Live Oaks and Boxwoods

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Live Oaks and Boxwoods

Post  Russell Coker on Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:38 pm

Here in the South, we do love our Live Oaks - and for good reason. There's nothing quite like them...





My inspiration...


The tree we bought in 2000, luckily there was a house to live in too...


Beautiful and picturesque trees, but sucky bonsai material. Luckily, Japanese boxwoods are everywhere, and even very ordinary material works great for our "Live Oak style". This one was dug from a planting along my driveway several years ago and stuck in a pot. I decided it was time to give it away or work on it, so here's what I started with...



I used guy wires to bring down the branches, October 2011...



Over the last couple of weeks I spent almost 18 hours pruning, leaf stripping and wiring...









And went ahead and moved it into a good pot. It stands 30 inches tall and is 42 inches wide.



It makes me happy.

R



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Re: Live Oaks and Boxwoods

Post  fiona on Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:45 pm

As indeed it should. cheers

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Re: Live Oaks and Boxwoods

Post  Poink88 on Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:49 pm

Russell Coker wrote:



Russell,

I see possible better fronts on these pics. You might have to remove a branch on each though.

Either way, very nice tree.

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Re: Live Oaks and Boxwoods

Post  Russell Coker on Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:53 pm



Thanks y'all. Dario, you wouldn't say that in person, I promise.

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Re: Live Oaks and Boxwoods

Post  Poink88 on Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:57 pm

Russell Coker wrote:
Thanks y'all. Dario, you wouldn't say that in person, I promise.
I'll take your word for it. It only means you have an awesome tree with multiple fronts! Wink

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Re: Live Oaks and Boxwoods

Post  John Lee on Tue Jul 10, 2012 10:17 pm

Looks really nice, Russel. It amazes me how you can find the bonsai inside of the material.

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Excellent

Post  Jim McIntyre on Tue Jul 10, 2012 11:10 pm

Your Boxwood does indeed look like a Live Oak !

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Re: Live Oaks and Boxwoods

Post  Orion on Tue Jul 10, 2012 11:17 pm

Really nice job Russell. Certainly one of the nicest Boxwoods I've seen and you did yourself and that oak gracing your home proud.

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HAIKU

Post  mike page on Tue Jul 10, 2012 11:18 pm

MAGNIFICENT OAK

ANCIENT AND SO POWERFUL

DELIGHT TO MY EYE

mp

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Re: Live Oaks and Boxwoods

Post  hometeamrocker on Wed Jul 11, 2012 12:02 am

Yep, just lovely!

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Re: Live Oaks and Boxwoods

Post  Mitch Thomas on Wed Jul 11, 2012 12:48 am

Very nice Russell! I knew it would be a show stopper in no time in your hands! Can you please elaborate on your leaf stripping / styling technique.

Thanks Mitch

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Re: Live Oaks and Boxwoods

Post  Steven on Wed Jul 11, 2012 1:39 am

Love the progress, always a sucker for the "live oak" look, really nice!

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Re: Live Oaks and Boxwoods

Post  rock on Wed Jul 11, 2012 1:43 am

Very nice set up than delivery with the oaks and such

the final stand/ pot/ tree...the whole shebang ( as yall say down south)....awesome (as we say...well everywhere !)

ps. did really like the original aka not so good pot , somehow I miss it. Very Happy

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live oaks and bowood

Post  moyogijohn on Wed Jul 11, 2012 2:10 am

RUSSELL,,It is great !!! I like the way you cut down on the foliage a lot.. i miss those trees a lot,,i am from south georgia and north fla. really.. most of them have moss hanging from them there.. you did good be proud !! take care john

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Re: Live Oaks and Boxwoods

Post  Russell Coker on Wed Jul 11, 2012 2:44 am


Thanks, I appreciate all of the kind words. And Mike, I love the haiku!

Mitch, I guess I should have taken some pictures of that. I started by going through and doing an initial rough trim. Boxwoods grow in tight bunchy clumps so you have to do a lot of thinning. That's where the leaf plucking comes in. Those twigs are cover with oppositely arranged leaves and shoots. There is just too much there so you have to strip those leaves and pick and choose which branches to keep. Remember, you're going from bush to tree. With boxwoods there is plenty to work with, so it's hard to make mistakes. And if you do it will grow back fast anyway.

