Boxwood - Live Oak Style

GrimLore

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Nice for starters ;) That could be trained/bent into a darn nice representation of a Southern Live Oak, serious. And if it grows well for you damn near show ready in 3 years!

Grimmy
 

rockm

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liveoakboxwood.jpg

If you reduce the top leader substantially, you will have something like this down the road .This is a Kingsville that came in pretty much this shape, although I had to eliminate 85 percent of the extra branches to get to it. It's filled out since and I've repositioned it more in the center of the pot.

I believe your tree is probably a Korean boxwood. Very hardy and take hard pruning very well. They like it on the well-drained side, like most boxwood.
 

ColinFraser

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Nice for starters ;) That could be trained/bent into a darn nice representation of a Southern Live Oak, serious. And if it grows well for you damn near show ready in 3 years!

Grimmy
Thanks. I definitely have a big head start over freshly collected material - it's been in quality free draining mix for quite a while, and has been hacked at least once in the past, saving me a couple of years . . .
 

ColinFraser

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Also, I worked a couple more of these at the studio with Travis that remained there if anyone in SoCal is interested - though I think I got the best one ;)
 

rockm

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FWIW, it's mostly useless to try to bend boxwood. Wire has to be left on for five years to hold anything permanently. Wire can also strip the thin cambium off of boxwood easily if you're too rough. Guy wires and hard pruning are the way to go to induce any movement at all in boxwood branches. Movement usually consists of finer ramification, not necessarily more taper, as boxwood also takes forever to put on any worthwhile diameter in new shoots.

They are slow, which is why is much, much more efficient to start out with mature stock like yours and not mess around with small fry seedlings.
 

ColinFraser

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FWIW, it's mostly useless to try to bend boxwood. Wire has to be left on for five years to hold anything permanently. Wire can also strip the thin cambium off of boxwood easily if you're too rough. Guy wires and hard pruning are the way to go to induce any movement at all in boxwood branches. Movement usually consists of finer ramification, not necessarily more taper, as boxwood also takes forever to put on any worthwhile diameter in new shoots.

They are slow, which is why is much, much more efficient to start out with mature stock like yours and not mess around with small fry seedlings.
Yep, I expect mostly clip-n-grow from here, with perhaps some minor wiring of new shoots, and as you said, maybe a guy wire here and there.
 

Alain

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Pretty sure it's just regulus Buxus microphylla, the Japanese Boxwood.
Nice anyway.

So now I guess is the time for the subsidiary question: is there a way to actually distinguish between the different kinds of boxwood...

I have a Kingsville (it was written on the tag ;)) and apparently 4 English boxwood, all look like the freaking same to me o_O
 

johng

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FWIW, it's mostly useless to try to bend boxwood. Wire has to be left on for five years to hold anything permanently.
My experience is different.... I have wired many boxwoods...including some very old ones...just go slow when bending... often you need very heavy wire to hold the bend...if you get decent growth on the branch the shape will set in a few months...certainly within a growing season.

Colin...if time is not an issue...I might completely remove the right side of that main leader and let the left side fill in some of the empty space in time...
 

ColinFraser

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Colin...if time is not an issue...I might completely remove the right side of that main leader and let the left side fill in some of the empty space in time...
Thanks for the input. Do you mean cutting off the tallest section where it emerges from the "V" in the trunk?
 

rockm

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Nice anyway.

So now I guess is the time for the subsidiary question: is there a way to actually distinguish between the different kinds of boxwood...

I have a Kingsville (it was written on the tag ;)) and apparently 4 English boxwood, all look like the freaking same to me o_O
Books have been written on this subject. FWIW, "Kingsville" has become a loose term for any number of small-leaved boxwood types. The one I have pictured above is a "true" Kingsville. I bought it from a source who has cuttings from the original trees found in the Kingsville, Md. nursery that gave the cultivar its name. The seller regularly brought older Kingsville to the National Arb show and sale every year, but she no longer is able to, from what I hear.

