First Boxwood

Gr8tfuldad

Shohin
Messages
354
Reaction score
288
Location
NJ Pines
USDA Zone
7b
So I found this on clearance at Walmart. My goal was to try and find the bonsai within the jungle of this plant. Cutting is still a challenge for me. I wanted to get rig of the canopy and start to open up the trunk. I want to repot but I need to get one asap. How did I do on my branch selection. What I do “right”, what I do “wrong”?
 

Attachments

  • AF696EAD-C014-4539-A946-A1C9CEFF9211.jpeg
    AF696EAD-C014-4539-A946-A1C9CEFF9211.jpeg
    350.6 KB · Views: 55
  • 0AD92929-7517-4C9D-AC7F-A9F076F9FF4B.jpeg
    0AD92929-7517-4C9D-AC7F-A9F076F9FF4B.jpeg
    346.3 KB · Views: 31
  • 744A2370-130E-4D9D-BD87-176081F97555.jpeg
    744A2370-130E-4D9D-BD87-176081F97555.jpeg
    372.7 KB · Views: 30
  • 46803CE7-83F2-4677-8A2D-2977EDF93309.jpeg
    46803CE7-83F2-4677-8A2D-2977EDF93309.jpeg
    342.8 KB · Views: 33
  • 2C7716AC-BAFF-4FE2-A1F5-B92B72C56BE1.jpeg
    2C7716AC-BAFF-4FE2-A1F5-B92B72C56BE1.jpeg
    313 KB · Views: 31
  • B8DF204C-55F8-4601-ABB5-71E18E47E3FE.jpeg
    B8DF204C-55F8-4601-ABB5-71E18E47E3FE.jpeg
    320.6 KB · Views: 28
  • 58E03580-4D97-4C7C-9265-89D382A10A50.jpeg
    58E03580-4D97-4C7C-9265-89D382A10A50.jpeg
    315.3 KB · Views: 28
  • 4B0EF393-E637-477D-B95C-785758E2E3EC.jpeg
    4B0EF393-E637-477D-B95C-785758E2E3EC.jpeg
    311.7 KB · Views: 27
  • 8A9CEA4D-1A32-41B0-A995-FE0BEAC33724.jpeg
    8A9CEA4D-1A32-41B0-A995-FE0BEAC33724.jpeg
    342.1 KB · Views: 40

Gr8tfuldad

Shohin
Messages
354
Reaction score
288
Location
NJ Pines
USDA Zone
7b
Files went in their own order, lol. This was the last styling image.
 

Attachments

  • 95C0FB7A-80B1-41A9-A7A6-CCA069E2ABD2.jpeg
    95C0FB7A-80B1-41A9-A7A6-CCA069E2ABD2.jpeg
    311.7 KB · Views: 42

Gr8tfuldad

Shohin
Messages
354
Reaction score
288
Location
NJ Pines
USDA Zone
7b
I went back for one more chop…
 

Attachments

  • 06BC7559-5AED-4887-9DDC-8EA915EAFF45.jpeg
    06BC7559-5AED-4887-9DDC-8EA915EAFF45.jpeg
    297.2 KB · Views: 56

Bonsai305

Seedling
Messages
20
Reaction score
14
Location
Denver, CO
USDA Zone
5
Two cents; my experience with nursery Boxwoods is that they are bulletproof, but you may have gone too far and removed too much foliage for the tree to maintain itself during recovery, the upside being that the roots are likely very healthy so you probably have great odds of recovery.

However, in my experience with initial (aggressive) reduction pruning, I would leave around half of the foliage. I would leave it partially for the tree health, but in my case more so the tree can find itself before I continue to style it. Put more accurately: give me more time to find the tree.
 

Gr8tfuldad

Shohin
Messages
354
Reaction score
288
Location
NJ Pines
USDA Zone
7b
Thank you for your sharing your knowledge and experience. I guess at this point, it’s a wait and see situation.

What are your thoughts on stylization? I still see a couple options on where to go with it, if it survives. What would you have done if this was your tree (bush)?
 

Bonsai305

Seedling
Messages
20
Reaction score
14
Location
Denver, CO
USDA Zone
5
Not sure what I would do / would have done, I really need to have the tree in front of me. My Boxwood goal is to make them look like miniature deciduous trees that are necessarily Boxwoods. So I prune down to a full canopy and work toward aesthetics by thinning out branches. I'll look for some pics to share when I get a moment.
 

