The spruce is an evergreen coniferous tree genus found widespread in the northern hemisphere. Some varieties of spruce can grow to 60m. when mature and have a typical conical shape. The branches grow whorled. Their needle-shaped leaves are four-sided and attached singly to the branches. They stay on the tree for 4 to 10 years. The cones hang downwards. The branches bend downwards at their base but their tips point slightly upwards.
They can be distinguished from the pine family by their needles (leaves), which are four-sided and attached singly to small persistent peg-like structures (sterigmata) on the branches, and by their cones (without any protruding bracts), which hang downwards after they are pollinated. The needles are shed every 4 – 10 years leaving the branches rough with the retained pegs.
Spruces are not very easy to style as bonsai:
There are however wonderful examples of spruce bonsai, especially using the Japanese species Picea jezoensis and Picea glehnii and the European Picea abies (Norway spruce). There are also a number of dwarf slow growing species that make very attractive small trees but not good bonsai as they do not style well. Picea glauca 'Conica' however is often tried but rarely makes good bonsai. The Picea mariana (black spruce) is frequently used in the U.S.A. and Canada. Frequently encountered in garden centres is Picea glauca var. albertiana 'Conica', - (Dwarf Alberta spruce). It is a slow, growing conical plant with tight uniform branching holding light-green juvenile foliage and looking very good when small and young; however it will not progress beyond that stage without some dedicated effort and the end product is seldom worth the time and effort involved. It grows just 2 inches per year.Bonsai care for Spruce bonsai trees:
Styles are limited due to the growing nature of the species; it is more rewarding to go with the natural styles of the tree.
Bonsai based on the naural style of growth of the Norway spruce.
Abies albertiana retaining their natural growth style
Picea Glehnii native to Japan, has a slightly different growth pattern to the foliage whorls. Known more frequently as the ‘Ezo’ spruce and famous for many specimen trees in Japan.
The tree is shadow and frost tolerant, relatively easy to keep healthy but not easy to train; is can be very time demanding as trimming must be constant in order to retain its’ shape.
Web design: nysys