Buxus/Boxwood branch (guy) wiring...how long to set?

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Buxus/Boxwood branch (guy) wiring...how long to set?

Post  Poink88 on Mon Mar 19, 2012 4:32 pm

I guy wired some of my collected boxwood (up to 1/2" diameter) and wondering how long they usually take before setting.

The bigger ones hardly budged but I am taking what I can (even a little) to help shape the tree.

Thank you.

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Re: Buxus/Boxwood branch (guy) wiring...how long to set?

Post  JimLewis on Mon Mar 19, 2012 7:51 pm

A LONG time. I hope you padded the guy wires.

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Re: Buxus/Boxwood branch (guy) wiring...how long to set?

Post  Poink88 on Mon Mar 19, 2012 8:07 pm

Long doesn't help me much. Can you elaborate a bit? Is it a year, 2, 3, longer?

Yes, the wires were padded but I will replace it eventually with better ones if it will take really long...or even resort to wiring (heavy duty stuff with raffia and heavy gauge wires).

Thanks.

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Re: Buxus/Boxwood branch (guy) wiring...how long to set?

Post  Russell Coker on Mon Mar 19, 2012 8:21 pm



Dario, did you see the one I showed in Jim's thread with the guy wires? It made more sense to me to position the branches that way than try to wire and bend them with big wire. I still may need to do that later, but why create more work now? Some of these bigger branches do tend to crack, but that's not a bad thing unless you crack them all the way off. Sometimes it also helps to rotate them as you bend them, and the plant should be very dry too. If you know a branch is going to break, take appropriate measures to protect it. (I know, "duh")

So how long does it take? Good question, I'll let you know. It depends on what you're bending - and how much. That's where cracks come in handy. When that heals it's going to stay in that new position better and tend to not float back. It's a hard thing to give you real numbers on.

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Re: Buxus/Boxwood branch (guy) wiring...how long to set?

Post  alonsou on Mon Mar 19, 2012 8:23 pm

I put some guy wires about 2 years ago on some 1/4~ 3/16" dia. branches on my boxwood, long story short, I gave up. Seems like the only way to bring them down it's when they are still very young, I'm not too sure about some 1/2" branches. On my tree, I have been thinking on trying new techniques, like removing a small "wedge" of a branch to force it down or in the direction desired, but I have yet to try it.

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Re: Buxus/Boxwood branch (guy) wiring...how long to set?

Post  Poink88 on Mon Mar 19, 2012 8:33 pm

Russell and Alonsou,

I actually experimented a branch I originally decided to remove and carved it it hollow with more than half the bark removed then bended it. It still cracked but I left it on and taped it. 2 days later none of the leaves showed any sign of withering yet. It is extreme but I want to see if it is a viable option.

I also plan on running a saw along the branch (almost splitting it in half) lengthwise and bending it after. Problem is there are branches I can experiment on...there are some I just cannot risk losing.

One suggestion I got is to bend them like the pine and junipers are bend with raffia, and rods. Problem with this is the area that need treatment might be tight with other branches around unlike the usual pine/juniper where obstacles are usually minimal.

Keep the ideas coming and thank you!

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Re: Buxus/Boxwood branch (guy) wiring...how long to set?

Post  JimLewis on Mon Mar 19, 2012 8:41 pm

There's simply nothing else to say but a LONG time.

If you go back to the thread I started that Russell mentioned, you can see how upright the tree was when I started and how horizontal many/some of the branches are today. I ended up splitting some of the branches for about 8 inches , then using a turnbuckle to winch the branches down with much crackling and groaning and (unplanned) twisting. It took a full 10 years to get rid of the scars from the split branches (and you can still see them if you look hard enough!), so it's not something I'd recommend to the impatient or weak at heart.

I have another large branch on that tree cranked down tightly with a guy wire now. Luckily, I'm not trying something too drastic.

Bonsai take however long bonsai take to do some things. You simply cannot put a time on them. A couple of those branches never bent. So forever might be one measure.

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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: Buxus/Boxwood branch (guy) wiring...how long to set?