Gr8tfuldad

Shohin
Messages
354
Reaction score
288
Location
NJ Pines
USDA Zone
7b
An update, she pulled through well from the heavy haircut.
 

Attachments

  • F1628AF6-06AF-432F-81F0-7C78BCB44A97.jpeg
    F1628AF6-06AF-432F-81F0-7C78BCB44A97.jpeg
    282.5 KB · Views: 29
  • AE045D17-C49B-477F-B358-DCC93DF1F61F.jpeg
    AE045D17-C49B-477F-B358-DCC93DF1F61F.jpeg
    383.4 KB · Views: 34

Gr8tfuldad

Shohin
Messages
354
Reaction score
288
Location
NJ Pines
USDA Zone
7b
Am I the only one that likes aerial roots? I’ve heard 1 or 2 professionals poo poo them. I don’t know why but I like them.
Maybe someone can help me. That first branch on the right, is that going to cause reverse taper? I almost want to make that the new leader. Would that cause too big of a wound?
 

HorseloverFat

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
9,100
Reaction score
12,972
Location
Northeast Wisconsin
USDA Zone
5a
Am I the only one that likes aerial roots? I’ve heard 1 or 2 professionals poo poo them. I don’t know why but I like them.
Maybe someone can help me. That first branch on the right, is that going to cause reverse taper? I almost want to make that the new leader. Would that cause too big of a wound?
It’s more about intent...

At this STAGE of development.. aerial roots are most-likely the cause of nursery-style potting... so the INTENT wasn’t attractive arial roots.. it was a skipped up-potting, by throwing soil on the top.. Oooor if it was in a NATURAL setting.. like “hanging on for dear life to this riverbank with ma’aerial roots”-type thing, this is also acceptable.

If there is a nicely developed “pad” of fine roots BELOW the arials.. that is neagari-esque training...

I think that AS trees like this get developed, the practitioner almost always abandons plans of these “nursery-whoops” roots becoming part of the design.. but not always..
It’s up to you... you just HAVE to remember to show intent.
 

HorseloverFat

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
9,100
Reaction score
12,972
Location
Northeast Wisconsin
USDA Zone
5a
That’s a nice boxwood!

I would’ve went a little lower, but kept more on the branches... but I’m not good with Buxus. 🤓

I like this one
 

Gr8tfuldad

Shohin
Messages
354
Reaction score
288
Location
NJ Pines
USDA Zone
7b
It’s more about intent...

At this STAGE of development.. aerial roots are most-likely the cause of nursery-style potting... so the INTENT wasn’t attractive arial roots.. it was a skipped up-potting, by throwing soil on the top.. Oooor if it was in a NATURAL setting.. like “hanging on for dear life to this riverbank with ma’aerial roots”-type thing, this is also acceptable.

If there is a nicely developed “pad” of fine roots BELOW the arials.. that is neagari-esque training...

I think that AS trees like this get developed, the practitioner almost always abandons plans of these “nursery-whoops” roots becoming part of the design.. but not always..
It’s up to you... you just HAVE to remember to show intent.
That is an interesting point and something I didn’t think about. I can see a few potential design ideas with intent in mind.
I worked with a guy once that would always say if something is off, making it a point of focus is the best option. Now I know why he put spotlights on the windows he installed crooked 😂
 

HorseloverFat

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
9,100
Reaction score
12,972
Location
Northeast Wisconsin
USDA Zone
5a
That is an interesting point and something I didn’t think about. I can see a few potential design ideas with intent in mind.
I worked with a guy once that would always say if something is off, making it a point of focus is the best option. Now I know why he put spotlights on the windows he installed crooked 😂
Nice!!! A myriad of minutely different shadows (at those edges) creating and imperfect, assumed “straight”.!

That’s a wise dude!

🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤓🤓🤓🤓
 

rockm

Spuds Moyogi
Messages
11,266
Reaction score
15,760
Location
Fairfax Va.
USDA Zone
7
Am I the only one that likes aerial roots? I’ve heard 1 or 2 professionals poo poo them. I don’t know why but I like them.
Maybe someone can help me. That first branch on the right, is that going to cause reverse taper? I almost want to make that the new leader. Would that cause too big of a wound?
Hate air roots on boxwood. They may be a novelty at first, but as you get more of an "eye" they are nothing but a distraction on temperate zone trees. They also show you don't know exactly how to reduce a root mass--which is why "professional" bonsai people look sideways at them. Container grown trees from nurseries typically have multi-level root masses. Boxwoods are notorious for this. They need to be reduced to the best one, which probably exists a few inches down under the soil.

that top right branch (which is posing as the leader) should be removed entirely in favor of the thinner left hand branch (which would be the new leader). That long taperless branch adds nothing and literally sticks out like a sore thumb. The lower right hand branch has good potential to become a primary feature of this tree...

