Collected Boxwoods

misfit11

Chumono
Messages
786
Reaction score
886
Location
Petaluma CA
USDA Zone
15
I collected these boxwoods from the front of my house recently. They had previously been part of a hedge. Since I abhor geometrically shaped vegetation, when I bought my house I knew this feature would be going away. I did feel, however, that some of the shrubs could make potentially nice bonsai. So I cut them all back hard last spring hoping that they would bud back on the old trunks. This worked well and this spring I decided to try digging a couple of them up to begin their torture regimen.

Here's the first one:
 

Attachments

  • box1_bareroot.jpg
    box1_bareroot.jpg
    52.8 KB · Views: 294
  • box1_front.jpg
    box1_front.jpg
    60.6 KB · Views: 289
  • box1_back.jpg
    box1_back.jpg
    59.6 KB · Views: 254

misfit11

Chumono
Messages
786
Reaction score
886
Location
Petaluma CA
USDA Zone
15
Here's the second. This one is actually two trunks that have "fused" into one. That's my two-year old, Simon, "helping" me pot it up. I plan on doing lots of carving on both of these after they've recovered for a few seasons.

Any comments or suggestions are welcome. :)
 

Attachments

  • box2 barroot.jpg
    box2 barroot.jpg
    64.7 KB · Views: 201
  • box2 simon.jpg
    box2 simon.jpg
    59 KB · Views: 234
  • Box2 trunk.jpg
    Box2 trunk.jpg
    59.6 KB · Views: 209
  • boxwood #2 pruned.jpg
    boxwood #2 pruned.jpg
    56 KB · Views: 243
Last edited:

jk_lewis

Masterpiece
Messages
3,820
Reaction score
1,109
Location
Western NC
USDA Zone
7-8
TYhey look like fun. But I'd give them a LONG time to recuperate. They can sprout leaves for a year just on energy stiored in the trunk and roots.
 

Si Nguyen

Omono
Messages
1,046
Reaction score
183
Location
Lake Forest, CA
You got a ton of roots on them! They should do well. The second tree is fantastic! Good luck with them!
 

ml_work

Chumono
Messages
580
Reaction score
461
Location
Alabama
USDA Zone
8
"But I'd give them a LONG time to recuperate. They can sprout leaves for a year just on energy stored in the trunk and roots."

Yikes! Friend gave me some about the same size as yours from the front of their house also. I potted them and they made the summer and now the winter. Not much growth but figure they are just slow. But JKL has me wondering if they are at a safe point now.
Yours look like a fun project.
Michael
 

Brian Van Fleet

Pretty Fly for a Bonsai Guy
Messages
11,731
Reaction score
31,616
Location
B’ham, AL
USDA Zone
8A
Good stuff! Boxwoods are great if you have a good trunk like this to start with. One thing I've noticed from growing several for 10 years or so is that when you do root pruning, you have to do top pruning at the same time; they bounce back better. If you repot one year, and pinch foliage the next, it really slows them down. I've also noticed that they weaken over time in bonsai pots, and have read that it's a good idea to put them in the ground for a year or two every so often to "pump" them back up.
 

misfit11

Chumono
Messages
786
Reaction score
886
Location
Petaluma CA
USDA Zone
15
Good stuff! Boxwoods are great if you have a good trunk like this to start with. One thing I've noticed from growing several for 10 years or so is that when you do root pruning, you have to do top pruning at the same time; they bounce back better. If you repot one year, and pinch foliage the next, it really slows them down. I've also noticed that they weaken over time in bonsai pots, and have read that it's a good idea to put them in the ground for a year or two every so often to "pump" them back up.

Great info, Brian. Thanks.
 

Brian Underwood

Chumono
Messages
930
Reaction score
201
Location
Santa Rosa, CA
Very nice finds! Those will make incredible trees in a few years. You should bring one or two into the REBS meeting for "show and tell."
 

misfit11

Chumono
Messages
786
Reaction score
886
Location
Petaluma CA
USDA Zone
15
Very nice finds! Those will make incredible trees in a few years. You should bring one or two into the REBS meeting for "show and tell."

