Serbian Spruce Design

Started cleaning up this nursery find yesterday, and I’m stumped (pun intended) on what to do with it. There are so many trunks, it’s like I can’t see the design through the tree.
There are two potential fronts I can see, and 4(?) trunks to definitely keep. The rest seem jinable/expendable. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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Wow Is there such a thing as a broom type spruce.

When you try to wire it, the wire will let you know which bits need to come off. I would want to show that lovely trunk off, so would lose more of the spindly stuff. Can’t see the tree for the wood.

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I’m loving the old feel, but the two thin trunks in the back are a quandary. They add depth, but I’m not sure they serve the overall composition.


Nice job cleaning up and finding a clump design. I think you did well, looked like a daunting task. I think the two thin rear trunks add to your design. While not essential, they do add depth for the time being. I would keep at least one of them until some branches develop and fill in the space. Off to a good start!

Thanks for the feedback!
I’ve made some changes since posting the update. Here’s where it stands now, and going to rest for a full year before repotting etc. Maybe 2 years…image|666x500

I’m interested to know how this tree is going. Could I ask you - did the new shoots that can be seen on the far right trunk and the middle thicker trunk back bud for you after you cleaned it up or were they always there and have started to come away because you cleaned it up and let light in?


The tree did really well until I tried to get it out of the nursery pot.
The plan was a transition into an Anderson flat, then a few years before a bonsai container. The tree didn’t survive the initial root reduction. I believe that the roots I cut were too thick/established and it collapsed. Hard lesson

@APG I had a similar beautifal Serbian Spruce… Went real slow over 3 years. Pruned and repotted in best times. Still, died, just as yours…
Oddly, ALL of my locally acquired spruce have succomed. Healthy yamadori, nursery, and yardadori. Inland Pacific N W Probably the heat…
The local mountain trees do not seem stressed, though. Just spent a week at 3000 feet. YAY…

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