Revisting a 2009 Ezo Spruce

Spruce bonsai have been ‘in the news’ this past year or two. I’ve posted one spruce already this fall… and I thought, why not continue the trend…

Some of you might remember this four-trunk Ezo spruce clump from an earlier post. It was styled in 2009 and left rather leggy as we can’t always cut to where we’d like the first time around. The recent rewiring allowed me to take the branches back to about where the profile should be.

Spruce is a very popular tree for bonsai in Japan. The vigor and tenacity as a potted tree is equaled by few genera, and the serene, quiet feeling of it is greatly appreciated over the water.

As the tree looked after initial styling and ‘potting’ in 2009. Stubs were left on cut branches to control some bleeding of the sap.

In September 2011 before rewiring. In 2010 I planted some ‘Kokinsai’ azalea to the rear, which is a dwarf azalea.

As it looks now following rewiring. There are still thin areas, particularly the canopies of all four (cough) trees. Spruce develops rather rapidly, however, and I think in about three years this should look more mature.

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  1. Al Polito says:

    Looks very peaceful and wild. The azalea in the back is a nice touch—it completes the scene. If you were going to display this tree in a tokonoma or a bonsai show, what would you pair it with?

  2. Alex V says:

    The silhouette is much improved from this recent wiring. It reminds me of many of the trees I used to see when hiking in the mountains. I particularly like the left side, something about the way the branches hang seems very peaceful.

    I am also glad you kept the 4th trunk. Many might have said to cut it off, but I think it would have ruined the tree. Great job.


  3. Loved your post.What a nice composition.Are you going to the Golden State Convention?

  4. Michael Eckardt says:

    Michael- beautiful composition!
    Can you make a comparison between Engelmann and white spruce as to their suitability to bonsai?
    Thank you!
    Michael E.

  5. Daniel Dolan says:


    I remember your first posting on this tree and it looks even more beautiful now.

    My question relates to the pursuit of “age” in the appearance of Bonsai.

    In this example, the foliage tops of each trunk are very pointed, which it was “pointed” out to me by many professionals is an undesirable visual aspect belonging only to young trees.

    Could you please comment on this?

    Unrelated technical question: I have a 15 year old Scots Pine from nursery stock….had aa abundance of “Mycorrhizae” in past seasons…none this, but all other signs of good health, e.g. strong, balanced buds, etc look excellent.

    Is this a concern? Can one have a healthy tree without flourishing mychorrhizae?

    Best regards,

    Dan Dolan
    Midwest Bonsai Society / Chicago

    • crataegus says:

      Yes, a pointy top is not really desired… but the thinner the trunk the smaller the apex will be. The apexes on these trees are filling out and broadening slowly but I won’t let them get too big, or they would be out of proportion to the trunks.

      Pines can grow with perfect health without mycorrhizae. Too much can impede drainage. A fungicide drench can control too much… although a healthy fungal growth may well reduce stress on the tree if it dries out too much one day, as it greatly improves the tree’s ability to seek out and take up water.

  1. […] An earlier version of Michael’s Ezo spruce (Picea jezoensis). An even earlier version is below. Both images are from Micheal’s Crataegus Bonsai. […]

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