Post  drgonzo on Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:32 pm

I threw guy wires all over my large boxwood last year and I repotted into a large grow box at the same time. I "over extended" the branches a bit to allow for a bounce back and used the sides of my grow box as my guy anchor points. They are not as tight this spring as they were last spring and I would imagine setting can be sped up by feeding heavily so a nice thick annular ring is deposited for a good few more seasons. The over pot was so I could leave the thing with its wires on for the next 3 years.

I have say 4 or 5 years worth of branch ramification to build on the tree anyway while I wait for the branches to set.
'All things in time', and with boxwoods its 'all things in a long time'.
-Jay

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Re: Buxus/Boxwood branch (guy) wiring...how long to set?

Post  Poink88 on Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:13 am

Thanks guys. I wired a few of the smaller branches instead and will see how that goes. I think my wiring style (though ugly) worked really well in pulling the upper branch down on one tree. I am still contemplating if I will attempt wiring the biggest branch. For sure the smaller ones can be.

You can see 2 of my boxwood here.
http://ibonsaiclub.forumotion.com/t9522-miscelaneous-urban-yamadori-2-months-after

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Re: Buxus/Boxwood branch (guy) wiring...how long to set?

Post  marcus watts on Tue Mar 20, 2012 7:12 am

Hi Dario,
The two trees in the pictures dont really need those main outer branches pulling down, its all a bit too pine like and destroys the deciduous tree image. Material like this looks good with those main primary branches rising up, the secondary branches that grow from them are then wired level (or slightly dropping) in layers - but keeping enough space between the layers so the fine twigs can grow in the gaps above.

I think with this material you will get good results working with the tree you dug up and concentrating on just controling the new growth from an early stage. In time, if you want the original branches better shaped you'll cut them off and regrow anyway.

cheers Marcus

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Re: Buxus/Boxwood branch (guy) wiring...how long to set?

Post  sunip on Tue Mar 20, 2012 7:19 am

Hello Dario,
My experience with boxwood is that you can slowly bend them further over time with guy wire.
Only smaller branches i wire.
You should cheque regularly if you can take them further down,
i discovered that they can be really flexibel at times but the box has to be convinced.
Sunip Wink

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Re: Buxus/Boxwood branch (guy) wiring...how long to set?

Post  Poink88 on Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:15 pm

Thanks guys. I will look at the trees again and see if I should re-consider letting them be w/o guy wires or wires (though I honestly doubt it). Note that some are (as Jay mentioned) a bit over bent to allow for spring back.

Marcus, if you've seen massive Oaks here, your opinion might change. Some are practically "kneeling" and have huge branches resting on the ground.

Sunip, I will try to be very convincing then. Wink

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Re: Buxus/Boxwood branch (guy) wiring...how long to set?

Post  Russell Coker on Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:46 pm



Poink88 wrote: Marcus, if you've seen massive Oaks here, your opinion might change. Some are practically "kneeling" and have huge branches resting on the ground.

Yes Marcus, it's not the typical image of a deciduous tree we're after here. They are very horizontal trees, much broader than tall when space permits.

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Re: Buxus/Boxwood branch (guy) wiring...how long to set?

Post  Poink88 on Tue Mar 20, 2012 7:48 pm

JimLewis wrote:I ended up splitting some of the branches for about 8 inches , then using a turnbuckle to winch the branches down with much crackling and groaning and (unplanned) twisting. It took a full 10 years to get rid of the scars from the split branches (and you can still see them if you look hard enough!), so it's not something I'd recommend to the impatient or weak at heart.
Jim,

How did you split the branches? A branch splitter or a saw? I just noticed this now and I am actually planning on doing the same but not sure how to best split the branches. My plan is to start with a drill then do the rest manually with a coping saw. Thanks!

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Re: Buxus/Boxwood branch (guy) wiring...how long to set?

Post  JimLewis on Tue Mar 20, 2012 8:12 pm

I used this:



Those are 18 inches long.

I believe these were used during the Inquisition to pare away fingers and toes while being "put to the question." (Actually my farrier uses tools like these to trim our horses' hooves.)

I use them for roots over 3 inches thick where I can't get to it with a saw, for branch splitting, and for other very heavy duty and imprecise cutting and splicing (Mostly for taproot removal.).

