Boxwood questions

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Boxwood questions

Post  chappy56 on Fri Apr 06, 2012 12:16 am

Here's my one and only boxwood.
I've had it for two or three years and its never left its container.
I'm looking for some advice as I've never done one.
My questions are as follows...

Is it too late in the season to re-pot now?
How much can I get away with cutting back?
How much can I get away with root removal? (The pot I chose below is fairly deep).
Thanks in advance for any suggestions.






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Re: Boxwood questions

Post  Poink88 on Fri Apr 06, 2012 12:22 am

I've dug a few boxwood and they seem to be very forgiving. Even the ones I had little roots left bounced back easily. With the pot you showed, you shouldn't have any problems. The best time has passed but this is an evergreen so there is no big problem doing it now.

I know someone will whip me to shape fast if I am mistaken...so hold a few more posts before doing anything. Wink

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Re: Boxwood questions

Post  drgonzo on Fri Apr 06, 2012 12:44 am

Thats a great little tree. But time to get it into a good free-draining inorganic mix. Box are very forgiving as to re-potting time. Bare root that with a hose, trim down with the tips of your scissors to see if there are any surface roots once you find them you'll have a better Idea of what your front is and as your tree is pushing new growth you can begin styling. i would definately do some thinning it looks a bit congested. Just remember to leave something green on the end of any branch you want to keep to draw the sap so the branch wont die back.

Great tree! I'd go for a mini live oak look, twice as wide as it is tall, and if your careful you could sneak it into something even shallower than that pot to provide the tree in a landscape effect.
-Jay

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Re: Boxwood questions

Post  JimLewis on Fri Apr 06, 2012 1:26 am

Is it too late in the season to re-pot now?

No. Not where you are.

How much can I get away with cutting back?

They're tough plants -- hedges get severely clipped, even in mid summer. But you have a nicely shaped canopy already, I wouldn't do more than thin the foliage so you can catch a look or two at the branches.

How much can I get away with root removal? (The pot I chose below is fairly deep).

A fair amount -- depending on how confident you are in your horticultural nursing skills. Again, I wouldn't go overboard. If you do bare root, be certain you work the new soil into the rootball. Air pockets could be fatal. If it were mine, I'd leave some interior soil and cut the roots back hard around the edges.

When I saw that first picture I thought it was a very large plant. Your fingers gave it some scale.

_________________
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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The Art of Bonsai is Capturing a Sense of Grandeur in Under 12 Inches

Post  j4561eff on Fri Apr 06, 2012 4:17 am

"When I saw that first picture I thought it was a very large plant. Your fingers gave it some scale." - JimLewis

I agree. I thought it could be two feet tall, minimum. I pulled one out of the ground about a year ago on the coast in NorCal, simply shoveling it with a large-ish intact root ball. The tree at that time was at about my waist, so around three feet. It looked pretty sorry for about eight or nine months, but it has really started to gain some vigor with the approach and onset of spring. And I really haven't done anything to it. The original soil remains. The only significant change I've made is move it about 70 miles south to a local "warm" climate, though through the winter we've had several nights that have frozen, albeit lightly.

I would like to bend a few branches of this tree, similar to but not quite as extreme as the bending performed and described by JMcCoy in this forum. I would like to get some soil advice about this tree before I do it though. How freely should water leave the soil for this tree? Any feedback is appreciated. And thank you to chappy56 for starting the thread.

Jeff

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Re: Boxwood questions

Post  chappy56 on Fri Apr 06, 2012 5:43 am

Thanks everyone for the help. I'll be sure to update.

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Re: Boxwood questions

Post  JMcCoy on Fri Apr 06, 2012 6:07 am

Very nice material. Do you know what dwarf variety you have? It looks like it could be a Saunders. Jim gave great advice on how to treat it, thinning the canopy being important this year. I would only add that I prefer to wash out old substrate (or soil if collected) and replace with a uniform mix when going from a nursery container or collected tree into a new pot with Bonsai mix. Also the dwarf ones like yours can turn orange more in the full sun than the larger leafed varieties, so for a deeper green, keep it in dappled light.

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Re: Boxwood questions

Post  chappy56 on Fri Apr 06, 2012 3:16 pm

Again, thanks everyone.
This tree, according to the folks at Wee Tree Farms, where I got it, is a Dwarf Kingsville.
And here it is potted up. I was afraid to take off much more than I did, but I'll refine it a little at a time.




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Re: Boxwood questions

Post  Poink88 on Fri Apr 06, 2012 3:23 pm

One thing I noticed on mine. The best part of the base & nebari is usually underground and covered by soil and fine roots. Something you might want to investigate on yours.

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Re: Boxwood questions

Post  lordy on Mon Apr 09, 2012 2:50 pm

What I have found with old field-grown Kingsvilles is that they tend to grow a very dense canopy which prevents sunlight from getting down into the structure of the tree. Thinning out the canopy some will help get growth down inside, if that is what you desire. I did this with mine, and after a couple of years in the ground they grew foliage on old wood very nicely.

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