Bonsai Study Group Forum

General Category => Evergreen Bonsai Discussion => Topic started by: juan on April 15, 2010, 11:35 PM

Title: Boxwood from the tropics
Post by: juan on April 15, 2010, 11:35 PM
Hello all:

This tree was garden collected about 10 years ago by a friend. I really like the nebari but the branch spread is so-so. Other fronts show too much conflict in the main branches, and nebari is not as nice (root spread is 14 inches at soil line.)

This tree is a dilemma: should I cut back the straight branches and regrow for taper? Or should I style to hide the boring sections? I'm inclined to do the first, but my friend likes the second choice (specially since he´s already waited like 10 years for it to grow back) Since cutting everything back may be too harsh, I was thinking of approach grafting some whips to make some front branches and hide a little of the straightness of the main branches.

I will be styling this on the next couple of days. There are lots of huge old trees around here to gain inspiration from. As always, I am open to thoughts, ideas and critique.

Pic 1. The tree as I got it in june 2009.
Pic 2. After cleanup and opening up the tree a little bit to balance top and bottom branches. Some guy-wires were used to move branches.
Pic 3 and 4. The tree almost a year after, april 2010. Lots of organic feed and some branches becoming too vigorous. Red lines are possible sites to chop, green Xs mark spots for possible grafts. What are your takes on this one? Perhaps style and then make a decision?
Title: Re: Boxwood from the tropics
Post by: Larry Gockley on April 16, 2010, 01:08 PM
Hi Juan. The second picture has what I like to see in a tree of this style, open spaces between the branches. You mentioned old trees nearby for inspiration. Look at them and notice how much of the tree is branches and how little of it, on old trees, is actually leaves. On your boxwood, could you maybe pull the guy wires and pull the branches down even more, to perhaps let the smaller branches hide the larger ones? The nebari has great horizontal growth, but the branches are more vertical than horizontal. I might try to pull branches down, to lower the height a bit, trim some of the top off, and maybe even a more shallow pot to show the nebari better.  Just a thought. Larry
Title: Re: Boxwood from the tropics
Post by: davestree on April 16, 2010, 05:20 PM
Is it possible to do an approach graft on a boxwood ?
Title: Re: Boxwood from the tropics
Post by: juan on April 16, 2010, 06:13 PM
Hi Larry, thanks for your suggestions. Indeed old-growth mature specimens of many tree species have foliage only on the branch tips. The guy wires were a one-year experiment. When done last year, I pulled down branches as much as I could without breaking them. I'll see how much they rise this year when I remove the wires. My guess is they are not quite set yet, as this is a hard wooded, slow growing tree.

In regards, to styling , I want it to look full and mature, yet not bush-like. There's plenty of fine twigs to wire. We'll see how it turns out. In my opinion, the canopy still looks small compared to the large trunk. The pot is for training purposes (large pot=more growth)

Hi Davestree, Boxwood cambium is thin, which makes side-veneer grafts difficult. But, their calluses are thick enough, so I though maybe approach grafts might work. Difficult does not mean impossible right? ;)
Title: Re: Boxwood from the tropics
Post by: juan on April 20, 2010, 12:59 AM
Hello , here´s some work done over the weekend. Hope I get some time to finish during the week. More to follow...

Pic 1. Drastic cut on one main branch coming to the front/right.
Pic 2. Reduced with makita die grinder.
Pic 3. Tree´s left side is cut back and wired.

Title: Re: Boxwood from the tropics
Post by: juan on April 26, 2010, 12:53 AM
Hello , I was finally able to finish the tree under awful weather this weekend. Sorry for the wet, flash photo. This is the first wiring of this tree. I had to wait a couple of years of good culture in inorganic substrate for the tree to be dense and healthy enough. Hope you guys like it.

Best regards,