Boxwood harvest

Kevster

Shohin
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So I overheard my fiancée talking to her mom about her grandparents hedge row of about 15-20 large boxwoods planted some 50+ years ago will be getting backhoed out because they are tired of the upkeep in their older age.

Her grandfather is the type of person who when he decides something it's done. But I hope I can talk him into letting me dig them out.
If so would they survive me digging them now? I'm not sure I he will wait till spring.

Also if I do get permission is there anyone local or in driving distance to Delaware that might want to dig some with me?
I surely don't need, want, or have room for that many and I hate to see them get trashed.

Tips to save these big bushes would be greatful also.
 

jk_lewis

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Save yourself some work. Wait until the backhoe does it for you, then select a couple of the best ones. Boxwood is to9ugh and will take being yanked out of the ground.

Take them home, trim the roots with a sharp pruner, plant in a grow box (prepared ahead of time) in bonsai soil, then take the excess off the top (always leaving some green on the trimmed branches) and let them alone for a year or two while the recuperate and you study them.
 

Brian Van Fleet

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Great advice, jkl. Also be advised that you do want to chop them back to a reasonable trunk line at the same time they're being dug out, even if you only leave a few leaves on each branch. Boxwood respond better when you prune the top at the same time as the bottom...then let them grow wild fore a couple years to get strong again. If you have to do it now, do everything...wash roots, prune heavily, and pot them into wooden boxes with just enough room to accommodate the root mass and try to keep them in an unheated garage for the winter.

Sometimes I miss my old boxwood...I collected this one 7 years before this photo was taken, bare-root, and with about 2 dozen leaves on it, and it popped back very fast. I couldn't get both hands around that base, but also couldn't quite get over the hole through the trunk. Sold it 5 years ago.

Boxwood 031205.jpg
 

DaveV

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Don't you guys think its too late in the season and should wait until spring???

Brian, I hope you got a good price for your boxwood. That is a very nice tree in my opinion.
 

Brian Van Fleet

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Don't you guys think its too late in the season and should wait until spring???

Brian, I hope you got a good price for your boxwood. That is a very nice tree in my opinion.

Definitely too late, but if they're getting dug up now, this is what I'd do. Waiting till spring is the safer, preferred course of action if he can convince the in-laws...
I was a nice tree, and did get a good price, it was when trees were still selling. I turned it around and bought that Korean Hornbeam.
 

Kevster

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Thanks for all the suggestions!!!
I will see them this weekend so I hope I can convince them to wait till spring. If not I will do what the two of you suggested and hope for the best. And I have a big shed I can store them in.
 

jk_lewis

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Just remember . . . boxwood are evergreen. They WILL need some light.

They should dig OK at this time of year.
 

txbonsai

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Just be sure to protect them from freezing if you collect them at this time. This is more important than light right now. Even down here, I've had Boxwoods die if we get a freeze into the 20's. Here is one of my "salvaged" trees, collected after the owner had grubbed up a line of them and then thrown them all at the side of the house in the full sun for a day. Boxwoods are tough birds and will survive what most trees can't take. One of my favorite species and definitely under-appreciated. Just imagine all the wonderful variety of shapes under those rounded tops which have been slowly grown out for decades!
Oh and post some pics when you get the chance.
Joey
Austin, Tx
Buxus microphylla, Boxwood 8 (2011 12-3) a.jpg
 
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