Author Topic: Beginners Boxwood - Advice welcome  (Read 8958 times)

skokiebob

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Beginners Boxwood - Advice welcome
« on: May 03, 2012, 09:11 PM »
Hello gang, If you can remember when you were newbs, showing a pic here is rather like baring your limited skills to a panel for critiquing. But, so far you guys have been nothing but constructive and full of advice. So I thought I'd get my feet wet with a boxwood. Relatively inexpensive, and I actually like them. I saw a styling on youtube that was awesome, but too advanced for me at this stage. So what could I, or should I, or should not have, or done differently. I'm thinking I still have too many branches. After I let it grow back in I plan on shaping the top to a more uniform dome. It had just a massive amount of roots! Raking them out and reducing took a lot longer and was probably the most work in the whole project. Thanks so much for any guidance!
 

skokiebob

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Re: Beginners Boxwood - Advice welcome
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2012, 09:25 PM »
I'm sure some wiring will be in order at some point. That's a whole other skill to conquer! I'm loving this hobby so far! I used to carve Ice, and I've always loved art and nature, perfect combo!
 

MattB

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Re: Beginners Boxwood - Advice welcome
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2012, 10:33 AM »
The repotting and root trimming is always a daunting task for us beginners!  Boxwood are very forgiving, so I am sure you did fine.  It looks like you did a good job thinning it out so far.  You may end up removing a few more branches that cross each other over time, but no rush.  There is nothing wrong with letting it recover.  In the end, I do see a smaller tree than the current version...but its well on its way.

I like the shape and the branches you have to work with.  I would go ahead and start pinching leggy growth as soon as you are comfortable with its health.  Boxwoods will quickly get a dense canopy when regularly pinched back.  There is a great example of boxwood care on Bonsai4me if you haven't seen it.

Other than that, just keep it green! :)
 

cbobgo

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Re: Beginners Boxwood - Advice welcome
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2012, 11:08 AM »
your branches are all too long, with the foliage starting too far out from the trunk.  To correct this, cut each branch back to just a 2-3 sets.  Some box back-bud better than others, so it may take quite awhile to get the growth back in where you need it.  Fertilize it regularly and give lots of good sun.

- bob
 

Jay

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Re: Beginners Boxwood - Advice welcome
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2012, 11:54 AM »
I agree this Boxwood is too leggy. But, not knowing how much foliage you already removed I'm not ready to say cut it back further. I'd like to wait and give it a chance to recover. This will be a much smaller tree in time, but don't rush it. As has been said, some Box are slower growers than others.
You are looking long term, not for a 'finished' tree in two weeks!
Jay
 

bwaynef

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Re: Beginners Boxwood - Advice welcome
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2012, 01:28 PM »
I think (eventually) this tree's trunk(s) need to be simplified.
 

skokiebob

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Re: Beginners Boxwood - Advice welcome
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2012, 01:28 PM »
Thanks guys! Very helpful observations and suggestions. So as long as I leave 2-3 sets of leaves on each branch I won't kill the poor baby! Good to know  :D  I've read to always cut back just above a node. True here? I agree, keep it green! I'm beginning to become partial to Walter Pall's philosophies. He doesn't subscribe to all the strict dogma, but rather strives to have a good looking tree, as you would find in nature. I'm sure there are others maybe better, but art is so subjective anyway, one man's beauty is someone else's throwaway. So far I like Walter Pall and Graham Potter. Picked up a Harry Stevens Book. Pretty deep hobby, not anything to do casually and be any good at it. If I was rich it might be fun to buy some specimens, but for now those will just be dreams and pics ;D
 

skokiebob

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Re: Beginners Boxwood - Advice welcome
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2012, 01:35 PM »
I was just thinking my thinking may have been all wrong with this initial work. I was under the idea that I should be clearing all the under growth in the middle close to the trunk. But it sounds as though that isn't entirely true. I should have been shortening the overall length from the tips and probably only eliminating very small, weak, unecessary growth inside, but leave decent looking new branches near the trunk.
 

MattB

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Re: Beginners Boxwood - Advice welcome
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2012, 02:09 PM »
That's easy to do and it's not always a mistake, but the idea is definately to get the foliage closer to the trunk.

Start by pinching back each long shoot of leaves back to 2-3 nodes.  After a while they will start budding farther and farther back.  You may not notice it right away, but it will start branching out from each node after a while.  The good news is that this looks like a faster growing box to me.  Of course I can't say that for sure from one online picture, but it doesn't seem to be one of the dwarf varieties. 
 

skokiebob

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Re: Beginners Boxwood - Advice welcome
« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2012, 11:19 PM »
Thanks Matt. What do you do with your trees in winter seeing you're in Indiana.