Judge #3: There is a lot of space between the two trunks. Suggest raising drastic drop of right side to make main trunk slat to right.
Colorado Blue Spruce (Picea Pungens Glauca Globosa-Malochyně)
This is a spruce I found at a local nursery. I’ve hunted high and low this past few weeks for a broadleaf tree but spotted this one and decided I had to go with this instead! It was found at Bett’s nurseries near where I live. It was marked up as a Picea Globosa but given the fact that it’s not all blue and is two tone, I think it must be the hybrid called Malochyně. It was looking a bit poorly in the nursery as you may be able to see from the photos so the owner gave it to me for half price. I think it is pot bound so that will need addressing. However, I think the fact that’s it’s been sitting in the nursery so long has given it more character. The trunk shows great promise and at present is a triple trunk. I am planning to get rid of one trunk I think. Unfortunately it’s a bit hard to see in the photo as it’s so dense at the moment but I plan on thinning it out. It is currently 24″ high. I can’t see this changing that much but it may get slightly smaller. I will be trying to find a nice pot for this and styling it so that you can see the inner branching and trunk a bit better. I can already see this is going to be one of my favourite trees in my collection and I am excited to start working on it.
One Quarter Progression
First of all I removed the third trunk which I think was actually a second tree growing in the pot right next to the main tree. It wasn’t much more than a branch and not really worth trying to save when repotting at a later date. I was amazed when I counted the rings on it and learnt it was 12 years old. I measured it up against the main trunk for a rough estimate of my tree. It measured just over 3 of this smaller branches wide to make it 40 years old, although this may or may not be accurate. I spent quite a long time getting rid of dead branches and carefully choosing which others to prune. I think there is probably one or two branches that need to be removed but I need to do a lot of staring at it to decide which ones! I didn’t want it to look too “christmas tree” conical so tried to stay away from the perfect triangle foliage shape. I like the way it is heading and I have chosen this as my front.
I worked on it a little more and decided a couple of branches didn’t fit the image. I stripped a few branches to add some deadwood to make a nice contrast to the colour of the trunk. There is a surprising amount of sap that came out and covered the jins, I don’t think I will need to protect them any time soon. I am not used to working on spruce so a lot of this is new to me. I wired some branches to further define the two trunks.
Three Quarter Progression
Since my last photo I was concerned about the length of time that the tree has been in the pot and the state of the roots. I lifted it from the pot and my suspicions were right, it was seriously pot-bound! I hacked away at the roots which was a tough job as they were so tightly wound together and ended up removing about a quarter of them. I didn’t want to overdo things too much. Unfortunately as is often the case with nursery stock it was buried very deep and I did not manage to find the true base of the tree at this time. I put it back into the same pot with a fresh soil mixture. I was a bit disappointed that the twin trunk is now higher than I want up the tree. I may well do a ground layer on the tree to bring the nebari closer to the two trunks in a few years time, once it has recovered completely.
Here are my final pictures of my tree showing front, side and back. I fully wired the tree and shaped the branches to a more pleasing layout. I did not want to re-pot it for now, just to let it recover for a year. So I simply added top dressing to the pot to tidy it up for now. I have enjoyed the challenge of this contest and am extremely happy with the final result. The future for this tree will be to slowly reduce the rootball to put it in progressively smaller pots over the course of the next 4 or 5 years. I have grown to like the single trunk at the bottom and I do not think I will layer it now to bring the roots higher. I did at one point think about removing the right hand trunk altogether and creating a deadwood feature out of it. I decided against it as I think it adds balance and the main trunk would have looked too skinny and young.