The entire tree should be pulled up into a more upright position. That would change this tree dramatically...

Disclaimer--all of this is just my opinion. Others may see it differently, or course.
 

Gr8tfuldad

Shohin
Messages
354
Reaction score
288
Location
NJ Pines
USDA Zone
7b
Hate air roots on boxwood. They may be a novelty at first, but as you get more of an "eye" they are nothing but a distraction on temperate zone trees. They also show you don't know exactly how to reduce a root mass--which is why "professional" bonsai people look sideways at them. Container grown trees from nurseries typically have multi-level root masses. Boxwoods are notorious for this. They need to be reduced to the best one, which probably exists a few inches down under the soil.

that top right branch (which is posing as the leader) should be removed entirely in favor of the thinner left hand branch (which would be the new leader). That long taperless branch adds nothing and literally sticks out like a sore thumb. The lower right hand branch has good potential to become a primary feature of this tree...

The entire tree should be pulled up into a more upright position. That would change this tree dramatically...

Disclaimer--all of this is just my opinion. Others may see it differently, or course.
I appreciate all input. After all I’m just some dude. At 44 I think I can confidently say, I know nothing. Now I am going to read what you wrote 3 times 😂
 

Gr8tfuldad

Shohin
Messages
354
Reaction score
288
Location
NJ Pines
USDA Zone
7b
Hate air roots on boxwood. They may be a novelty at first, but as you get more of an "eye" they are nothing but a distraction on temperate zone trees. They also show you don't know exactly how to reduce a root mass--which is why "professional" bonsai people look sideways at them. Container grown trees from nurseries typically have multi-level root masses. Boxwoods are notorious for this. They need to be reduced to the best one, which probably exists a few inches down under the soil.

that top right branch (which is posing as the leader) should be removed entirely in favor of the thinner left hand branch (which would be the new leader). That long taperless branch adds nothing and literally sticks out like a sore thumb. The lower right hand branch has good potential to become a primary feature of this tree...

The entire tree should be pulled up into a more upright position. That would change this tree dramatically...

Disclaimer--all of this is just my opinion. Others may see it differently, or course.
So is this what you were saying?
 

Attachments

  • B5C241F8-6E2D-4CDA-9660-3399EFAF5125.jpeg
    B5C241F8-6E2D-4CDA-9660-3399EFAF5125.jpeg
    286.5 KB · Views: 22

penumbra

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
6,843
Reaction score
11,015
Location
Front Royal, VA
USDA Zone
6
You have an aweful lot of new tender growth that is forced due to the time of pruning. In zone 7b you will probably be just fine, jut be aware that if the temps take a deep plunge, you may have to offer the plant some protection like a cold frame or frost blanket or whatever you can contrive.
 

Gr8tfuldad

Shohin
Messages
354
Reaction score
288
Location
NJ Pines
USDA Zone
7b
You have an aweful lot of new tender growth that is forced due to the time of pruning. In zone 7b you will probably be just fine, jut be aware that if the temps take a deep plunge, you may have to offer the plant some protection like a cold frame or frost blanket or whatever you can contrive.
I have an old boat house at our place I over winter tenders. I’ll probably put it in there when things start going downhill. I’m hoping it hardens off into fall. I appreciate the heads up.
 

rockm

Spuds Moyogi
Messages
11,266
Reaction score
15,760
Location
Fairfax Va.
USDA Zone
7
I appreciate all input. After all I’m just some dude. At 44 I think I can confidently say, I know nothing. Now I am going to read what you wrote 3 times 😂
All this takes some time. One of the things I learned three or four years in was that bonsai was about "natural" not "odd." Odd things on trees are one-trick ponies. They distract and ultimately overtake the image you're trying to convey. Choosing more natural looking features works the other way and serve the overall composition...Roots should support a tree, not do loop-de-loops with no purpose. With older trunks, they should look like they have firm, rocks solid grip on the earth beneath to support that trunk for so long.
 

Similar threads

Top Bottom