Picea abies No.3

I have always strange feeling writing first time about some tree. Now that's the case. This is one of my Norway Spruce projects. Tree was collected in March 2011. Encouraged after successful collection of my first spruce (Picea No.2) I went on same place and brought back couple of them.
So, tree was collected and potted into plastic pot. Immediately fertilized and well watered. Basically, nothing more than fertilising and proper watering was not done to it most of the time.
Couple of days after collecting from wild during the spring 2011.
Then tree shed the needles and kept only most recent once. They do it always when stressed from transplanting from wild. It obviously results in leggy branches with needles only on the ends. Funny part is you have to force it to back bud and create foliage on those inner parts of the branches. But you cannot do it too quickly, because spruces do not like to lose too much of foliage mass at once. 
So you have to keep removing tips of the branches, force tree to create buds on inner parts of them and consecutively again remove end parts. It depends on the tree, but achieving it on one meter long branch it could take few years. 


Picture from June 2011. Lower branches removed, left only those which could be used in future design. Strange upward growing branch on left side left on purpose. I had a feeling by removing it tree would be too simple. With this branch it is possible to create secondary trunk.  

Old needles in first summer. And fertiliser, chicken granules visible.

One year later in June 2012, color of the foliage much better. It is sign of well fed tree, gaining health and growing new roots. Foliage still too far from where it needs to be
Strong growth on second year. 
So tree was first time cut back, ends of the branches removed. Overall foliage mass was reduced. Now we are waiting for new buds on old wood. 
Summer 2013. Result of fertilising and watering. Strong back budding and new growth. 
Then there are no more pictures from 2013-2016. There were two things done to the tree in that time period. Trunk on the top was jinned. Tree was originally about 2-3 meters high. It was shorted on collection day. One have to deal with apex so jin is most common solution. Makes sense on conifer though. 


Second important move was this:

Couple of guy wires were used to fix originally straight horizontal branches into downward facing positions. It was left this way for few years and they hardened into this positions firmly.  
Fast forward to the future and now we are in summer 2017. Dried stumps are jinned. Guy wires removed. 

And this is how it looked before first major styling. 

Little helper born three years later after collecting this spruce. In the are of refusing orders to clear the photo area, yet. At least she is helping with aerating substrate surface. Never too early to learn decent skills. And it gives you perspective on the tree size. 


Jins were later burned and brushed with wire brush. Time will make its work and patina will be much better. 
One of the stumps jined later. You can see the wood density. Tree was growing in harsh conditions gaining only minimum of girth annually. This stump is about 1cm thick. I can count about ten rings, so about 10 years old branch. Whole tree could be about minimum 50 years old, probably more. 

Now this is the result of wiring after first session. 
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And finished on next night under artificial lighting. 


And final pictures on next day:








Now, whats next? New pot in spring. Shortening branches even further, bottom part mostly. One or two major branches will go. Top may be lowered a bit and created much longer jin. There could be shari from apex jin down to the nebari....a lot to do for next decade, hmm? 

We will see.