Sitka Spruce – Picea sitchensis

Just about recovered from the weekend of bonsai workshops, not just as a participant, but also a host, which has it added drawbacks but also benefits.

Great to hear the great feedback from club members, who are also friends, makes it all the more worthwhile. I didn’t get many photos on the day I worked with with Peter, a bit busy, but I do have some to share.

I opted to work on a Sitka Spruce collected a few years back. I have been clipping it back to induce back budding with pretty good success. I had left a few options for design but I wanted Peter’s direction as to the best course of action. This is the tree before.

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As you can see it has a heavy base with a decent root spread, however the branches are still long and further back budding will be required. Peter sees this as being a chuhin sized tree as an end game. The only work needed on Saturday was to get the primary branches placed and open to the light. The foliage on the tree will ultimately all be replaced with new inner growth.

A rare photo of me in a workshop. Not sure who lifted my camera to take it but thank you 🙂

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This is it after the branches had been placed. The two remaining branches are starting to back bud a few inches up which is just where I need growth, therefore these will be left for a year until there is enough growth there to chop back too. This can be seen below as can the back budding from last year on the branch to the left. A long term project but material worth the effort I think.

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Last years back budding

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I also got Peter to look through a few other trees for me with suggestions for their future. This was every bit as important as actually working on trees and has left me with some tasks to preform.

I had recently wired and styled the pine and juniper below to refine the images further. I asked Peter to tweak them to see what changes he made. Nothing major but it’s amazing the difference those few alterations can make. Again this is a great way to learn how to improve your own skills and of course, the tree.

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Thank you Peter for a great weekend. You are probably the easiest house guest I’ve ever had, all you need is a comfy sofa and a bottle of red 😉

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