Red Spruce (Picea Rubens) Advice

Hey there,

Recently picked up this collected Adirondack Spruce (Red Spruce, Picea Rubens) in Maine. I’ve never worked with spruce but as guitarist am very excited to work with this specific species that is used on high end guitar tops.

I really like the nebari and the slight curve at the bottom right above it. I’m curious what you guys would advise for scope of work this winter and then spring.

Would you bend this more up top further? Or continue growing out, as the middle to top of the trunk is quite narrow and immature looking compared to the base.

I plan to repot this coming spring into a 1:1:1 mix of akadama pumice and lava.

Anyone who has worked with these do they take well to being topped?

All advice for this species and comments are welcome and appreciated. For reference I’ve only worked with coastal and dawn redwoods as formal upright and feel this will be a different beast.

Best regards,

  • Pat
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In my opinion, the very strong bends at the bottom are not in good agreement with the long straight trunk above. As a result, I don’t think it will make a very good formal upright, at least not until the lower trunk thickens enough to hide the bends (50-100 years from now). I would look at a combination of cutting back very hard and adding some more bends to create an informal upright. Yes, you lose the long trunk, but you gain much thicker trunk for the height of the tree. It may even be possible to airlayer the long straight trunk above the desired cut point to get a formal upright. A quick search indicates that it is possible, but tricky.

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Thanks for the feedback. I agree the bend and nebari are good on their own but with such a lanky straight top it almost feels disconnected.

I’m hesitant to top as I’m new to this species but will dig around as it’s gonna have to happen.

Check this one out for inspiration mainly esp @ around 1:39:00 when he starts talking about potential design of a ‘christmas tree’ - thinking outside of the box which your tree is clearly telling you with that funky business on the nebari.
But also maybe Ryan mentioned some horticultural knowledge there for other than spruce he worked on in the stream so worth to watch anyway. Otherwise get some good info on your type before you plan any design :slight_smile:

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Thanks I will check this live out and take some notes!

@CoffeeCherry any chance can you provide the name of the video? The link only brings me mirai live home page.

Oh I’m sorry, it is Nursery Stock Holiday creation or something like that. Christmas tree with red ribbon - hard to miss :slight_smile:

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Thanks! I’ll give it a watch.