Large, old rescued landscape boxwood....

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Large, old rescued landscape boxwood....

Post  Gentleman G. on Thu Jun 23, 2011 4:45 pm

Hey, everybody, what's the word??? The other day I was cruising around my neighborhood when what do I see??? A 4 foot Boxwood that someone had ripped from the ground using an automobile and some rope Evil or Very Mad Due to the clay soil it had been growing in, a really large part of the rootball came out fully intact! Even laying on the side of the road on it's side (I tried to stand it upright but it probably weighed 200-300 Lbs.) for two days till I could round up help, it continued to put out new growth! Some of the larger branches, including what would have been a 3rd trunk were badly broken during it's removal Sad My buddies and I arrived with a sawzall, a pick axe, and two shovels and went to work removing what couldn't be saved (we also removed as much soil as possible). Even after removing 30 plus Lbs. of tree and dirt, the three of us still had a tough time getting it into the bed of the truck. We did manage to get it home and in to it's temporary grow box (an old recycle bin no longer used for recycling since the city started a new program). I didn't remove any more soil than needed to lighten the load a few pounds because I figured this poor plant had suffered enough. The soil is heavy clay soil but I'll just watch my watering until the plant is healthy enough to begin work on the roots. I honestly don't think it even knows it was yanked out of the earth as it has been steadily putting off new growth. Even after reducing the height after initial recovery the growth hasn't slowed a bit (in fact, reducing the height seems to have helped a bunch!). I was careful to leave foliage on any branch I thought I may want to keep (as I've read/been told/now experienced, is necessary when dealing with boxwoods) and I've been rewarded with many new buds and shoots everywhere! I'm not too sure of the future direction of this tree, but it has good potential, I think. More important to me is it's my first urban yamadori/rescue and it appears to me to be very healthy! Very Happy What do you all think???


No pics of it on the side of the road, but here it is shortly after arriving at my place




And again after the reduction (my little helper for scale)




A closer post-reduction shot




A close up of the roots/base... which measures 16 inches around where I can fit the tape measure, what would have been the third trunk ground layered itself so I'm assuming theres more trunk under there somewhere...




A recent pic taken this morning...




And, finally, a close up of some of the new growth




Unfortunately, there was some severe scarring caused by the rope when the plant was ripped out of the ground. Perhaps I could incorporate this as some sort of deadwood feature in the future??? Other than that, I really have no idea what I'm doing with this one. My priority was to keep it alive and healthy and I've done okay so far. Any suggestions as far as possible future styling or general care and maintenance are appreciated as always.


G

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Re: Large, old rescued landscape boxwood....

Post  Walter Pall on Thu Jun 23, 2011 5:36 pm

My take:

Looks good to me. Can become a very good bonsai. Will take more than ten years to look somewhat civilized. Should look like a tree and not like a bonsai eventually.

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Re: Large, old rescued landscape boxwood....

Post  dorothy7774 on Thu Jun 23, 2011 5:54 pm

@Walter Pall wrote:My... Should look like a tree and not like a bonsai eventually.

thumbs up dorothy

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Re: Large, old rescued landscape boxwood....

Post  Gentleman G. on Thu Jun 23, 2011 6:31 pm

Thank you, Walter and Dorothy! My wife and the buddies who helped me rescue it all thought I was crazy, but I thought the same thing you guys did. In about two years I plan on doing more reductions to help improve taper and in the mean time I'll focus on letting it recover and grow like crazy.

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Re: Large, old rescued landscape boxwood....

Post  Russell Coker on Thu Jun 23, 2011 8:44 pm

I think it has tons of potential too. Boxwoods like this are tough and forgiving. I would have removed that old soil and a good part of the lower root system so it could have been planted deeper in a much shallower pot. Those big, shallow, black, rectangular mixing tube with the mortar stuff at Home Depot work well after you drill a bunch of drain holes. My concern here is that it's planted too high, I'd at least keep some damp sphagnum on those exposed roots. And you're going to have to be careful that it doesn't stay waterlogged in that deep pot.

When you can get it out of that pot, wash the roots system with a pressure nozzle. Get rid of that old soil like you would an azalea and you might find an even better base under thos roots.

R

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Re: Large, old rescued landscape boxwood....

Post  Gentleman G. on Thu Sep 15, 2011 5:50 am

My Boxwood is growing like crazy!!! What a Face It's full of nice green foliage, and starting to show more potential! I think I've decided on what I think should be the front too! Some of the growth higher up on the tree have died off or are dying, but this is okay because I'll probably end up chopping those upper parts off anyways. I'll post some pics of how it's coming along tomorrow hopefully! Maybe then somebody can tell me if it's okay to reduce more now, or if I should wait. Thanks for the input guys!




