What was it reported out off? Given the stone set up. Are you sure there is sufficient soil around the roots or could there be air pockets in?
Thanks I put photos up of the repot in a post the links above, it was 2nd reppoting from yamadori so removed some old inner field soil and had new exterior roots which was great I thought for the slab. It’s mostly akadama with thick sphagnum /akadama walls, the moss has taken well which I assume means it has dried out much. I FEEL LIKE IT SHOULD GO IN THE SHADE BUT DONT WANT THAT TO BE THE NAIL IN THE COFFIN, I COULD GIVE IT ROOT HEAT IN THE SHADE?
I diid not see a lot of roots in your pics of your previous post.
That was my thought when I saw that post in January.
Was there any native soil left when you did the planting?
Any sign a beneficial fungi? Mycorrhizae?
That was also going to be my thought. The root system looked very sparse. It also looks like you may have bare rooted (or come close). Did you do any root reduction? Do you have any pictures of the tree from last year?
As @MtBakerBonsai and @chuckwheat the problem looks like a lack of roots, specifically feeder roots. A tree will only grow foliage when it has enough resources to sustain and add. Unfortunately it doesn’t appear yours has enough to sustain right now so it is probably shedding those branches. I would suggest providing the tree with as much protection as you can while giving the roots time to reestablish. This means protecting from strong sun and wind so that the tree doesn’t overly transpire. Closely monitor the watering needs and hope for the best. If the tree survives you will have new deadwood features with the branches it lost that can add to your design.
the tree was a little over potted in it previous container it had been in for 2 years and we had a very wet autumn/ winter so assumed it would be happy get the move to a slab.
I’d say I removed less than 5 percent of the roots and tried to remove none, there were also some roots that had been tucked in that bareish root photo these were the new exterior roots and most interior areas were old coal slag/dust. I wasn’t worried to much about the amount of root after repot but it’s suddenly hit home last week, I should have kept it out of direct sun but assumed the heat would be good for the rootsystem to get established.
I’ve put it in the drilled tray pictured with bark to the surface level and will try and get it in the shaded greenhouse somehow.
If it was deciduous tree I’d bag it up but I’m not sure humidity will help? I have a shady yamadori green house with a fogger.
Thanks again everyone
Wait, did you repot again off the slab?
No that was the rootsystem going onto the slab it’s the same black tray tho I’ve just layed the stone in it and topped up with bark to mid soil level.
Oh, ok. :). If you can supply bottom warmth that will help with root growth. Keep it protected from wind and direct sun as mentioned above and we can hope for the best. Cheers!
the bottom heat would only wok if you have a significant differential to the ambient temperature afaik.
Agree with the roots / bareroot comments above. Eventually use some “rooting agent” (canna products for example)?
How long was the tree in it’s collected container? I wonder if it was never fully established enough to sustain an assertive potting onto a slab so soon.
This may be why it appears barerooted but as you said, you only gave it a haircut. I believe spruce roots tend to be loose and not so dense so I’m guessing all of the soil in your collected container just kind of fell away if the tree did not have enough time to establish itself.
@Todd_Schlafer is the Spruce master here stateside. Perhaps he can help with aftercare tips.
So initially collected 7/8 years ago and had its first repot 2 years ago and as expected had new long roots on the exterior and I worked the old coal slag (rootless) soil out, these trees never have a tap root or shin/sheen so I assumed this would develop on the stone.
I honestly had other pots ready just incase I didn’t have a rootsystem to suit the slab, unfortunately it doesn’t show well in these photos. It has grown buds coming upto spring and seemed happy.
I have another “healthy” spruce that lost a branch at the same time, we had a hot snap before the new buds had opened and it caught me off guard thinking the heat on the roots would help, It 100% did not dry out and I’ve been watching the water receed on the stone then saturating. That’s why I was thinking it was possibly overwatered and didn’t know whether to pile on more water, mist, shade etc
It’s now sat in the shady greenhouse loosely covered with clear plastic on heat with a fogger going.
Thanks again everyone