Buxus/Boxwood #4 tree progression (Poink88)

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Buxus/Boxwood #4 tree progression (Poink88)

Post  Poink88 on Thu Oct 04, 2012 11:58 pm

Here is another Boxwood I have been working on.

Look at these closely and see how much some of the branches are bent. The ones on the back are basically "relocated" from left to center and the one on the center to right. Wink The branch at the left with guy wire & turnbuckle is 1".

For reference, base is at least 4" and nebari is 8". Container is 12" x 15"

After initial trimming at collection January 19, 2012


A month or so after...


As of Oct. 4, 2012 (8.5 months later)


This morning 10/17/2012 (before going to work) I bent the main top-left (1"+ thick "S" curved) branch to bring it down and forward. Not yet finished...had to do it in increments/slowly so it won't break. Front-right branch also bent backwards and down. Back branch also re-positioned again. Pics will follow this weekend.

As of 10/19/2012, exactly 9 months from collection date. It is a bit more compact now...


Last edited by Poink88 on Wed Oct 24, 2012 6:42 pm; edited 3 times in total

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Re: Buxus/Boxwood #4 tree progression (Poink88)

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Fri Oct 05, 2012 12:09 am

Dario,

bondage!
Any chance of you shooting the tree from front on and in such a way that we can view the tree as one would view a normal tree from enough distance to see the top and bottom in one glance?

Once again, please let the shrub recover, before you kill it on the way to becoming a Bonsai Master.
I have been down this road as well.
Later, and thanks for taking the time to show.
Khaimraj

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Re: Buxus/Boxwood #4 tree progression (Poink88)

Post  Poink88 on Fri Oct 05, 2012 1:23 am

Khaimraj Seepersad wrote:Any chance of you shooting the tree from front on and in such a way that we can view the tree as one would view a normal tree from enough distance to see the top and bottom in one glance?
I can see the entire tree from here...can't you?

Again, it might look like I am killing the tree but I don't think so...I am pushing it but only what it can take. I may be mistaken so time will tell.

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Re: Buxus/Boxwood #4 tree progression (Poink88)

Post  Sakaki on Fri Oct 05, 2012 8:57 am

Hi Dario,

A good one! I hope you enjoy it for many years!
By the way, imho, tops selected by you seems unconformable to me since they tend to go in different ways (left top goes left, right one goes right).
Also the thickness of the branch that is closest to left top is.... Rolling Eyes




If it would be mine I would remove those encircled in red, and go my way with those shown by blue arrows, but I think it is too late Very Happy - see below:





Good luck Smile
Taner

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Re: Buxus/Boxwood #4 tree progression (Poink88)

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Fri Oct 05, 2012 10:04 am

Dario,

here is an example of a front on shot.
Later.
Khaimraj


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Re: Buxus/Boxwood #4 tree progression (Poink88)

Post  Poink88 on Fri Oct 05, 2012 12:13 pm

Thanks for the input guys. Obviously, we all have different preferences and see things differently which is very healthy.

1. The shot I took shows my chosen front (mainly to display the nebari), it is not perpendicular to the container's front but will be after a repotting. I may have chosen the wrong front but this is it for now.
2. The tree is in very early stage of development. The branches are where they are with a vision of letting it fill in later. This is not the final shape so the current "tops" will be buried in branches and leaves a few years from now. The thickness of the branch, I cannot do much to change. Though I can remove it, I choose not to (but I may later).

Boxwood is a bit different to work with (at least here in my area) and it was chopped this way for a reason. Also note that pictures are 2 dimensional...sometimes branches may not be where you perceive it to be Wink.

Here is a current shot from the top.

Note that the upper-right (north-east) quadrant used to be bare and had nothing.

Thank you.


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Re: Buxus/Boxwood #4 tree progression (Poink88)

Post  JimLewis on Fri Oct 05, 2012 12:23 pm

If it would be mine I would remove those encircled in red, and go my way with those shown by blue arrows, but I think it is too late

Agree! And I'd take a closer look at the need for that lower back branch.

When you repot, I suggest it be planted a bit deeper to make the base more natural looking.

After you see if it survives the winter (it may be living on stored energy at this point) you may want to cut it back even shorter and avoid those much-too-thick branches near the top because the lower third of this tree is very nice. The higher you go, however, the more problems you have and will have.

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Re: Buxus/Boxwood #4 tree progression (Poink88)

Post  JudyB on Fri Oct 05, 2012 12:28 pm

Taner, it looks to me like the two blue branches you would choose (were this your tree), are somewhat thicker, and far straighter, than the red branches. At least the red ones have some movement. Yes the left one is a bit thickish, but it might be able to be cut back after the tree recovers a bit, and regrown above the nice movement part. The blue ones have no interest, and I would think about cutting those ones out... Can you explain why you chose those two for the apex?