G

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Re: Large, old rescued landscape boxwood....

Post  manosvince on Thu Sep 15, 2011 9:41 am

What kind of substrate did you use? Can you please add some photos? I think that you should let the new groth to grow up, let the branches to be strong , and then cut back in the second-third pair of leaves.
Rgards, Manos.

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Re: Large, old rescued landscape boxwood....

Post  Gentleman G. on Thu Sep 15, 2011 9:46 am

If you meant of the substrate, I felt that due to the fact that it was ripped out of the ground and left laying on the side of the road in 90+ degree temps it would be best to leave the roots alone. So, the substrate is South Texas clay soil. As for pictures of the current conditions, I'll post them tomorrow, as mentioned above. Hope that helps. Thanks for the interest!



G

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Re: Large, old rescued landscape boxwood....

Post  Gentleman G. on Thu Sep 15, 2011 9:51 am

And I cut back rather high above the lowest growth, just to be on the safe side. Wasn't sure how much dieback would occur. In some places it's nearly 12 inches of wood above the lower growth. The pictures will explain more.

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Re: Large, old rescued landscape boxwood....

Post  JMcCoy on Fri Sep 16, 2011 4:40 am

Hey G,
Great talking to you at Convention last May! So here is the infamous tree.. looks good! I think you've had some great advice here, and I'd echo Russell's thoughts about ideally wanting to get the old soil out and the tree lower in the pot. Those surface roots may be the future nebari and it's important to save them. On the other hand, when you clean the soil, you may find another and better nebari hidden below. Boxwoods tend to be layered that way. Right now just focus on getting as much green on the top as possible to strengthen the tree and when possible put it into free-draining mix. The fun of the styling can only happen when it's really healthy and strong (a couple of years usually). A really good find, keep those eyes open for more!
Joey

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Re: Large, old rescued landscape boxwood....

Post  Gentleman G. on Fri Sep 16, 2011 4:53 am

Thanks, Joey! Great to see you here on the forum!!! I'm really busy with my music right now or I would have posted some new pics today. Well, like I said, good to see you here. I look forward to seeing some of your trees soon possibly! By the way, did you ever post any of the pictures from the convention? The ones that I took are very poor quality...

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Re: Large, old rescued landscape boxwood....

Post  Guest on Fri Sep 16, 2011 6:14 pm

i Gentleman

I have seen so many tiny plants from your side. And many times have I been close to send you small bonsaiplants, as you gett the best out of them ( miniaturegarden) Smile

Now you post this big gardenyamadori....is this your first big tree-material, or do you have more?.

I wish you good luck with big plant...I would have taken it home too Smile.

Kind regards Yvonne

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Re: Large, old rescued landscape boxwood....

Post  Gentleman G. on Fri Sep 16, 2011 9:55 pm

All shapes, sizes, and colors over here!!! Although this is my largest yet! I have a Bald Cypress in training that will end up about 24"-36" when it's all said and done. I also have a F. Retusa that'll also be just about two feet. Then, I have 10 Pond Cypress in various stages of development that I'll be using for a forest (I know even numbers aren't traditionally acceptable, but one of the trees is actually a twin trunk. Would that be considered 9 then?). But, yes, for the most part I have smaller trees. I plan on focusing on mame/shohin, and forests/saikei/penjing!!! I'm just fascinated by the smaller trees I see here and elsewhere! In the future, when I purchase a home (I'm currently renting), I plan on creating a Japanese style garden and Koi pond, etc. Then, I may focus more on larger material. I figure this will all take 10-15 years at the minimum, but I'm good at pursuing the things I love! Thanks for your interest!!!


G

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Re: Large, old rescued landscape boxwood....

Post  coh on Fri Sep 16, 2011 11:08 pm

Great find, I'm always on the lookout for this kind of stuff but haven't come across anything yet. Looking forward to those updated photos...

Chris

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Re: Large, old rescued landscape boxwood....

