Collected some monsters buxus this spring

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Collected some monsters buxus this spring

Post  Jim Doiron on Sat Apr 21, 2012 6:29 pm

I collected this buxus last week. Along with the taxus I collected a few weeks ago, HERE these are by far the largest material I have collected so far, pretty excited about them. Now I just have to find a chain hoist. Very Happy







Last edited by Jim Doiron on Sun May 13, 2012 9:14 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Collected some monsters buxus this spring

Post  Poink88 on Sat Apr 21, 2012 6:32 pm

WOW!!! Shocked Excellent material!!! cheers

Ain't you glad for reciprocating saw? Wink I also have a similar helper...just a few years older. thumbs up

I am a bit worried that you did not leave some foliage at the tips...good luck though and hope this bud back for you. BTW, If this is mine, I'd probably shorten some of the branches (w/o leaves anyway) a bit more now before it (hopefully) buds.

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Re: Collected some monsters buxus this spring

Post  drgonzo on Sat Apr 21, 2012 6:48 pm

Poink88 wrote:
I am a bit worried that you did not leave some foliage at the tips.

Indeed I fear you will loose most of those branches. if your lucky you may have buds pop at the branch collars. It's very important with evergreens to leave something 'green' on branch to maintain the sap draw.
-Jay

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Re: Collected some monsters buxus this spring

Post  Jim Doiron on Sat Apr 21, 2012 7:33 pm

I did leave some green Rolling Eyes . There was very little inside that mass and I couldn't leave too much of it otherwise it would fit into my yard. Hopefully it comes back, maybe a heavy dose of fertilizer? we'll see. Thanks, Jim

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Re: Collected some monsters buxus this spring

Post  Russell Coker on Sat Apr 21, 2012 8:09 pm

drgonzo wrote:
Poink88 wrote:
I am a bit worried that you did not leave some foliage at the tips.

Indeed I fear you will loose most of those branches. if your lucky you may have buds pop at the branch collars. It's very important with evergreens to leave something 'green' on branch to maintain the sap draw.
-Jay


I've never found this to be the case with boxwoods. That's a real beauty and I would have done the same thing. Boxwoods are pretty indestructable, imo.

R

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Re: Collected some monsters buxus this spring

Post  drgonzo on Sat Apr 21, 2012 8:54 pm

With Boxwood; On branches that I have cut back beyond all foliage, I have lost the branch. I wonder what I'm doing wrong as Russell has had a different experience with this species than I have.
-Jay

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Re: Collected some monsters buxus this spring

Post  coh on Sat Apr 21, 2012 9:40 pm

Jay, sounds like you're describing a situation where you've only pruned one branch back hard but left the others with foliage. Maybe that's the difference - in that case, the tree has many other active growing points available, so maybe it just "decides" it's not worth pushing new growth on the single branch without foliage and devotes energy elsewhere. On the other hand, a tree with all the foliage pruned off has no choice...either push new growth or perish.

I've always heard the stories about people finding boxwoods that have been ripped out of the ground and left to dry out (roots and tops), yet they recover.

In any event, this is a very nice specimen and I hope it buds back well for you (Jim).

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Re: Collected some monsters buxus this spring

Post  Russell Coker on Sat Apr 21, 2012 10:11 pm


Jay,

Are we talking apples and apples here? When I speak of boxwoods, I'm referring to Buxus microphylla - Japanese boxwood. I have no experience with B. sempervirens (they don't grow here), and I wouldn't do this to a dwarf like 'kingsville'.

My experiences with microphylla is that you treat them like an azalea when they are dug from a landscape or rescued from a trash heap - cut them back hard (unless there are trunks and branches that lend themselves to a particular design), wash the roots, pot them up and stand back.

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Re: Collected some monsters buxus this spring

Post  Poink88 on Sat Apr 21, 2012 10:50 pm

I avoided having leafless boxwood branches so I only have a handful experience but about half of those never sprouted. Those that did, already have dormant buds to begin with so I tend to agree with Jay. I also read this info from previous research before my first boxwood. So far, my limited experience supports this.

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Re: Collected some monsters buxus this spring

Post  drgonzo on Sun Apr 22, 2012 12:34 am

The Boxwood I'm working with is B. microphylla var. 'koreana' and as I've worked it down I've experimented with leaving a branch leafless to see If I get a back bud, unfortunately I believe the growth habit may be more along the lines of what Chris mentions. Whereas if I shocked the tree and took it WAY back with a drastic reduction It might sprout all over.

Also i've read the proviso on a few websites including Harry Harringtons not to go past living foliage in pruning Buxus. But that may be more directed towards other Buxus that are more sensitive. Luckily I like the way my box is progressing into a 30 inch wide live oak style and I haven't had to cut back hard into old wood.

