I have entered the Ryuga 2013 competition this year over at Of Bonsai
I entered a Colorado blue spruce which I found at a local nursery. It is a tree I have never worked on before so I wanted to use it to test my skills. It looks like it has been at the nursery for a very long time, it is pot bound and overgrown but on the plus side I got it for half price because of all the dead branches.
If you haven’t noticed it isn’t exactly very blue, just the tips! I think it’s a cultivar called Malochyne, at least this is the closest looking type that I can find.
I spent at least 2 hours styling the tree it was so complicated and overgrown. There was also important decisions to be made for two reasons. Firstly it needs to be looking at it’s best by the end of the competition (April 2014) and secondly because spruce branches do not readily grow back if you chop the wrong one off! As with a lot of evergreens like this once the branch has gone it does not bud back easily.
Here is how far I’ve got with the tree so far, I am really pleased with it. The next part to address will be the fact that it’s pot bound! I bet it’s a mess in that pot but I can’t have a look until spring time now. I will be pruning a bit of the roots but not fully for now and putting it in a fairly large training pot. I can see it going into it’s final pot in maybe 3 years time.