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Re: Buxus/Boxwood #4 tree progression (Poink88)

Post  Poink88 on Fri Oct 05, 2012 12:33 pm

JudyB wrote:Yes the left one is a bit thickish, but it might be able to be cut back after the tree recovers a bit, and regrown above the nice movement part.
Nice point and I actually plan on thread grafting that branch to have lower branches (boxwood rarely backbud here for some reason). I may cut it shorter later at that point.

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Re: Buxus/Boxwood #4 tree progression (Poink88)

Post  Russell Coker on Fri Oct 05, 2012 1:11 pm



I wouldn't cut it back shorter OR remove the branches circled in red. Those branches may go in "different ways", but so what? They form the structure for your crown.

Or are you looking to force this tree into some kind of some stylized bonsai pine tree shape?

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Re: Buxus/Boxwood #4 tree progression (Poink88)

Post  Poink88 on Fri Oct 05, 2012 2:06 pm

Russell Coker wrote:Or are you looking to force this tree into some kind of some stylized bonsai pine tree shape?
Not at all and not sure where you got that impression from. It will be a full dome shaped when I am done...basically a southern oak feel but not apparent yet.

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Re: Buxus/Boxwood #4 tree progression (Poink88)

Post  Poink88 on Fri Oct 05, 2012 2:16 pm

JimLewis wrote:When you repot, I suggest it be planted a bit deeper to make the base more natural looking.
People expose roots much more than this (I believe you have a few yourself), please tell me what's wrong with this one. I am perplexed since it is actually what I am trying to use as my main focal point. Again, I may be mistaken on my approach.

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Re: Buxus/Boxwood #4 tree progression (Poink88)

Post  Poink88 on Fri Oct 05, 2012 2:33 pm

[quote="JimLewis"]
After you see if it survives the winter (it may be living on stored energy at this point) ...
I assure you, this is not stored energy growth, I've pinched and pruned this shrub removing probably more than 20 times as much foliage as what you see now since January. Surely, no shrub this size have that much stored energy. Wink

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Re: Buxus/Boxwood #4 tree progression (Poink88)

Post  MrFancyPlants on Fri Oct 05, 2012 2:52 pm

I think you've done a great job at repositioning the branches and going after that live oak feel. The ends of the branches could use some work, but that comes later.

I'm not sure about the skinny branches coming from the crotch of the two main branches, but it will always be easier to remove then put back.

Something that I found interesting was how much the soil and tree settled into the container over the timeperiod. There must be a lot of organics in the soil.

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Re: Buxus/Boxwood #4 tree progression (Poink88)

Post  Russell Coker on Fri Oct 05, 2012 3:02 pm

Poink88 wrote:
Russell Coker wrote:Or are you looking to force this tree into some kind of some stylized bonsai pine tree shape?
Not at all and not sure where you got that impression from. It will be a full dome shaped when I am done...basically a southern oak feel but not apparent yet.


Well, duh, it's called sarcasm. And it's very apparent to me where you're going!

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Re: Buxus/Boxwood #4 tree progression (Poink88)

Post  Poink88 on Fri Oct 05, 2012 3:05 pm

MrFancyPlants wrote:Something that I found interesting was how much the soil and tree settled into the container over the timeperiod. There must be a lot of organics in the soil.
The soil did not settle, I removed it to expose the nebari. Very Happy Unlike my yaupon hollies that are washed after collection, about half of the soil on this is still the original soil. Most of my collected boxwood are treated this way and they seem to respond very well. The soil will be washed off next repotting though.

I may consider removing the lower branches once I got some branches (from top) in position to replace them.

Thank you!

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Re: Buxus/Boxwood #4 tree progression (Poink88)

Post  Poink88 on Fri Oct 05, 2012 3:06 pm

Russell Coker wrote:Well, duh, it's called sarcasm. And it's very apparent to me where you're going!
Embarassed Sorry, I should have known better. Dance

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Re: Buxus/Boxwood #4 tree progression (Poink88)

Post  Sakaki on Fri Oct 05, 2012 3:27 pm

JudyB wrote:Taner, it looks to me like the two blue branches you would choose (were this your tree), are somewhat thicker, and far straighter, than the red branches. At least the red ones have some movement. Yes the left one is a bit thickish, but it might be able to be cut back after the tree recovers a bit, and regrown above the nice movement part. The blue ones have no interest, and I would think about cutting those ones out... Can you explain why you chose those two for the apex?

- Does a movement always mean aesthetics? Yes, if it can be combined with balance & harmony, this is mho!
- Above is also my answer to your second question.
- What would you do if a movement cannot please your eyes? doesnt matter? So, no problem, it is your taste Smile
- Dario does not have to follow my taste or anyone else's sarcasm-sai.

Post that tree to me Dario, you will never regret Smile

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Re: Buxus/Boxwood #4 tree progression (Poink88)

Post  Poink88 on Fri Oct 05, 2012 4:17 pm

Sakaki wrote:Post that tree to me Dario, you will never regret Smile
Good try lol!

I am definitely still design challenged...and pursuing things my way based on what I see (vision wise) but open to suggestions. Pardon if I do not leap right away to any suggestions. I am this way, I have to be convinced and be able to "see it" first before I do it. Honestly, I still cannot see why you thought of removing those branches.