-Jay

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Re: Collected some monsters buxus this spring

Post  JMcCoy on Sun Apr 22, 2012 1:08 am

by Russell Coker on Sat Apr 21, 2012 4:11 pm

Jay,

Are we talking apples and apples here? When I speak of boxwoods, I'm referring to Buxus microphylla - Japanese boxwood. I have no experience with B. sempervirens (they don't grow here), and I wouldn't do this to a dwarf like 'kingsville'.

My experiences with microphylla is that you treat them like an azalea when they are dug from a landscape or rescued from a trash heap - cut them back hard (unless there are trunks and branches that lend themselves to a particular design), wash the roots, pot them up and stand back.

Russell, are you sure you're talking about B. microphylla? There are varieties that can be cut back beyond the green, but in my experience with microphylla (not sempervirens or others, although the Kingsville 'Compacta' is a sport from a microphylla, so should react the same), if you don't leave leaf or live buds, the branch will not recover. I've seen "nude" branches that were cut without a leaf or bud that tried to callous over the end, trying to push sap to an area that never will bud out. It's this reason I started threadgrafting this species.

Folks that have hard-cut branches that claim box will pop buds on old wood, all of them had small pointed latent buds that were aleady there, waiting to be exposed to the sun. You can see these. Here is a photo (look in the center of the photo):


And here is a closeup of that latent bud. These can remain on the tree for many years without producing leaves. I'm guessing it's a natural safety for a species that doesn't act like most broadleafs.


These next three pictures tell a story of a failure of mine years ago with a B. microphylla where I cut back without regard to the green leaves, and the eventual lifeline - only two branches lived, the only two that had green leaves on the tips:





Basically if there isn't green, it isn't likely. Good luck with this Boxwood of yours Jim. It really is a terrific-trunked beauty. I sincerely hope it has some of those hidden buds that help it beat the odds!

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Re: Collected some monsters buxus this spring

Post  Jim Doiron on Sun Apr 22, 2012 1:25 am

Thanks everyone for the replies. I have had a similar experience with boxwood that were ripped from the ground and thought that is was irreparable damage to the roots that caused the dead branches. I assumed this one would be different because it was collected properly. Hopefully I will get lucky, I would hate to lose this one Mad I will definitely be more cautious with the next one.
I already have a giant dead stump with one spot of growth. This one was collected curbside after the homeowner ripped it from the ground:

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Re: Collected some monsters buxus this spring

Post  Russell Coker on Sun Apr 22, 2012 3:15 am

Well, y'all, I can't argue with the pictures. And I certainly would recomend caution above anything else. But, yes, this has been MY experience - and, yes, with microphylla. I haven't tried this with harlandii, or whatever it is we have here sold as harlandii. Maybe I've just been lucky...

I do remember a couple of years ago seeing some old microphylla in a garden being cut back hard (way past anything remotely close to green) in July or August, and they did not recover.

This old guy had been in the ground for almost 50 years before it was pulled out of the ground with a chain. You can still see the scar. It went from 5 feet wide and 4 feet tall to about 3x3, and I had no die back anywhere. Summer work, so don't judge it too hard.




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Re: Collected some monsters buxus this spring

Post  coh on Sun Apr 22, 2012 3:30 am

Interesting discussion, and lots of useful info to file away for the future.

Given the tendencies described - can you successfully "chase" boxwood foliage back down those long, barren branches? In other words - if you cut back a long branch to the last green growth, can you encourage budding further back on the trunk, so that you can gradually cut back and get something in scale? Or will that probably only work if there are already the visible buds described by JMcCoy?

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Re: Collected some monsters buxus this spring

Post  Poink88 on Sun Apr 22, 2012 3:34 am

Chris, On mine some bud further back after a while (even w/o the dormant buds) but some haven't (yet). Maybe if you wait, they will in time.

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Re: Collected some monsters buxus this spring

Post  Russell Coker on Sun Apr 22, 2012 3:36 am




Well, obviuosly, I'm not the one to answer this question!

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Re: Collected some monsters buxus this spring

Post  coh on Sun Apr 22, 2012 3:38 am

Maybe there's something in the water down there!

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Re: Collected some monsters buxus this spring

Post  JMcCoy on Sun Apr 22, 2012 3:46 am

Russell, do you have a pic of when it was first cut back? I ask because you may have thought it was bare when it wasn't quite. That's an outstanding tree, by the way, great movement!

My ideas on this are based on over 100 collected Buxus over the years, that all seemed to hold true. Now I always keep green foliage, even if it means it's oversized for the time being. There is another thing I was considering... our climates are different. I mean Tx and Alabama are both hot and South, but I'll bet you have much higher humidity than we have, so it's possible that Buxus there develop more of those latent buds. I can talk boxwood here in Central Texas, but applying "rules" to the species across the nation just may be another matter. I'll hope that Kentucky is a place that Buxus will do as Russell has experienced.

