks are too similar in size. I suggest getting rid of rid and working on lowering the foliage with the remaining trunk that has a lot more going on.

I like the handles on the box =) that's pretty smart
 

Dale Cochoy

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Jason,
The first picture has much greener looking foliage than the second? What is time frame here? or, am I looking at them wrong?
Birds Nest Spruce make VERY nice bonsai.
Here is a shot ( scanned from a bad photo) of a big one I collected, established 2 years, then did a styling/carving/potting demo on about 10 years ago for the Susquehana group..

Sorry about the quality of the photo....pre-digital

Dale
 

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irene_b

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Jason can you take some pics from underneath so we can see the interior branch structure.
Irene
 

JasonG

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now that is a big one!!!

The trunk on the right side appear to straight and doesn't have any distinguishing characteristics. Also the two trunks are too similar in size. I suggest getting rid of rid and working on lowering the foliage with the remaining trunk that has a lot more going on.

I like the handles on the box =) that's pretty smart

Yeah, I agree with ya! The handles are a must have!! With my big juniper and another pine I ahve to screw 8' 2x4s on both sides of the box. to move them.... Not sure what I am going to do when I pot them soon.....

Jason,
The first picture has much greener looking foliage than the second? What is time frame here? or, am I looking at them wrong?
Birds Nest Spruce make VERY nice bonsai.
Here is a shot ( scanned from a bad photo) of a big one I collected, established 2 years, then did a styling/carving/potting demo on about 10 years ago for the Susquehana group..

Sorry about the quality of the photo....pre-digital

Dale

Hi Dale,

I agree that these spruve make great bonsai and the example you have shown is a nice one! The pictures were taken minutes apart so I can only assume that the bright fence background brought the color out as opposed to the foliage blending in with the grass background. Just a thought. The left side is greener than the right though..... I took these pictures back on Nov. 20th.

Jason can you take some pics from underneath so we can see the interior branch structure.
Irene

Hi Irene,

I will try to get those pics soon..... I will also try to get a solid background as well....I will do that on Saturday when I will ahve people around while it is light.

Thanks,

Jason
 

tom tynan

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Hey Jason...If you jin the right trunk and then rotate slightly you can reduce the V look...have you considered a trunk split on the left side; it looks like there is a natural place to split the trunk up high. It would take alot to split the trunk and then bring that split trunk down and to the left - but at least then you could lower the foliage. I think you would agree - not likely to chase the foliage much lower on the trunk. The other choice is to place it in a big half oak barrel and just enjoy it as a landscape piece. You might need a small block & tackle to lower that trunk - even if you can split it. Splitting would also give you the opportunity to expose a good size shari; that might help to counter-balance the foliage mass. The range of scales you are working at is impressive; delicate little shohin elms and then this beast-like spruce; pretty cool.....Tom
 

TheSteve

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It's pretty ok material I guess. Camera angles can play tricks though. That's a dauschaund and a four foot fence in the picture.



Okay just kidding I've seen the tree in person so I know just how huge this tree really is. If it were mine I'd keep the right trunk in the first pic. Jin the the daylights out of the left and give it a full length shari on the old trunk side. Branches will depend on back budding so I'd keep as many as i can. Then i'd heat the house for a week burning the other trunk.
 

TheSteve

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Didn't mean to be a thread killer. :eek: You mean no one else wants to mentally hack the *&^% out of this thing?
 

Eric Schrader

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From the get go I decided a trunk had to go, I need to get rid of the slingshot look that it has. With the left side bieng very healthy and the right side less healthy I think I will jin the right side. This will require a bunch of chainsaw work followed up with a die grinder and a dremel.

Jason, You know well how hard it is to give good advice based on just a couple photos. But I will say this: Whenever I am faced with a V like this the first thing that I try is to turn the V 45 degrees to one or the other side and see if that improves things. If you can put a lower crown in front or back and the main crown higher then you may be able to keep both.

Tilting so that both trunks are heading in the same direction is the second thing that I think of in this situation.

If you do choose to kill one, then it is a good candidate for what I believe Robert Stevens argued is a great bonsai design. Make the jin smaller, and as complicated looking as possible, it will provide great contrast to the large "simple" shape of the green crown of the tree.

Good luck.

Eric
 

TheSteve

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This thing needs wheels. We moved it on Saturday and it nearly killed both of us.
 

irene_b

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Didn't mean to be a thread killer. :eek: You mean no one else wants to mentally hack the *&^% out of this thing?

LOL Patience Grasshopper!!
I love to look them over for a good long while and do mental removals of branches long before the cutters come out..:D
 
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Hey Jason,,
How are Bird's Nest as far as removing from the ground? do they send out and massive root structure? I have an opportunity to remove one 3/4 this size from my in-laws yard this spring. Any special care needed to do this task?
BTW...
Nice BIG Tree.:D
Kevin J
Zone 5 IL
 

JasonG

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Hey Kevin,

This was actually dug by RichL......but I did root work and boxed it up as it is seen now. But when digging trees of this size it is important to make sure you have lots of soil ready and also the materials to build the right size box once you have it out of the ground. Make sure you get plenty of roots and don't bare root it. You should be ok, spruce are pretty tough trees. With spruce, make sure you only do 1 insult per year, this is from Walter Pall.

Good luck, and post some pics of the tree you are going to get.

Jason
 

JasonG

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Update....

Ok, the other day I broke out the new little chainsaw and cut off the right trunk. Where I cut it off it is about 8" indiameter. I tell ya, this is a large tree!!

Next step, which will be soon is to get out the die grinder and start carving on the wood and cleaning up the jins on the left trunk. I may also pull some branches around too.....not sure though. Updates to follow in the next few weeks...


Jason
 

JasonG

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How's this one doing Jason?

-dave

Hi Dave,

Thanks for the interest in this one..... It is doing well. Last year it was at the farm and was just out of sprinkler reach so the foliage really took a hit. That is why I chose to cut off the right trunk and keep the left trunk. The foliage on the left was much nicer and more of it. Now I have it in my yard so I am able to water it every day and it is turning around nicely, greening up and looking healthy.
Late in summer I will thin the foliage out a bit and carve the stump that is left.

Thanks again, Jason
 

Bob

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Jason, are you getting any back budding or just growth at the tips?

Thanks.

Bob
 

JasonG

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Jason, are you getting any back budding or just growth at the tips?

Thanks.

Bob

Hi Bob,

For right now just growth at the tips.... but on the interior branching as well. With that said, I haven't done anything to promote back budding either. Late summer early fall I will start setting branches then next spring I will really work on back budding. I will thin it out a bit this summer too....

Once I start working to get back buds I am pretty confident it will work just fine.

Thanks, Jason
 

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