Douglas fir Southern California

Hey folks,
I have a very modest Douglas fir. I collected last summer and have been growing in pure pumice. It has done pretty well. But I would like to know if anyone has advice. I think I’m past pruning and maybe can pinch in a month before growth hardens off. Maybe I shouldn’t I have no experience with the species and want to eventually learn the species and have it grow into a nice shohin. So any advice on collecting them or growing them or the conditions or condition my tree my have would be appreciated. Thanks for everything in advance.

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A little WIRE, now while the main trunk is bendable, would help. Sharp bends, especially leaving the limb you intend on keeping, on the outside of the bend.

KurtP what would you say is a good time for wire?
Thanks for the advice.

No time like the present. Gently… It will take several years to set and stay put on younger trees. Maybe only the main trunk. Doug fir takes longer…
I put wire on my 5yo ponderosa seedlings last month, after transplanting them out of a forest into individual pots. Put sharp movement away from the several lower limbs. They MAY only be 5 inches tall, but, they already have character… The new buds are already 1" and elongating…
Just try to wire between the needles… choose the limbs you want for later.
Watch the wiring basics video…

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Hey Giordano, nice starter. First off, you might want to check whether this is a Doug fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) or a true fir (Abies), possibly white fir (A. concolor). I have both, and it looks more like the latter to me, but maybe not. True firs put on a ton of vascular growth and back bud more readily on older wood than Doug fir, but are more sensitive to root work in my experience.

Either way, wiring could be good, though keep in mind that wiring branches down will reduce their vigor. I’ve been growing some out with big bends in the trunks and sacrifices. These guys can thicken up quick and back bud a ton if you push them. So going up a size might be one way to go. I’ll add some pics later today.

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Brad I’m so glad someone told me it definitely looks a lot more like a white fur. Is there anything I should know about white fur. I collected it in big bear I’m not to familiar with the species there. So I will put some wire on it but, super sparingly. I don’t particularly feel confident keeping this species healthy. Due to lack of knowledge.

Firs are great, and there are a lot of Mirai videos on them. White fir is pretty similar to subalpine fir, and Ryan has at least a couple streams on that species.

I would wire some movement into the trunk, just keep an eye on it as it can bite in pretty quickly if the plant is growing well. But wait until it hardens off, the new tips are incredibly delicate.

I suggested growing it up a size because they can elongate pretty vigorously, which makes it hard to keep them small. I’d wire the trunk fertilize like crazy, and get it to thicken up and back bud a ton. Give it a few years.

My only concern is your minimum temps. Make sure it gets a good cold spell, mine hover at or below freezing for about 5 months out of the year up here in the mountains. They don’t NEED that much, but just to give you an idea.

Good luck!