I should also add - those latent buds I talked about can be brown colored too, but they are always wick, not dried up.

I collected my first couple B. harlandii last year and have yet to learn much about that variety, but it didn't seem to bud back on a few test cuts I made.

Dario, I'd love to hear about yours budding back. All of the ones I took home from our dig only produced from existing buds, as has been my experience all along.

Jim, it's a shame that that first tree died back to one side like that, but if you give it a few years, you may be able to make something from it yet. That 2-branch mistake I showed earlier is coming along now with some low important grafts, and I have faith it's going to be a Bonsai yet! cheers

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Re: Collected some monsters buxus this spring

Post  JMcCoy on Sun Apr 22, 2012 3:53 am

by coh on Sat Apr 21, 2012 9:30 pm

Interesting discussion, and lots of useful info to file away for the future.

Given the tendencies described - can you successfully "chase" boxwood foliage back down those long, barren branches? In other words - if you cut back a long branch to the last green growth, can you encourage budding further back on the trunk, so that you can gradually cut back and get something in scale? Or will that probably only work if there are already the visible buds described by JMcCoy?

Hi Chris, this is the best way I've found over the years of monkeying with the problem of chasing the branches back. http://ibonsaiclub.forumotion.com/t9720-boxwood-threadgrafting-branches

For those that have a Boxwood for years that doesn't bud back, I'd be very interested to hear a success story of simply cutting the branch shorter to produce buds/branches like a deciduous tree. And like they said in Math class.. show your work! Very Happy

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Re: Collected some monsters buxus this spring

Post  Poink88 on Sun Apr 22, 2012 4:01 am

JMcCoy wrote:Dario, I'd love to hear about yours budding back. All of the ones I took home from our dig only produced from existing buds, as has been my experience all along.
Joey, I was answering this...
coh wrote:Given the tendencies described - can you successfully "chase" boxwood foliage back down those long, barren branches? In other words - if you cut back a long branch to the last green growth, can you encourage budding further back on the trunk, so that you can gradually cut back and get something in scale? Or will that probably only work if there are already the visible buds described by JMcCoy?
The back budding is below an existing foliage after a chop.

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Re: Collected some monsters buxus this spring

Post  JMcCoy on Sun Apr 22, 2012 4:05 am

Dario..
But were they produced from already green leaves, or from those bud points?

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Re: Collected some monsters buxus this spring

Post  Poink88 on Sun Apr 22, 2012 4:12 am

Joey,

After the chop (w/ leaves) I got some sprout out of dormant buds AND out of nowhere. Some just had sprouts below but some branches never got any. I don't know how to force or predict the sprouting other than through the dormant buds.

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Re: Collected some monsters buxus this spring

Post  JMcCoy on Sun Apr 22, 2012 4:16 am

Wierd! Though, I will say that those we got were loaded with more buds that most! It could have just been that, just small and discreet, unnoticed. Mine are now little green "wooly boogers" as my grandmother would call them! Laughing

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Re: Collected some monsters buxus this spring

Post  Russell Coker on Sun Apr 22, 2012 4:22 am


Joey, you bring up a really good point, one that I was just wondering about. Maybe the humidity DOES have something to do with it. Since our experiences with the same material have been so different, I was wondering if yours went into a mist house maybe it would make a difference. That's really the only factor I can think of. I remember thinking the same thing when you posted about thread grafting boxwoods. My first thought was unless you really needed a branch in a certain spot, why would this even be necessary???? I MUST be the humidity. Maybe it would be wise for any collected and cut back boxwood to be placed in some sort of greenhouse for the first few weeks.

My boxwood was cut back way harder than anything shown here, and I dare say it is much older too. I didn't have any die off anywhere, it just popped like it didn't even care. I know for a fact that it was planted in the early 1950's. As a matter of fact, a friend cut one of these back even harder than I did to create some dead wood, and that popped new growth too.

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Re: Collected some monsters buxus this spring

Post  JMcCoy on Sun Apr 22, 2012 4:28 am

Russell -
See, NONE of that would make any sense here.. you'd just end up with a dead stump the same as if you did it to a juniper or pine (and true even these can have dormant buds that will pop when cut way back too Smile )

I don't think after-collecting humidity would do any good. Rather I think it may have something to do with the conditions that the plant was growing in for all the years. Maybe stimulating the cambium differently?? I don't know. All I know, is I'd like to collect some B. microphylla with you in Alabama sometime and see the magic!

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Re: Collected some monsters buxus this spring

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