Author Topic: Boxwood work  (Read 1805 times)

bwaynef

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Boxwood work
« on: October 29, 2011, 11:28 PM »
I worked on this boxwood a month or so ago.  I've been meaning to post it.

I've heard boxwoods don't particularly care for wire, but this one needed it and I'm not fond of clip-n-grow all the time.  I've had this tree for a while, ...but its been neglected for about as long.  I put it in the ground to grow for a year or so, and this past year (its first out of the ground) I just left it alone.

It was a little bushy as can be seen in the first picture.  I may've trimmed a little before I took this picture.

I decided to style it at a new angle.  Anyone ever seen a cascade boxwood?  Me either.

What do you think?
 

Owen Reich

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Re: Boxwood work
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2011, 05:54 AM »
I've seen one good cascade boxwood here but no photo; sorry.  If you are going to make it a cascade, I would drop the left branch drastically, put a nice bend close to the trunk and shorten next spring to about 25% the length.  It currently conflicts with the movement of the cascade.  The middle branch on the right is a bit straight and dropping it with a guy wire would be nice.  The apex is coming along well but should also be shortened to the silhouette you've started.  Any pruning now could force new growth.  Optimal pruning time would be as your deciduous tree's buds are swelling as Boxwoods flush after deciduous trees pop.  It will force latent buds to pop and allow for a whole growing season for any big cuts to heal.  It will be a nice tree.
 

bwaynef

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Re: Boxwood work
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2011, 09:13 AM »
If you are going to make it a cascade, I would drop the left branch drastically, put a nice bend close to the trunk and shorten next spring to about 25% the length.
I didn't want to do too much trimming when I did this work so as not to force new growth.  It will certainly be shortened, and as you pointed out, needs to be positioned a little better.  A sharper angle off the trunk, swept forward a little and shortened is the plan.


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The middle branch on the right is a bit straight and dropping it with a guy wire would be nice.
I've heard boxwood doesn't manipulate well, going back to the original position after being bent ...even for a long time.  Is this your experience?  Anything I should do to prevent that from happening?


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The apex is coming along well but should also be shortened to the silhouette you've started.  Any pruning now could force new growth.
I didn't want to prune too much, but will admit that I couldn't make a few decisions that needed making so I left the apex largely untouched.  Maybe a few weeks away will give me a new perspective and help me to do what needs doing.

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It will be a nice tree.
We'll see about that.  I appreciate the pointers.


Just a general question:  Are boxwoods apically dominant?
 

Owen Reich

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Re: Boxwood work
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2011, 06:56 PM »
With Boxwoods, I tend to wire younger shoots that have hardened off.  I do not wire Boxwoods much but older branches are a little more reluctant to hold a shape you put them in.  I figured you knew about the possible late pruning issues but wanted to mention it for beginners.  Boxwoods are not apically dominant.  As a very general rule, anything that produces a strong central "leader" or apically dominant shoot is a tree and anything that easily produces basal shoots is a shrub.  Things like azaleas, boxwoods, and privet make better hedges as they are basally dominant. 

Personally, I like the project but I always find Boxwoods that can be pretty much cut back to the form I want as filling in pads is much easier than growing thick branches on Buxus.  Yours appears to be Buxus 'Green Velvet' or something like that hard to tell.  I used to sell many thousands of Boxwoods from 2" tall to 16' tall at my previous job.  If you have access to ground cotton seed meal, it is like crack for Buxus.