Here is one of my Colorado spruce. It was purchased last winter (February 2015) from Todd Schlaffer at First Branch Bonsai. Before I work on any collected tree, I want it to be growing strong in good soil. I repotted it with Boon last April into his mix.
Here is the tree as purchased:
The tree in its mucky collected soil and lava from the collector:
Boon holding the tree after we cleaned the mucky soil from the roots:
Repotted into a mica pot for training, and after dead branches and debris have been removed:
During the growing season, the tree popped like crazy! It loved being in good soil! (June 2015):
Our Connecticut study group met a couple weekends ago (October 2015). Boon and I decided to do a rough styling to get the big branches moving in the right direction. We used rebar to bring down the biggest branch. This was my first time using rebar, and was very cool to see and use!
The rebar that we used with guy wires to bring down the main branch (which was growing up at about a 30 degree angle):
After the rough styling:
The main point of this initial styling was to get the main branches growing in the right direction. Boon said, "the tree is over 100 years old, I don't want to rush it!"
The next step for this tree is to let it grow strong for a couple years. I'm excited to see where this tree leads! Working with Boon on it is a fantastic experience!