Post  JMcCoy on Sat Sep 17, 2011 6:55 am

Hi G,
I used to post more before the forums went down and rebooted a few years ago, that's why my number looks so low right now. I love that we have another great urban collector around.. I've never known why more people don't create from some of the awesome and free material sitting around (and being thrown away) in our neighbor's yards. Plus after this wicked drought we've had, there won't be any wild digging for at least another year. This leaves Urban as the best route for raw stock. Personally I'd love to collect some of the large Natal Plum or Podocarpus I see down your way too.. great stuff!
By the way, did you ever post any of the pictures from the convention? The ones that I took are very poor quality...
Here are the pics I took. It was a terrific time!
http://www.flickr.com/photos/9290304@N06/sets/72157626748106069/

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Re: Large, old rescued landscape boxwood....

Post  my nellie on Mon Jan 23, 2012 10:28 am

@Russell Coker wrote: ... ... When you can get it out of that pot, wash the roots system with a pressure nozzle. Get rid of that old soil like you would an azalea and you might find an even better base under thos roots.
R

Hello Russell!
Would you make the same suggestion for a nursery bought buxus microphylla?
I have recently bought three of them (aiming on a group planting...) and I plan to repot early this coming spring.
Thank you!

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Re: Large, old rescued landscape boxwood....

Post  Russell Coker on Mon Jan 23, 2012 1:30 pm



Hey Alexandra.

That's a good question. Azaleas and boxwoods have similar root systems, both as nursery stock and as garden plants. As nursery stock that's not a good thing! They both create a solid mass of roots in a pot that can be difficult to reduce. I usually lay the root ball on its side and saw the bottom half off. Then you can start cleaning and trimming as you work your way up towards the trunk. Usually the roots on the outer edges are the densest and the interior can be rather empty - and that's a good thing. It just depends on how potbound the plant is. Using a hose is helpful to keep things clean so you can see what you're doing. Do it when you can take your time, and plan on being a total mess when you're finished! Sometimes all you can do initially is cut it back to the appropriate depth, clean the top, trim the outer edges and maybe cut some wedges into the new root ball to encourage some new roots. Generally, you can reduce the root system quite severely as long as you reduce the top too.

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Re: Large, old rescued landscape boxwood....

Post  Poink88 on Mon Jan 23, 2012 2:05 pm

@Russell Coker wrote:Generally, you can reduce the root system quite severely as long as you reduce the top too.
At what ratio should you reduce the top vs the root (is it 1:1)?

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Re: Large, old rescued landscape boxwood....

Post  Poink88 on Mon Jan 23, 2012 2:06 pm

I would love to see an update picture of this plant if possible. Thanks!

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Re: Large, old rescued landscape boxwood....

Post  Russell Coker on Mon Jan 23, 2012 2:41 pm

@Poink88 wrote:
@Russell Coker wrote:Generally, you can reduce the root system quite severely as long as you reduce the top too.
At what ratio should you reduce the top vs the root (is it 1:1)?

I'd try to keep it as even as possible, but boxwoods are hard to kill.

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Re: Large, old rescued landscape boxwood....

Post  my nellie on Mon Jan 23, 2012 2:49 pm

Much obliged for your response and detailed answer, Russel!

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Re: Large, old rescued landscape boxwood....

Post  Poink88 on Mon Jan 23, 2012 3:05 pm

@Russell Coker wrote:
I'd try to keep it as even as possible, but boxwoods are hard to kill.
Thanks Russell! I am learning that since the 3 that I collected last week are all shooting out leaves and back budding already.

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Re: Large, old rescued landscape boxwood....

Post  Russell Coker on Tue Jan 24, 2012 1:20 am



You're welcome Alexandra. I just hope it made some sense.

Dario, you will need to protect those from hard freezes. It won't kill them, but it will burn that new tender growth.

R

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Re: Large, old rescued landscape boxwood....

Post  Poink88 on Tue Jan 24, 2012 1:24 am

@Russell Coker wrote:
Dario, you will need to protect those from hard freezes. It won't kill them, but it will burn that new tender growth.
Russell, No problem with hard frost here in Austin, TX Wink I am not sure but the lowest we've had so far this season is 31*F and that is just for a few hours. There is another event where we had freezing temp (32) and that is it! Smile

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Re: Large, old rescued landscape boxwood....

Post  Gentleman G. on Tue Jan 24, 2012 6:51 am

Alright, my Boxwood is looking pretty healthy... except I know I need to get out of the clay soil it's in. Our temps haven't been terribly low here (Gulf Coast) and I think that winter is all but over. Would it be safe to clean out the clay soil and re-pot? Or should I wait???? I'll post some pics of the growth in the morning, but given the advice I recieved when I first posted I think that new soil is a priority. What do y'all think?

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Re: Large, old rescued landscape boxwood....

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