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first bonsai pruning, where to start?

Posted by pisforpickles Virginia (My Page) on
Mon, May 18, 09 at 21:40


i just bought a small dwarf spruce from lowes and want to make this into a bonsai, but nothing i have read shows how to do this. is there a starting point, such as do I prune the roots first and then the top. when pruning the top, do I prune down to make the tree shorter and then start with branch pruning for wiring?

any help would be good. this is the first bonsai i'm trying and would like to get into a forest planting, so i'm shooting for thin straight trees, just on a mini scale. any help would be great.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: first bonsai pruning, where to start?

I'm assuming it's a dwarf Alberta, most common anyway. You didn't give much info about it so I'll say this:
For this year I'd just 'slip' pot it into a larger pot disturbing the roots just a little and let it grow on some.
You can do a lot of checking on the web for styles but it sounds like you're interested in a semi or formal upright which is what these lend themselves to best of all.
I'd suggest looking at the tree, looking at some upright styles and doing some simple drawings first.

These trees make great informal and formal uprights, they can be cut and pinched hard in spring--and pinched hard all summer. Yes, they also lend themselves to great forest plantings.
They love water but not having their feet wet. If you up-pot it you can use just medium to small Pine bark mulch, it will love growing in that.
Wiring: this is pretty much out of the question for Albertas. You can wire it but the branches won't take a set. When you take the wire off you will watch the branches slowly return to the original position...this is no lie.
Do some looking...up-pot it...get the shears (and a sharp thumbnail ready) and have a ball.

If I get a chance--and Photobucket behaves itself--I'll try and post a pic of a big 9 tree planting I did on a slab of rock.


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