Noble Fir time to remove 1st wiring

Japonicus

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Plus a Sekka hinoki cutting that has taken to boot.

This was a 2" plug I purchased on Amazon I think, but fail to find it in my orders, so I may've bought it elsewhere.
I'm pretty sure it was a Noble fir tree rather than concolour er White.
It certainly is a SLOW grower, with what I interpret as having 2 small flushes of growth this year, Spring and Summer.
 

Japonicus

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@Leo in N E Illinois
Have you any general pruning advice on this?
It appears to be a good candidate for cut backs.
I need to thin the middle out for a little better definition of the trunk next year, when?
It's just been so slow that I'm apprehensive of other cut backs and plan to let it continue
to take to the pot for a couple years and see where the interior buds go. Just would like
to avoid it getting leggy if I could pull on your knowledge pool.
 

Potawatomi13

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Tree IS true Fir however have never seen less noble looking "Noble" Fir. Believe species ID is incorrect. Personally would wait to prune until 2022 growth hardened off for what bit of trunk growth might be contributed by waiting;). Fertilize well for max growth of trunk. Also no need to remove wire until begins to cut in.
 
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Japonicus

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Personally would wait to prune until 2022
already on that, I'm asking when @Leo in N E Illinois and how when, may change with
maturity, back budding and general development.
I need to thin the middle out for a little better definition of the trunk next year
Also no need to remove wire until begins to cut in.
That IS the title of the thread, did you notice? LOL
You got me to go back through my Amazon and eBay history
This was purchased from John Steen Trees July 16, 2019 for $16.99 + sh.
Looked much like this Monterey cypress
1638400362350.png
and labeled as Noble Fir. I agree...the new growth certainly looks more like Noble fir when it
is not hardened off, then as it matures the characteristics of the needles change somewhat, but what do I know about a
3 yr old fir tree...nothing. It was a plug like the one above. Do you have any identification suggestions @Potawatomi13 ?
 

Japonicus

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Found a couple pics of it from June 2020
1638401069573.png

1638401128152.png
yeh I'm not so sure on the ID on this one either, but maybe it just needs to mature a bit more.
I was expecting more upwards growing needles when I bought this, hoping for a more bonsai silhouette branch
with the underneath cleaned by its natural growing habit.
 

Deep Sea Diver

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All true firs have notched, yet rounded needle tips and rounded buds. It looks maybe like rounded buds, I can’t see the notched tips definatively. Nobles also have needles that curve off of the base of the needle junction that make each needle when removed look a bit like small hockey sticks.

Granted, some of these characteristic are blurry with young stock. Also my experience is strictly in the field for noble firs. There are, however, three horticultural varieties and this may be one of these glauca, prostrata, and robustifolia.

This thread is shows an Abies procera ‘glauca’ in decent detail, although it could use better detail of the needles.

Good luck,
DSD sends
 

Potawatomi13

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already on that, I'm asking when @Leo in N E Illinois and how when, may change with
maturity, back budding and general development.


That IS the title of the thread, did you notice? LOL
You got me to go back through my Amazon and eBay history
This was purchased from John Steen Trees July 16, 2019 for $16.99 + sh.
Looked much like this Monterey cypress
View attachment 410731
and labeled as Noble Fir. I agree...the new growth certainly looks more like Noble fir when it
is not hardened off, then as it matures the characteristics of the needles change somewhat, but what do I know about a
3 yr old fir tree...nothing. It was a plug like the one above. Do you have any identification suggestions @Potawatomi13 ?
Sorry, no help. Dug some seedlings many years ago in Noble forest picnic area and seems had already blue needles at 1-2 years old and needles laid out to sides of branches. Know your tree is Fir but superficially looks more like Mt Hemlock:oops:. If from Jonsteen likely ID is correct and not cultivar.
 

Japonicus

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This little balsa Piccolo I got at Longwood Gardens this Summer is more what I expected
the Noble fir I got to look like. It's puzzling how I'm going to approach styling this one here
but I need to start next year while there's good interior foliage after it's potted and recovered.
DSC_7217.JPG

DSC_7218.JPG
All true firs have notched, yet rounded needle tips and rounded buds. It looks maybe like rounded buds, I can’t see the notched tips definatively. Nobles also have needles that curve off of the base of the needle junction that make each needle when removed look a bit like small hockey sticks.

Granted, some of these characteristic are blurry with young stock. Also my experience is strictly in the field for noble firs. There are, however, three horticultural varieties and this may be one of these glauca, prostrata, and robustifolia.

This thread is shows an Abies procera ‘glauca’ in decent detail, although it could use better detail of the needles.

Good luck,
DSD sends
Thanks for the reply DSD.
I took a couple pics with my phone to see if that helps, but haven't used my phone to log in yet.
When I look at a needle in just the right light or angle, you just can make out a faint
depression or line that runs the length of the needle, tip to base on the "Noble fir" needles.
The balsa is a little more pronounced I think.
I opened the balsa up a little to let light into the interior meter.
Unfortunately it has a large knuckle in the trunk at the first good branch.
Will have to cut the trunk away to overcome the fact.
 