Thanks, Brian. I'm not sure they're REBS worthy yet. In couple of years though...

BTW, there are more where these came from if you're interested.:)
 

Brian Underwood

Chumono
Messages
930
Reaction score
201
Location
Santa Rosa, CA
They may not be show worthy, but people love seeing new collected material. I might be interested if something strikes my fancy... I'm not the biggest fan of boxwood, but they make pretty spectacular oak style trees.
 

misfit11

Chumono
Messages
786
Reaction score
886
Location
Petaluma CA
USDA Zone
15
Update:

I recently did some work on these boxwoods. The first one I took to an intermediate workshop at my club. We decided to keep both trunks, jinned some of the large branches, changed the planting angle and wired the primary branches. I will replant in the new orientation in the spring and work on thickening the branches and building the foliage pads.

On the second one, I removed a few of the competing trunks and shorted the main trunk considerably. I plan on refining the deadwood some more, thickening up the primary branches, and developing the foliage pads from here.

Comments and advice are welcome.:)

boxwood.JPGboxwood2.JPG
 
Last edited:

Alex DeRuiter

Chumono
Messages
965
Reaction score
7
Location
Grand Rapids, MI
USDA Zone
5b
I can. Dave, are you at a place (work) that blocks certain image hosting websites?

Those trees are looking awesome! That second one is particularly striking. Great update!
 

rockm

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
9,684
Reaction score
12,395
Location
Fairfax Va.
USDA Zone
7
Might be the photos, but the foliage looks a bit browned on both in parts?
 

misfit11

Chumono
Messages
786
Reaction score
886
Location
Petaluma CA
USDA Zone
15
Might be the photos, but the foliage looks a bit browned on both in parts?

Yes. The foliage is brown in some spots. This was the result of a frost we had recently. It isn't uncommon for boxwood to do this and although some leaves may die, it will be fine.
 

rockm

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
9,684
Reaction score
12,395
Location
Fairfax Va.
USDA Zone
7
"Yes. The foliage is brown in some spots. This was the result of a frost we had recently. It isn't uncommon for boxwood to do this and although some leaves may die, it will be fine"

Didn't know you got frost there. Some boxwood varieties do "bronze" a bit in frosty weather, but not all. I've got a few that have seen temps well below 10 F and haven't. Others get a night or two of 30 and turn though.
 

misfit11

Chumono
Messages
786
Reaction score
886
Location
Petaluma CA
USDA Zone
15
I did some more work on the boxwood recently. At last month's intermediate workshop I did some wiring and we also decided to change the front. My teacher felt that the former front appeared too "flat" and that the secondary trunk emanating from about midway up the tree was a bit awkward from that angle. Now the focus is on the deadwood elements that I've created and allows you to see that second "trunk" from a more appropriate angle.

I also refined some deadwood on that feature at the base. I'm quite pleased with my results so far and with be developing more where you see chop scars on that second "trunk".

I realize that some people feel that deadwood isn't appropriate on boxwoods and should be reserved for junipers. I, however, humbly disagree. I tend to side a bit more with the Dan Robinson philosophy that "every tree deserves deadwood".

http://www.elandanga...m/redefined.htm

Any comments and advice are always welcome.
 

Attachments

  • Boxwood #2 April 2012.jpg
    Boxwood #2 April 2012.jpg
    59.4 KB · Views: 65
  • Boxwood #2 deadwood.jpg
    Boxwood #2 deadwood.jpg
    58.7 KB · Views: 58

misfit11

Chumono
Messages
786
Reaction score
886
Location
Petaluma CA
USDA Zone
15
I did more work on this box this week. I worked on refining the foliage pads and worked on the deadwood some more.
 

Attachments

  • boxwood #2 May 2012.jpg
    boxwood #2 May 2012.jpg
    57.3 KB · Views: 40

Similar threads

Top