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Are you looking for a beautiful bonsai design? Picea mariana, also known as black spruce, may be what you are looking for.
Spruce Bonsai Tree
Although black spruce can be difficult to style as bonsai, these plants are popular bonsai nonetheless. The plant is slow growing and requires limited daily maintenance. In addition, spruce looks very beautiful like bonsai and is very easy to get. Therefore, spruce bonsai is common even though it is physically challenging.
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Don’t let the challenge prevent you from enjoying Picea mariana bonsai. Many bonsai lovers are able to keep attractive bonsai in their collections. It probably shouldn’t be the first choice for a beginner, but if you have some experience with bonsai, you can have success with black spruce.
Like most evergreens, Picea mariana thrives in full to part sun during the summer months. This spruce does best in full sun with some shade in the hottest part of the day. In winter, Picea mariana prefers more shade.
Although spruce is hardy to -10 degrees Fahrenheit, you’ll want to protect the roots in winter. Pots do not provide the same amount of protection as the ground will at this time.
Because spruce is evergreen, it does not go dormant in winter. It is important that the roots do not freeze and that you can continue to provide water to the rest of the bonsai tree. Picea mariana is wind tolerant, so you don’t have to worry about protecting your plant from cold, strong winds during the winter months.
Bonsai Blog — National Bonsai Foundation
Black spruce trees are tropical bonsai. In the natural environment, black spruce trees grow in areas with long, cold winters and short summers. Unlike other bonsai, they do not normally need to be taken out of the cold in winter. During the low temperatures, it may be wise to take young Picea mariana in an unheated room that provides protection from frost; however, in most climates, your bonsai should tolerate winter temperatures just fine.
If you live in a hot climate, you may not be able to keep Picea mariana bonsai. Black spruce does not like temperatures to climb above 80 degrees Fahrenheit for long periods of time. Although providing shade in the middle of hot days can help a bit, don’t expect to keep your Picea mariana bonsai alive if temperatures consistently stay above 90 degrees Fahrenheit for weeks and weeks during the summer.
If you are in an area where it is always ridiculously hot, choose a variety of spruce bonsai. We’ll talk about some other options a little more below.
When it comes to the home, Picea mariana bonsai is not an overwhelming choice. They need well-drained soil, but they don’t need it to have other important qualities. Even the pH level is not very important to these plants.
Sprucing Up A Spruce
There is no set schedule for planting Picea mariana bonsai; However, you should water when the soil is dry. This will vary from plant to plant depending on environmental conditions.
You don’t need to water the soil often, but black spruce needs to be watered regularly, especially in the summer. In winter, you don’t need to drink water often.
The best way to tell if it’s time to water is to use your finger to feel the soil. Put your finger 2 inches into the soil near the plant. If the soil is dry, it is time to water. If the soil is wet, you should wait a little longer to water. It seems simple, but this is the best way to know if it is time to water your black spruce bonsai.
Fertilization is important for bonsai because they do not have access to the same amount of nutrients as their native counterparts. Normally I recommend a balanced fertilizer (where NPK levels are equal) for most bonsai, but spruce can really benefit from a higher nitrogen fertilizer, which helps promote leaf growth.
How To Grow And Care For Spruce Bonsai Tree (picea) Successfully
I would suggest fertilizing sparingly; you can always add fertilizer if needed, but too much fertilizer can harm your plants, and there is no easy way to remove it if you add too much by accident.
Consider using liquid bonsai plant food for your Picea mariana bonsai. Fertilize once every two weeks from spring to autumn. You may have to leave the compost for several weeks in the hottest part of the summer, but you can move the compost when the temperatures cool down a bit.
Bonsai must be repotted regularly. For a young Picea mariana, you can expect to have to repot every 2 to 4 years depending on the rate of growth. A more mature bonsai needs to be repotted occasionally; so as your Picea mariana plant grows, it needs to be replanted once every 5 years.
The best time to restore Picea mariana is in the spring. When you restore it, you can cut off up to a third of the roots. You may not need to repot (or move the plant to a larger pot) depending on how much growth has occurred. Spruce trees generally have large root balls, so plan to use a deep container to give them enough space.
Picea Bonsai Hi Res Stock Photography And Images
Therefore, it should always be renewed with new soil regardless of whether it needs to be rebuilt or not. You will also want to shade your plant from full sun for a couple of weeks after replanting.
Because spruce bonsai are low maintenance and slow growing, you may think they are the perfect beginner bonsai plant. Unfortunately, they are a little hard on the body, which makes Picea mariana best for those with previous bonsai experience.
Black spruce looks good in almost any bonsai style. The only difference is the food. The best styles are trunk, curved back, air vent and multi trunk.
Cabling is a bit of a problem because it can only be done in autumn and winter. Using wires in the spring or summer can cause dead branches. Spruce branches are flexible and can be easily shaped using wires. However, sometimes they return to their original shape when the fibers are removed before spring.
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Setting up a tree nursery can be difficult too. You will have more success if you buy fir plants that have been grown with the intention of displaying them as bonsai. This will give you a better base to work with.
Although black spruce is a slow growing bonsai, they still need pruning and pruning to maintain their bonsai shape. This process can also be a little difficult.
Picea mariana has a rounded growth, which means that several branches grow at the same height on the tree. You should remove the entire whorl except for one branch in the lower half of the tree. This means that you have to give extra branches in the spring when the growth is still fresh and soft.
Any major pruning that needs to be done should take place in the fall. However, you need to be careful and plan ahead. Spruce does not grow back on old wood. If you don’t think ahead, you can end up with bare branches on your bonsai.
Bonsai Tree Care: The Basics On How To Grow Bonsai
Black spruce is a popular choice for bonsai. Dwarf black spruce (Picea mariana ‘Nana’) is especially sought after for its gray-green needles that grow to about ½ inch long. However, not everyone has the right climate for this beautiful design.
If you have weather consistently above 90 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer, you will not have success with black spruce. But don’t worry, there are other nice spruce options.
Picea abies: Also known as Norway spruce, this tree is what comes to mind when you think of a Christmas tree. This species is hardy through zone 7A, so it will grow in areas that are too warm for other types of spruce.
Picea abies ‘Pygmaea’: This variety is a dwarf spruce. It is another good option for those in warmer temperatures.
Norway Spruce Bonsai Tree Care Essentials
Picea glauca conica: white spruce is hardy in zones 4-6. It is a popular bonsai choice that can withstand heat and drought well for spruce. White spruce has many problems with spider mites, so watch out for them!
So there are many spruce options for those of us who want to live in places without long, cold winters. However, if you never have winter (AKA, you can always wear flip-flops throughout December and January), you may not be able to keep your spruce bonsai alive. Maybe you have many other plants that no one else can grow.
Indoor temperatures are likely to be too hot for spruce bonsai. Black spruce requires long, cold winters, so it is unlikely that you will be able to provide such an environment. But if you have a fir that can withstand hot temperatures, such as the noble fir, you can bring it in for a couple of days at Christmas time for decoration. For the most part, however, you should keep your spruce bonsai outside.
Spruce can be a little harder to style than bonsai,
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