Thanks anyway. Smile

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Re: Buxus/Boxwood #4 tree progression (Poink88)

Post  JimLewis on Fri Oct 05, 2012 5:08 pm

Poink88 wrote:
JimLewis wrote:When you repot, I suggest it be planted a bit deeper to make the base more natural looking.
People expose roots much more than this (I believe you have a few yourself), please tell me what's wrong with this one. I am perplexed since it is actually what I am trying to use as my main focal point. Again, I may be mistaken on my approach.

Yeahbut, usually by the time the roots start spreading they have begun to run along the ground. These are rather thick posts that spread out from the trunk at a diagonal. If you plant a bit deeper, wound the roots and apply a rooting hormone, you MAY get some real surface roots. At that time, the bigger roots will narrow into more realistic surface roots.

'tis your tree. If it were mine, I'd cut the top (still working toward the live oak look) and would plant deeper and try to develop some spreading roots.


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Re: Buxus/Boxwood #4 tree progression (Poink88)

Post  rockm on Fri Oct 05, 2012 6:21 pm

"I assure you, this is not stored energy growth, I've pinched and pruned this shrub removing probably more than 20 times as much foliage as what you see now since January. Surely, no shrub this size have that much stored energy."

Funny, but yeah, they can have a tremendous amount of stored energy, especially really old boxwood. I dug a 150 + boxwood out of a local pre-Revolutionary war plantation landscape, (with the caretaker's permission Wink ). I got very little root, but managed to get a few feeders. I planted it in a coarse well-draining mix and crossed my fingers. It seemed to recover well, pushing extension growth for two consecutive springs. The third spring after collection, the foliage turned reddish brown overnight and it went belly up.

I pulled the plant from the soil found that it had not pushed any new roots and had been living on fumes for two years.

I'll never be that aggressive with an old boxwood again.

This probably isn't the case with yours, BUT I wouldn't assume it has recovered completely for a few years. Bonsai techniques can cause cumulative affects on a tree.

FWIW, I agree with Jim on the roots. Crevices and crannies in roots can work much like the same in big landscape stones. Landscaping stones have to be partially buried to give them a more solid, grounded feeling. If you can see under a stone's edge as its lying on the ground, it tends to look like it was placed there, instead of emergeing organically and naturally from the ground. Same with this nebari. All those tall vertical roots make it feel a bit unstable visually. Lowering it a bit would help make it feel more like its origins are deeper beneath.

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Re: Buxus/Boxwood #4 tree progression (Poink88)

Post  Poink88 on Fri Oct 05, 2012 6:25 pm

Thanks for the input. I will try to deal with the diagonal roots mechanically if I can. Starting to think already how to do it and I might end up with thick plywood attached below the trunk and lots of screws to jack/push the main roots up individually. We will see.

EDIT IN: Another idea is to do what I am doing with the branches...only this time guy wire the root further out upward by anchoring the other end near the branch crotches so it will hold firm. Also notch the roots at the bottom so they will bent easier...and hopefully encourage fine root growth there too. I just might use this. Twisted Evil

That said, they are nearly fused anyway, maybe I can use them as part of the trunk (like buttressed root/trunk system) and develop the nebari lower? I see these type in the mountains especially where there is soil erosion near river banks. hmmm.

I really want to display the roots so I'll find a way. If I had to change the planting, so be it. For now, it stays as-is. I am open to other ideas how to best address this or comments/thoughts if it really is necessary to address.

BTW, I noticed you have an attachment that I cannot see (yet).

Thanks!


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Re: Buxus/Boxwood #4 tree progression (Poink88)

Post  Poink88 on Fri Oct 05, 2012 6:37 pm

Rockm,

Wow 2 years in fumes? I wouldn't have known. These have lots of new roots though...I know since I encountered lots of them while removing some of the top soil. Embarassed Evil or Very Mad

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Re: Buxus/Boxwood #4 tree progression (Poink88)

Post  Russell Coker on Fri Oct 05, 2012 7:19 pm

Interesting story but that's not comparing apples to apples. Your 150 year old boxwood was sempervirens, right?

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Re: Buxus/Boxwood #4 tree progression (Poink88)

Post  rockm on Fri Oct 05, 2012 8:08 pm

Was probably sempervirens suffruticosa --English boxwood-- given the site's history. The original 1740 importation documents for the first boxwood on the place are still on file at the county courthouse. It says they were sent from England, but doesn't mention species...

Anyway, I don't think its apples to oranges. Boxwood species are tough, but can also be a little touchy in some situations, especially after collection. I've picked up old barerooted landscape boxwood that had been lying by the side of the road, plunked them in turface and had them flourish, but I've also had bad experiences like the one mentioned.

Just saying, just because there's active growth up top on a recently collected plant, doesn't NECESSARILY mean it's doing great. Could be, might not...

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Re: Buxus/Boxwood #4 tree progression (Poink88)

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