This one's next, when I feel like wiring again!




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Re: Live Oaks and Boxwoods

Post  Todd Ellis on Wed Jul 11, 2012 3:30 am

Russell,
I love your trees. You transformed the first one into an old tree in a short time. Wow. The second one looks equally impressive ... even before the wiring it will receive ... soon ... hint, hint, hint ... get to work! lol!

Best,
Todd

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Re: Live Oaks and Boxwoods

Post  Zentis on Wed Jul 11, 2012 3:57 am

I like your tree, very natural. But, I confuse with the first branch on the left Smile



[/quote]

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Re: Live Oaks and Boxwoods

Post  Barry M on Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:49 am

I am a relative novice, so please forgive a naive question. I have read that with twin trunk style trees, the center branch(es) of one trunk should not cross over the other trunk. Is this really something to be concerned about? I ask because to keep the branches from crossing seems like it would be necessary to constantly stay after and trim them. What is your opinion?

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Re: Live Oaks and Boxwoods

Post  leatherback on Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:13 am

Nicely done! cheers

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Re: Live Oaks and Boxwoods

Post  Russell Coker on Wed Jul 11, 2012 1:15 pm



Zentis, I don't understand your statement so I can't respond.

Barry, there are lots of "rules" concerning this and that about bonsai. It is important that you understand them, but it's also important that you let your material guide you in its design. You can destroy an interesting tree following rules too closely. Every tree brings with it specific attributes that you will need to play up or try to dimenish, but understanding rules and being confined by them are 2 very different things.

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Re: Live Oaks and Boxwoods

Post  Steven on Wed Jul 11, 2012 1:17 pm

Russell Coker wrote:


Barry, there are lots of "rules" concerning this and that about bonsai. It is important that you understand them, but it's also important that you let your material guide you in its design. You can destroy an interesting tree following rules too closely. Every tree brings with it specific attributes that you will need to play up or try to dimenish, but understanding rules and being confined by them are 2 very different things.


Well said!

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Re: Live Oaks and Boxwoods

Post  my nellie on Wed Jul 11, 2012 1:48 pm

Russell Coker wrote:... ..., but understanding rules and being confined by them are 2 very different things.
Exactly!
Barry, I consider myself a novice, too. But I always have in my mind the saying of Saburo Kato :
Choose the most beautiful examples for your bonsai out of nature. Do not just copy anything. Rather, make your bonsai like the best parts of nature.
and consequently the approach of Mr. Walter Pall about bonsai style and design.

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Re: Live Oaks and Boxwoods

Post  Rick36 on Wed Jul 11, 2012 2:56 pm

Russell, First I'd like to say how much I like what you've done with this tree - seems so natural, especially in view of your pics of live oaks as introduction. Then - do you think Buxus Sempervirens would produce the same or similar results ? I have a few mature specimens of Sempervirens, but no knowledge of Kingsville (Japanese) Box. I am also short on experience of producing bonsai, although growing trees in containers for Niwaki has been a hobby for some years. I suppose I am asking if it would be a suitable project for a beginner? Cheers. Rick.

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Re: Live Oaks and Boxwoods

Post  Barry M on Wed Jul 11, 2012 3:53 pm

"Barry, there are lots of "rules" concerning this and that about bonsai. It is important that you understand them, but it's also important that you let your material guide you in its design. You can destroy an interesting tree following rules too closely. Every tree brings with it specific attributes that you will need to play up or try to dimenish, but understanding rules and being confined by them are 2 very different things."

I'm glad with your response and I agree. Thanks

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Re: Live Oaks and Boxwoods

Post  Russell Coker on Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:07 pm


Hi Rick.

I think boxwoods are perfect for beginners. They are easy to find and very forgiving. Well, at least the microphyllas seem to be. We can't grow sempervirens here where I live. Honestly, I can only assume you can treat them the same way, but I really don't know. I've seen some beauties at old plantations farther north, and Cram and Will B have posted some from your side of the pond. For us, it seems to be easy to find "tree-like" Japanese boxwoods (not 'kingsville') in nurseries and landscapes. The sempervirens I see at nursery trade shows are field grown and aways a bunch of little sticks that make up a big green ball.

I hope that helps!

R

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Re: Live Oaks and Boxwoods

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