Western Hemlock Collection

I have found a really interesting Western Hemlock in a friend of mine’s woodland that has some interesting bark from being eaten by a deer when it was younger (I suspect). I reduced the height of it earlier in the year and was planning to collect it next year. However I have a few questions about the branch length.

  • The branches are very long at the bottom of the tree where it has been reduced in height to, how do I go about reducing these as the there is no foliage close to the trunk.
  • Can I cut the branches back beyond the foliage in the field?
  • Do I collect the tree next year and then work it back over time?

Any help in terms of achieving this including timings and the best way to go about it would be really helpful.

if you want to cut back branches, you will need to leave a growing tip.
The branch will die if you cut it back where ever you want.

How do I get back budding closer to the trunk?

I’m told hemlock don’t backbud easily, at least once it’s in a bonsai pot.

I believe with the proper technique and horticulture knowledge of the species, back budding is a possibility.

I prepped this Western Hemlock in 2019, collected in 2020.
When it was ready, Spring 2021 I stomped on the gas pedal with Alaska fish emulsion and root bloom with Biogold for an ongoing release of nutrients. Cleaned and cut out unwanted foliage in the Fall 2021. It sat right where you see it through a very harsh winter. These are pics taken this morning. A lot of reserves in the energy bank account. The last pic shows just some of the evidence of back budding on this tree. :metal:t2: :+1:t2: :grinning: :evergreen_tree:


Thank you for the information @MtBakerBonsai. I think that answers my question, collect the tree next year and then work on getting the tree healthy to create back budding before trying to reduce branch length.

Personal diary… Note to self: NEVER bareroot a hemlock… they will always die.

1 Like

[MtBakerBonsa] what brand name did you use for Alaska fish emulsion and root bloom
Amazon has many brands names

I got the name wrong it is Morbloom not root bloom. Here are the links

Thank you very nuch


In the spring… use the 5-1-1. I dont usually fertilize untill new growth is mostly hardened off, . Otherwise, the growth will be leggy… mid summer, use a balanced solid organic (needs to be bacterial/fungal digested), likeBiogold if you can get it, or Dr. EARTH. Suppliment with a dilute inorganic if you think need it…
The morbloom is specifically for in ground annuals, for blooming… maybe for late fall fertilizing, if you think you dont want nitrogen…
Diary …Note to self: dont overfertilize…
I kept a little hemlock for 40 years. It seemed to like moss on the soil surface, for moisture retention…Never backbudded. Slowly lost lower limbs kver the last 10. Succomed to the summer heat and low humidity here. Inland Pacific NW… Dont havd ANY hemlocks now.
Filpside of that, I overwatered my, over many years, several bristlecones… they succomed… Note to self…:expressionless: