karen82 "This is Not a Contest" CO Blue Spruce

Messages
51
Likes
37
Location
Wisconsin
USDA Zone
5
#1
I'm pretty new to bonsai, I tried some trees years ago, but didn't really know what I was doing at all, and they died over winter one year. I just became interested again last summer.

This is my CO blue spruce, still buried in the vegetable garden for the winter. I picked it up cheap at a nursery last summer for $10. It looks pretty sad right now.
3-22-18 (2).JPG

This is what it looked like when I bought it, and a close up of the trunk and where I planned to cut it at the time:
8-17-17.JPG 8-17-17 front 2.JPG

I waited until fall to cut it. I picked the tree because it was cheap and had nice bark, but I didn't know anything about spruce when I got it. I realize now that they don't like to have much work done and shouldn't have more than 50% of foliage removed at one time, and need a growing season to recover from anything major. Just lopping off that top section was more than 50% of its foliage, so I didn't dare do anything more with it.
10-17-17.JPG


I'm kind of unsure what to do with this tree. I left that thick knob of the old trunk on and I know it needs to be carved down, but I'm thinking that should wait until next fall or winter.
In a few weeks, I will dig it out and remove loose soil and try to get it into a pond basket without barerooting. After that, from what I've read, it should get a good 6 months to recover and then I can do some work on it in fall if it's healthy.
 
Messages
179
Likes
119
Location
Nashville TN
USDA Zone
7a
#2
Could probably loose those branches coming out right at the soil level.. Would definitely help visualize it better.

Also, that top nub..I would think should cut that down at an angle to the side branch to create natural transition/curve..if not now, you will have to later right?

Same with the knob at your big chop..unless you’re going for deadwood or hoping for backbudding there or something.

I dunno..my very green thoughts.
 
Messages
51
Likes
37
Location
Wisconsin
USDA Zone
5
#6
Thanks.. and yes I know the lower branches will need to go, but I felt the tree had been through enough so I'll leave them until it recovers some.
I also plan to carve off that knob that I left, but at the time, I just cut it off where it was skinnier for a smaller wound (and because those needles were cutting my hand). I will probably wait til fall to cut it down though.

Do you think it would be ok to slip pot it just to get it out of the nursery container, or should I just avoid all root disturbances until next spring?
 
Messages
51
Likes
37
Location
Wisconsin
USDA Zone
5
#7
Also, I can get a better view of the trunk once I dig the pot out of the compost heap it's in right now. The ground is still snow-covered here, though, so I thought it best to leave it protected a little longer. It should be warmer next week and I can dig it out and get a better look at it.
 
Messages
515
Likes
831
Location
Vancouver Island, British Columbia
USDA Zone
8b
#11
I'm pretty new to bonsai, I tried some trees years ago, but didn't really know what I was doing at all, and they died over winter one year. I just became interested again last summer.

This is my CO blue spruce, still buried in the vegetable garden for the winter. I picked it up cheap at a nursery last summer for $10. It looks pretty sad right now.
View attachment 184039

This is what it looked like when I bought it, and a close up of the trunk and where I planned to cut it at the time:
View attachment 184040 View attachment 184041

I waited until fall to cut it. I picked the tree because it was cheap and had nice bark, but I didn't know anything about spruce when I got it. I realize now that they don't like to have much work done and shouldn't have more than 50% of foliage removed at one time, and need a growing season to recover from anything major. Just lopping off that top section was more than 50% of its foliage, so I didn't dare do anything more with it.
View attachment 184042


I'm kind of unsure what to do with this tree. I left that thick knob of the old trunk on and I know it needs to be carved down, but I'm thinking that should wait until next fall or winter.
In a few weeks, I will dig it out and remove loose soil and try to get it into a pond basket without barerooting. After that, from what I've read, it should get a good 6 months to recover and then I can do some work on it in fall if it's healthy.
I would leave it alone until spring 2019. It will likely require quite a bit of rootwork so it is best to let it recover and strengthen beforehand.