Help with boxwood

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Help with boxwood

Post  David D on Wed May 02, 2012 5:41 am

Before I joined the forum I aquired a nice boxwood with a real nice trunk from a local nursery. In sept I removed about 40% of the foliage. I overwintered it in an unheated garage and it started to brown. In the spring I removed it from the nursery pot and trimmed the roots and planted it in good quality bonsai soil. So far it is still brown but the branches are not brittle. 2 questions..is it dead? if it has a chance how do I try to salvage it? Had I been a member of the forum I would have seen styling in the fall is not a great idea. Please give me boxwood suggestions or point me to a good source. Thanks for any comments.


Last edited by David Forsyth on Wed May 02, 2012 5:48 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : spelling)

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Re: Help with boxwood

Post  marcus watts on Wed May 02, 2012 6:35 am

hi.

I think you probably have guessed now but if a tree goes yellow or brown it is certainly stressed or not happy about something that has or is happening to it. To further stress it by root pruning and repotting may have been the final nail in the coffin but the one way to check is to lightly scrape a tiny bit of bark off the very tips of the branches - if it is green underneath the branch is alive so you know to carry on caring for it. dont overwater at all though, this will kill it off.

if it's brown it is dead - check all the way back to the trunk looking for green under the bark. if it is alive wait for new buds, water very lightly and do not feed it. if you want to style new trees i think it is better to leave them in their pot undesturbed for a complete year, if you want to pot a new tree into a bonsai pot instead then dont style it. You probably will find a tree that keeps its leaves needs proper quality light all year round (exactly like an azalea) and the garage was not suitable, too dark maybe?.

cheers Marcus

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Re: Help with boxwood

Post  JimLewis on Wed May 02, 2012 11:59 am

On the other hand, boxwood -- at least B. mycrophylla -- leaves tend to turn an orange brown over the winter. In the spring -- often LATE spring -- some go back to green. Others stay discolored and have to be removed.

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Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Help with boxwood

Post  David D on Wed May 02, 2012 3:08 pm

I thank you guys, the companion tree I bought is doing well but I did not style it. I think I may have done too much but it was a cheap $5 lesson. I stuck the poor victim in the shade and will leave it alone and see if there is any sign of life in the next month. My wife thought it funny when I read remarks about how hard boxwoods are to kill.

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Re: Help with boxwood

Post  Poink88 on Wed May 02, 2012 3:19 pm

There seems to be different experiences but mine is that they hardly bud back once a branch is left leafless. Brown or yellow leaves is almost synonymous to that or worse since it means the branch is weak, but have hope and keep it where it is for now and see if it bounces back.

I do find boxwood very hardy and takes the abuse I throw at it that most other species will probably can't take. The other tree that I think is tougher is pomegranate. I think I cannot kill that tree even if I tried! Shocked It is possibly hardier than ficus in my experience.

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Re: Help with boxwood

Post  Norma on Wed May 02, 2012 4:45 pm

Hi David,

I've been growing boxwoods (all kinds) for years and unless they are growing in the ground they lose their reputation for being tough. They prefer dappled shade and leaves turn reddish if left in hot sun. I keep them in my cold room in the winter with lights over my evergreens. The removal of 40% of your boxwoods leaves in the fall is probably, as you stated, a mistake. Once the leaves are brown and crispy the tree is dead.
Another mistake that many make with their boxwood bonsai is keeping them in tropical conditions all year. They need a dormant period!

Good luck and don't give up..boxwoods are worth the effort!

Norma

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Re: Help with boxwood

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