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TOPIC: Blue Spruce and Live Oak Bonsai

Blue Spruce and Live Oak Bonsai 9 months 3 weeks ago #37152

During the Christmas season I received a 3.5 year old live oak bonsai tree as a gift, and also purchased a small blue spruce from Walmart for 3 or so bucks.
I generally understand the basics, as I've wanted to get into bonsai for some time now.

So far, the oak (which is a pair of 3.5 year old Live Oaks in one pot) has been root trimmed and pruned prior to my ownership. It is getting a bit lanky, so I'm looking for advice on how to reshape it and keep it from proceeding in this fashion. It just sprouted some new growth this weekend, and has rapidly developed since.

The spruce, which is a Colorado Blue Spruce, I got from walmart, and it was entirely root bound in its pot (there was maybe 1/2 cup of dirt inside). I trimmed 2/3 of the roots off, which is more than I would normally do but it was so dense the tree handled it nicely. It has also been repotted with two or three small, dead shoots removed from the bottom. I know spruces are difficult to style, but I have nothing else better to do with my time and I like it. It also started putting out new growth this weekend as well.

All the pruning guides I have seen only say "pinch back to the safest point" but I have seen very little info on where exactly this point is.

I have attached pictures of each tree at the bottom in an imgur album (they exceed the sites file size limit). Yes, they are indoors, I have already setup a lighting system for them that seems to be working great (its been a month) and my room is well ventilated and temperature controlled. I also took two cuttings off the oak to reduce its overall height, but I am thinking of rooting them as well. I have some wire coming in the mail, at this point in time I may just use it to guide some branches downward instead of actually full flown wiring the trees.

Thanks for any advice.
imgur.com/a/S1qBq
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Blue Spruce and Live Oak Bonsai 9 months 3 weeks ago #37155

They should be outside. And, depending on where you live, dormant.
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Blue Spruce and Live Oak Bonsai 9 months 3 weeks ago #37157

I am aware of where and how the trees should be placed, however I have taken that into account already.

Both trees have already gone through at least 3 months of winter dormancy from their origin in the western Sierras. Their growing conditions indoors are actually quite similar to outdoor conditions in their hardiness zones of native origin. Temperatures do not exceed 65F during the days and drop into low 40s at nights. Both of which are ideal for their hardiness levels, and provide the necessary chill hours each species requires.
Additionally, I am providing a luminous flux of about 6500 Lumes per sqft, which is enough light for both species.
Since they have already had their required dormancy time, have the proper temperatures, and sufficient light levels, actual real world seasons do not matter.


Regardless of the science behind it, this post is about styling and pruning. I thank you for your concern and advice, but their growing conditions are taken care of.
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Blue Spruce and Live Oak Bonsai 9 months 3 weeks ago #37158

If you want advice, show your plants. Including them of the forum will ensure they are also available in3 years.

Hope you know enough about horticulture. Feels like you are setting yourself up for failure growing these indoors. Leggy growth is a sign of too warm growing with too little light. But you know that of course.
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Blue Spruce and Live Oak Bonsai 9 months 3 weeks ago #37160

WesternGrower wrote: Their growing conditions indoors are actually quite similar to outdoor conditions in their hardiness zones of native origin. Temperatures do not exceed 65F during the days and drop into low 40s at nights.


Indoors they will die, regardless.

this post is about styling and pruning


Can't style a dead tree. Can't really style an oak seedling either.
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Blue Spruce and Live Oak Bonsai 9 months 3 weeks ago #37174

At the bottom of the OP there is an imgur link to the album with the trees. The files sizes are too large for the sites attachment system.
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Blue Spruce and Live Oak Bonsai 9 months 3 weeks ago #37175

WesternGrower wrote: At the bottom of the OP there is an imgur link to the album with the trees. The files sizes are too large for the sites attachment system.


Most regulars on this forum - including me - do not want to follow links to external sites.
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Blue Spruce and Live Oak Bonsai 9 months 3 weeks ago #37176

I mean, its imgur.
If youd rather not follow that link, any suggestions? Site wont let me post anything over 1MB but my pictures are in the range of 6-8MB
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Blue Spruce and Live Oak Bonsai 9 months 3 weeks ago #37180

I resize pictures before posting. You can make thwn smaller.
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Blue Spruce and Live Oak Bonsai 9 months 3 weeks ago #37183

Ive reduced them to 30% render quality, should be fine now.

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