One of my first attempts at Bonsai

Bob

Mame
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I've hung around this site for about 2 years now and have been trying my hand at Bonsai for about 3 years. I have never posted a picture of a tree mainly because I don't really have much to show for my efforts.

This Bird's nest spruce is one of my first attempts. The main thing that makes me happy about it is that it's still alive. When I look at the pics from 2007 and compare them to 2009 it makes me feel like I may have something in another ten years. I originally intended to try for a literari style but now I'm kind of lost as to where I should go from here.

I've followed the advice from the Bonsai4me reguarding the care of spruce and so far so good. I will probably put it in the ground for a few years but pruning is so much easier while it's in a pot.

The pics aren't the greatest but it would be great if I could get some suggestions and advice on a path to follow with this thing.

Thanks for looking.

Bob.
 

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TheSteve

Chumono
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have you been trimming the new growth? You got a good start on a literati but not much else I'm afraid. No lower branching rules out anything else. In this case I also wouldn't put it in the ground as literati are best with slenderer (is that a word?) trunks and you really don't want to beef it up. I would reduce the foliage by at least half if it were mine. Then wire the bones into place and begin root work and getting it into a smaller pot next year. Great job on improving the health of the tree. It's obviously growing well.
 
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Is the background bat and board siding? If so... that tree is still quite small, and therefore not limited to a bunjin styling. I have to advocate putting it in a larger grow box, or in the ground would be better.

Maintain the lowest portions with wire and trimming, but allow the top to grow radically tall. You could conceivably have a 3-4 inch trunk inside of 5-7 years.

What would be good for you to do is get your hands on some collected material that has been started into a pot and is vigorous. Then you can get the satisfaction of practicing your skills on something you can achieve results in hours with, vs. years.

Do you have any clubs in your area?

Kindest regards,

Victrinia
 

Bob

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Thanks for your responses.

Hi Steve, I do trim the new growth. The most recent pic was a pre trim photo. Stronger new growth gets cut back by half and weaker new growth gets cut back by a quarter. This seems to have worked as far as promoting new buds. Right now I'm looking at a 1" base with no nebari to speak of and literari is more than likely in the cards for this thing. I'll let it grow for another year and then maybe I'll have the guts to make some cuts. What I need to know is that if I reduce the foilage by half, will the tree stay healthy!

Hi Victrinia. That siding is like a t-111 with strips every 2' so it's a bit misleading. The tree is about 15" tall. As far as trimming, I never thought to let some sacrifice branches run wild. I have other trees that have leaders running wild but for some reason I've always kept this one cropped all around. Thanks for waking me up to this. And thanks for the Pittsburgh web site. About a year ago I went as far as printing an application but never followed up on it. Time to check it out and get some hands on guidance.

Take care.

Bob.
 
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Your tree will be fine if you prune the foliage... but let's remember that a tree only adds wood equal to the value of the foliar mass of the years growth. This is one of the reasons bonsai culture is the enemy of trunk growth.

I am sure you can visit a few times before deciding to sign an app... Get your toes in the water and see if you can find a mentor... they are gifts beyond compare, and you would be the same to them.

Kindest regards,

Victrinia
 

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