I urge you to exhaust every other possible remedy before resorting to branch splitting. And even then, I recommend against it. You should not split a branch that is less than 2 inches in DIAMETER, anyway. There's a 99% chance you will lose the branch, and 100% if it is smaller. I did it because I didn't know any better (and I read about it in that damned bonsai book!)

_________________
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: Buxus/Boxwood branch (guy) wiring...how long to set?

Post  Poink88 on Tue Mar 20, 2012 8:13 pm

Russell Coker wrote:Some of these bigger branches do tend to crack, but that's not a bad thing unless you crack them all the way off. Sometimes it also helps to rotate them as you bend them, and the plant should be very dry too. If you know a branch is going to break, take appropriate measures to protect it. (I know, "duh")... That's where cracks come in handy. When that heals it's going to stay in that new position better and tend to not float back.
Russell,
I know what you mean about letting it crack...I am just afraid it goes farther than I want and lose a branch. Any tips on how you did yours? I am assuming you wrapped it in raffia (or similar) before bending? Thanks!

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Re: Buxus/Boxwood branch (guy) wiring...how long to set?

Post  Poink88 on Tue Mar 20, 2012 8:19 pm

Jim, I can't see the pic right now but I will tonight. Your advise is noted. Thanks!

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Re: Buxus/Boxwood branch (guy) wiring...how long to set?

Post  Russell Coker on Wed Mar 21, 2012 1:54 am



[quote="Poink88"]
Russell Coker wrote:I know what you mean about letting it crack...I am just afraid it goes farther than I want and lose a branch. Any tips on how you did yours? I am assuming you wrapped it in raffia (or similar) before bending? Thanks!


Nope, prayer and crossed fingers. I did have to fix one really bad break, but everything's ok. Boxwoods are pretty idiot proof, thank god.

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Re: Buxus/Boxwood branch (guy) wiring...how long to set?

Post  Mitch Thomas on Wed Mar 21, 2012 2:59 am

Russell
I was reading a post by Tony Tickle on bending thick hawthorn branch, using a keyhole technique. Do you think it could work on boxwood? I tryed to move the link but I was un successful. Search Tonys post hawthorn raft branch bending.

Mitch























And that's how you do it!

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Re: Buxus/Boxwood branch (guy) wiring...how long to set?

Post  Poink88 on Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:50 am

JimLewis wrote:I used this:



Those are 18 inches long.
affraid Would you know how I can get one of this? bounce

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Re: Buxus/Boxwood branch (guy) wiring...how long to set?

Post  JimLewis on Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:16 pm

Make friends with a blacksmith that shoes horses.

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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: Buxus/Boxwood branch (guy) wiring...how long to set?

Post  Poink88 on Wed Mar 21, 2012 1:17 pm

JimLewis wrote:Make friends with a blacksmith that shoes horses.
LOL that would work, but I did an online search and found some already. I just don't know how to choose properly (good value) since they seem to have a wide range price wise. I am reading the reviews now. Thanks!

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Re: Buxus/Boxwood branch (guy) wiring...how long to set?

Post  Fore on Wed Mar 21, 2012 1:56 pm

How do you guys deal with manipulating Boxwoods when their bark comes off so easily? This is one reason why I don't have one.

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Re: Buxus/Boxwood branch (guy) wiring...how long to set?

Post  Poink88 on Wed Mar 21, 2012 2:08 pm

By being extra careful and/or providing some protection like a wrap or padding. That is what I do at least, others may have other means and I would love to hear it.

Good question.

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Re: Buxus/Boxwood branch (guy) wiring...how long to set?

Post  Russell Coker on Wed Mar 21, 2012 2:41 pm



That is a good question, and Dario is correct. It's another reason I went with guy wires over traditional wiring. Boxwoods are hard to bend so it would take some really heavy wire which can easily create bark damage if you don't wrap first. The technique that Mitch mentioned would probably work as long as you don't break it from the backside of the cut.

Also, bend the branch once and leave it alone. Adjustments are one thing, but none of this back and forth stuff. That just destroys bark and cambium. Study the tree and have the design on paper or in your head before you start so you know where that branch is going before you start. (as best you can)

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Re: Buxus/Boxwood branch (guy) wiring...how long to set?

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