From what I've seen American and English boxwood (buxus sempervirens and buxus sempervirens "suffruticosa" ) are not all that common as bonsai subjects, although they probably should be. The typical bonsai boxwood is Japanese boxwood--Buxus Microphylla-- Winter Gem, Morris Midget and a few others. Korean boxwood Buxus Koreana is a close second. Korean box, with its quickly weathered tan bark, makes great bonsai that can withstand extreme cold. I had a few old trees for a very long time, but they were lost to soggy soil over one winter., unfortunately.

http://www.boxwoodsociety.org/Handbook/Handbook.htm
http://saundersbrothers.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/plants.main/typeID/16/index.htm
 

rockm

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My experience is different.... I have wired many boxwoods...including some very old ones...just go slow when bending... often you need very heavy wire to hold the bend...if you get decent growth on the branch the shape will set in a few months...certainly within a growing season.

Colin...if time is not an issue...I might completely remove the right side of that main leader and let the left side fill in some of the empty space in time...

I thought someone who has wired boxwood would offer an alternative.

A word of caution--If you haven't worked boxwood before and you start wiring with heavy wire, more than likely you will find out why I stopped doing it. Heavy wire, if not applied and anchored properly, can shift when it's being wrapped around a heavy branch. That will strip cambium off with little effort. I have found this to be particularly true of Korean boxwood.

Also I have found that meaningful movement in older branches is not all that possible with wire. Boxwood's wood isn't the same as "regular" trees. It is extremely dense, denser than oak. The wood sinks in water. The structure of the wood is also different making it more brittle and resistant to bending.
 

Alain

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Books have been written on this subject. FWIW, "Kingsville" has become a loose term for any number of small-leaved boxwood types. The one I have pictured above is a "true" Kingsville. I bought it from a source who has cuttings from the original trees found in the Kingsville, Md. nursery that gave the cultivar its name. The seller regularly brought older Kingsville to the National Arb show and sale every year, but she no longer is able to, from what I hear.

From what I've seen American and English boxwood (buxus sempervirens and buxus sempervirens "suffruticosa" ) are not all that common as bonsai subjects, although they probably should be. The typical bonsai boxwood is Japanese boxwood--Buxus Microphylla-- Winter Gem, Morris Midget and a few others. Korean boxwood Buxus Koreana is a close second. Korean box, with its quickly weathered tan bark, makes great bonsai that can withstand extreme cold. I had a few old trees for a very long time, but they were lost to soggy soil over one winter., unfortunately.

http://www.boxwoodsociety.org/Handbook/Handbook.htm
http://saundersbrothers.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/plants.main/typeID/16/index.htm
Actually I bought the 'Kingsville' from a specialized nursery at the April Midwest Bonsai Society exhibit. I really hope they didn't screw-up the identification tag! :)
For my 'English' boxwood, let just say...well you told me ;) (cf. my 'craiglist boxwood' thread)
I'll check the links above. I already went to the American boxwood society website but for the moment the only valuable information I found (in term of ID) is that there are many species and cultivars... Which doesn't really help. o_O

That being said it seems that @ColinFraser 's one is a little bit different from mines (in particular its leaves look 'rounder', and may be a little bit bigger), so I guess there might be a way to sort them out after all :D
 

johng

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Thanks for the input. Do you mean cutting off the tallest section where it emerges from the "V" in the trunk?
yes!

Also I have found that meaningful movement in older branches is not all that possible with wire.
I do agree that if you are trying to put an s curve in a old branch it is not going to happen...just like it would not happen on most other trees with branches of equal size...excluding pines and junipers. What you can do is add some gentle movement and place the branches in space....

...is it anymore difficult to wire boxwood than say azalea or maples??? All have thin bark, stiff and brittle wood...

Clip and grow is great a development technique, but there is absolutely no substitute for quality wiring in the creation of nice trees! Clip and grow is a great way to develop branches that you wire later...Tends not to make very good finished trees by itself... I'm too lazy to look for the thread but about 2 years ago I asked for folks to post any nice trees they had that had never been wired....I am sure you can guess what the results were...
 
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