How do you know when to work your broadleaf evergreens?

sfhellwig

Mame
Messages
192
Reaction score
1
Location
Pittsburg, KS
USDA Zone
6a
#1: Yes I know this sounds like a loaded question.

#2: In my particular case I am referring to boxwood, pyracantha and cotoneaster as broadleaf evergreen. The latter can act deciduous but can also keep foliage, pending conditions.

So I have all three of these and there are more to add to the list, such as hollies. I know each one is specific but is there a general guideline. I know with maples it's work them at bud swell and never after bud break. Real easy rule, leaves you at the mercy of the weather and the trees sometimes. And conifers have their times for procedures. But how do you tell that time for some of these on the fence type plants. The closest to local advice I got on my boxwood was that larger branch removal during freezing weather will cause cambium die back. I was told to look for the terminal bud swelling and that was my sign. However, last year my timing pushed my cotoneaster re-pot way late. One of those "oh no, it's opening" moments and I worked it pretty hard in partial bud break. It did fine but I'm sure I read they could do that, or I wouldn't have tried.

Short of scouring all of my sources to build a comprehensive bud break chronology, and species preference, are there any words-to-the-wise or hidden wisdoms for everything that falls into not deciduous and not conifer?
 

Bill S

Masterpiece
Messages
2,494
Reaction score
19
Location
Western Massachusetts
USDA Zone
5a
Not trying to be flip, but what do you mean by "work", it's kind of like you are asking for a care book on 4+ species in one thread. as you say each has specifics, and then for locality, tall order.

You are right in re. to bud break, but thats for some work, other work such as defoliation would obviously be once leafed out. Develope some specific questions you'll get the answers.
 

sfhellwig

Mame
Messages
192
Reaction score
1
Location
Pittsburg, KS
USDA Zone
6a
Well I spent some time this afternoon typing a response but once again, managed to not get it posted. So let see if I can remember what I said.....

I guess with Spring coming up, Spring type work was implied. But that's my fault for leaving it so open ended. We generally accept pruning when dormant, wiring in winter also. Defoliation can only be done during the growing season. So I was referring to re-potting, root work and selective branch removal. Locale being understood, I am looking for a general rule of thumb for when to work semi or broadleaf evergreen plants. D-trees act a certain way and have a certain deadline. Conifers have their own pattern. If the answer is "There's way too much diversity to make a blanket statement" then that is what I am looking for. If the leaves are on the tree it seems the swelling buds are harder to see.

I can't remember the rest of my post. That's it. A base line for Spring duties. How do you know when to repot your (anything not D or pine/juniper)? The more specific questions I have for my pyra will be addressed in it's own thread.
 

jk_lewis

Masterpiece
Messages
3,820
Reaction score
1,107
Location
Western NC
USDA Zone
7-8
Boxwood: Assuming B. mycrophyllus, its leaves turn color ovr the winter and go green again in the spring. That's when you work them.

Pyracantha: When you see flower buds start to form. Don't worry about removing all of them.

Cotoneaster: Pretty much the same as Pyracantha, but these can be worked pretty much at any time in the growing season but if you do summer root work, give them protection from the heat.
 

sfhellwig

Mame
Messages
192
Reaction score
1
Location
Pittsburg, KS
USDA Zone
6a
So a summation might be that there is not a make it or break point on most of these plants? They have their preferred root working times but can be worked outside of that time frame without the catastrophic results you would expect from deciduous trees?

Luckily I am not doing root work on the boxes this year but that would explain their poor performance last year. I did them plenty early trying to beat active growth and must have upset them. Cotoneasters just need pruning. It's the pyra that will get major work, but again, that will get it's own thread.
 

Dex

Seedling
Messages
15
Reaction score
0
Location
Springfield, Pa
I just bought a Kingsville boxwood shrub. Does this mean I can't do an initial pruning right now? Can I do it at some point during the summer? I figured I would be okay as long as I don't remove way to much.
 
Top Bottom