Deep Sea Diver

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You are welcome.

To be honest, my first impression was a Silver Fir, but that doesn’t mean much at this point. 😎

Cheers
DSD sends
 

Deep Sea Diver

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So I double checked my handy good ole Flora of the Pacific Northwest and discovered Abies Procera doesn’t have tip notches. It has the other characteristics mentioned though. I included an image from the key. It’s doubtful Hitchcock and Cronquist will mind.

Coincidently we were looking at Christmas trees and there were Nobles trees there, I the liberty of taking some photos for you to refer to in the future.

Hockey stick shape bottom and side view

B7269374-68F0-4228-92B3-52CB5F874CD4.jpeg
0B621BE3-AE84-4AC6-937F-F5C6812A4998.jpeg

Needle tips and double row of stomata underside and same yet fainter on upper side of needles

0B621BE3-AE84-4AC6-937F-F5C6812A4998.jpeg

Topside cluster shape seen from end of branch. Note rounded buds.
8901D294-9CDF-4796-BB65-3C22902EF11D.jpeg

Close up buds
AB27CF98-1B34-4950-8270-C66DD5DA5660.jpeg

Flora Key for A. Procera
7394EAE5-AC8C-4A4D-A778-76E7B17F99A7.jpeg

Hope this helps!

Cheers
DSD sends
 

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Leo in N E Illinois

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@Leo in N E Illinois
Have you any general pruning advice on this?
It appears to be a good candidate for cut backs.
I need to thin the middle out for a little better definition of the trunk next year, when?
It's just been so slow that I'm apprehensive of other cut backs and plan to let it continue
to take to the pot for a couple years and see where the interior buds go. Just would like
to avoid it getting leggy if I could pull on your knowledge pool.

Sorry @Japonicus - The Thanksgiving holiday was busy. I have not had time to spend on BNut. I will probably be scarce through Christmas. Family and "stuff" keeps me pretty busy this time of year.

I can not identify which species of fir you have just from photos. I would trust the name your vendor gave you. Besides pretty much all species of fir are treated the same way as bonsai. s

General advice - I've only kept a fir or two for a year or two. That was more than 10 years ago, so I have no "current" experience. They need to be kept moist, not soggy, but they will not bounce back from drought. A spruce can get nearly "bone dry" and do quite well once regular watering returns. Abies, the firs, seem to be less tolerant of getting bone dry. They also suffer heat stress more quickly than spruce. When hot sun heats up black plastic pots, fir are less tolerant of this sort of heat. They need sun on the foliage but prefer somewhat cooler roots. Wooden grow boxes, Anderson flats and ceramic bonsai pots are fine. The typical "gallon sized" nursery pots, which are taller than they are in diameter potentially can get too hot at the roots. Low, wide pots are no problem.

In general, Fir are pretty much like spruce in the bonsai care and techniques used. Usually by middle August, buds will be visible on the current year's growth. You should be able to see secondary buds by Sept for pruning back new growth. I would prune for shape and style somewhere between August 15 to Sept 15.

Pines have adventitious dormant buds in the base of every bundle of needles. Spruce and fir do not have buds at the base of every needle. When pruning back, in order to keep a branch alive not only do you have to make certain there are some remaining needles, but you must also have a bud or two. As long as you see buds, you can cut back more than one years worth of growth, but you must see dormant buds on the remaining segment of branch. And a few needles too. So as long as you prune back to a bud, and leave a few needles, Fir are good candidates for cut back. Cut backs for styling and to maintain shape should be in the Middle August to Middle September.

Thinning out the interior to let light in can be done at any time.

Don't worry that growth has been slow. Just go with the flow. To just maintain shape, you can usually cut back the current season's growth, usually by about half. Half way along the length of a current year's growth there will be a dormant bud. Cut back to that bud and you will be able to keep it from getting leggy. Always cut back to a bud, and you will have no trouble.

When you style slow growing trees, plan to style by subtraction only. Don't use a design if it requires you to "grow out a branch here" or "add growth there". Slow growing trees just won't add the way you want them too. They do bulk up, but it takes much longer. They don't grow like elms.
 

Japonicus

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So I double checked my handy good ole Flora of the Pacific Northwest and discovered Abies Procera doesn’t have tip notches. It has the other characteristics mentioned though. I included an image from the key. It’s doubtful Hitchcock and Cronquist will mind.

Coincidently we were looking at Christmas trees and there were Nobles trees there, I the liberty of taking some photos for you to refer to in the future.

Hockey stick shape bottom and side view

View attachment 411206
View attachment 411203

Needle tips and double row of stomata underside and same yet fainter on upper side of needles

View attachment 411203

Topside cluster shape seen from end of branch. Note rounded buds.
View attachment 411204

Close up buds
View attachment 411205

Flora Key for A. Procera
View attachment 411201

Hope this helps!

Cheers
DSD sends
Thanks DSD. your macro shots are always spot on, good job. We're in Asheville for Christmas lights ATM, and visited Mountain Meadows nursery too 😀
 

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