Spruce Forest Time Lapse–

This is a time lapse in two photos. Which isn’t much of a progression, but flipping between the two images there are some changes, most significantly the building of the foliar masses into proto-pads, creating density. Each spring as the new shoots come out they are pinched approximately in half (less for weaker ones, a harder pinch for stronger shoots).

Spring pinching encourages budding down the branch especially at the shoot bases, and this translates into increased shoots the next growing season. From this point on for this spruce, given the high budding potential of Ezo, the shoot density will increase exponentially.

This fall we also shortened some branches. And last spring we put it in a slimmer, more forest-appropriate pot. In a few years, assuming all goes well, the crowns should round naturally and the forest will take on a more aged appearance. At the moment it still feels a tad young…


Ezo Spruce forest in January 2017 after a restyling. The first post of this spruce is here.


And the spruce forest two growing seasons later, October 2018. Some building of the foliage pads is apparent, but rounded contours are still to come in the crowns. And we changed the pot…


  1. Gregory Black says:

    Nice forest. Same pinch technique for black hills spruce (to increase foliar density)?

  2. Ray says:

    Coming slong nicely Michael

  3. Chase says:


    Always enjoy reading and learning from your information.
    About 40 years ago I purchased Ezo cuttings from Mr, Kato 2 dwarf spreaders and one up right.
    The three are doing well but have had no luck in making cuttings. Look good but no roots.
    At my age (83) I should not think about cuttings but i enjoy.
    Do you have any thoughts on how I can have success in rooting these plants.
    If I should root some would send you a few is you would like.

    Thanks – Chase

    Check new email – Chase70@rosadebonsai.com

    • crataegus says:

      Hola Chase!
      Cuttings with spruce are a bugger. We tried them under mist this year, Ezo cuttings, and some did root but nothing like a fantastic percentage. We did use an Electronic Leaf mister, which is a pretty nifty gadget just about right for a Christmas stocking… they do a very fine job for most things. I think next time I would try some bottom heat, but being on the west coast we don’t have any of that fancy electricity you have over in the east, so you’ll do better than me I’m sure. We should share cuttings!
      And cuttings are for the young, which you’ve proven yourself to be.

  4. Graham says:

    The new pot really works so much better.

  5. Germán ARTAGAVEYTIA says:

    It is surely a fantastic group, and I do wish to see how fine it will go maturing. Thanks for sharing.
    From Spain, I dare to place a recommendation: pls alway mentionl the latin name of the trees -scientific denomination helps us (non-english speakers) track species well and faster.
    Thanks in adv & Regards/Germán A. -Valencia -Spain.

  6. ceolaf says:

    Any resources you recommend for learning about spruce pinching and pruning?

  7. Ray says:

    Coming along nicely Michael . It already is shaping up to be a show stopper.

  8. Ed says:

    Thanks for sharing these. I followed to here from todays blog that mentioned the skimpy pot. The foliar work is nice. But i’m amazed at how much more inviting and relaxed the group looks in the new pot.

Leave a Reply to crataegus Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: