Interesting Japanese Boxwood (per nursery lol)

Trenthany

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I think this could be a really nice clump, but as I’m just starting to get to the point where styling is an option I’m asking opinions on where to cut. For scale the base is probably 7-8” it was found in the back abandoned corner of a nursery half dead. Lmao I’m thinking fairly high chop to take advantage of mature branching that is already in place but I haven’t dug into the roots yet to determine if they’ll have an effect on my front. It also may be total garbage that I shouldn’t chop and turn into a landscape plant for airlayers in the future! Lmao Please give me any feedback you think I deserve. 😜 The marked pics are where I’m hoping to have the chop. Hoping I’m starting to get a better grasp Of what a tree could be at this point! As soon as I saw it I saw the massive 7-8’ across oak clumps in my areawhere a squirrel cache sprouted and merged in my minds eye.
931DA310-9F54-4CB1-BE5F-65C880BB3191.jpegDA93A3C4-4348-4BDB-8C96-18B286A29DE0.jpeg2DA7A7C6-E3AF-4BB3-96F2-18ACF7D7AA26.jpegEC057840-0A54-45F3-9999-7B844F9A3BC6.jpeg
 

leatherback

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I try to not cut to a profile, but I cut to get realistic branch reductions, taper and directional changes. So from your expectced final canopy, go back 20% and that is the maximum of any one branch. THen within that profile create short stumps past forks.

Note: Not all boxwoods are good at backbudding. There are people that recommend only cutting back to the last few leaves on a branch.
I have good experience cutting bare. But, there are multiple species & local climatic conditions to keep in mind.
 

Woocash

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Well I like it. Nice oldy worldy feel to it.

DO NOT do this without much aforethought and preferably some experienced advice, BUT, I’d chop to where you have drawn on the thin branches and much further back on the thicker ones to create more taper. Also, probably remove the moss. Looks kinda funky, but is not handy for the bark. You got the bones, now It’s time to flesh them out.
 

Trenthany

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I try to not cut to a profile, but I cut to get realistic branch reductions, taper and directional changes. So from your expectced final canopy, go back 20% and that is the maximum of any one branch. THen within that profile create short stumps past forks.

Note: Not all boxwoods are good at backbudding. There are people that recommend only cutting back to the last few leaves on a branch.
I have good experience cutting bare. But, there are multiple species & local climatic conditions to keep in mind.
Well I like it. Nice oldy worldy feel to it.

DO NOT do this without much aforethought and preferably some experienced advice, BUT, I’d chop to where you have drawn on the thin branches and much further back on the thicker ones to create more taper. Also, probably remove the moss. Looks kinda funky, but is not handy for the bark. You got the bones, now It’s time to flesh them out.
These are almost exactly my thoughts. I was planning canopy To grow out from where my proposed cuts were but maybe I will look at further back. I’m getting back budding right now with no cuts so I’m optimistic on its chances of back budding. I’ve only had it a couple days and I found ants living in the bark/moss layer. I tried some amdro near where their openings were and the little buggers picked it up and dropped it to the ground! Weird ants! So instead I set the hose to jet and blasted trunk clean! Lol no more ants yet but I’ll clean the moss of the root ball when I repot. I’m thinking spring from what I’ve found on here and perhaps treat it as a collected tree by chopping and doing roots at the same time. Although I’m leery of it. I know it works on most deciduous species but I’m excessively cautious with my trees! Lol I’m hoping to break through that but this will be my first major reshape outside of collecting a tree. 😱
 

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there is a good write up on b4me if interested

http://www.bonsai4me.com/SpeciesGuide/Buxus Indepth.htm according to that the Japanese box is slow growing compared to its counterparts, but will back bud well apparently

with that in mind i would chop harder
EC057840-0A54-45F3-9999-7B844F9A3BC6.jpg

and depending on where you get new buds i would take it in even a tad more in places where possible

and Walter pall used to have a collection of korean boxwoods i would be looking at these for inspo
 

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rather than cutting everything short, you could keep a little of a reminder of what was there by even jinning or creating some deadwood on a couple of the long stems, have a couple of the stems jinned and escaping the outline i suggested.
 

Trenthany

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there is a good write up on b4me if interested

http://www.bonsai4me.com/SpeciesGuide/Buxus Indepth.htm according to that the Japanese box is slow growing compared to its counterparts, but will back bud well apparently

with that in mind i would chop harder
View attachment 323894

and depending on where you get new buds i would take it in even a tad more in places where possible

and Walter pall used to have a collection of korean boxwoods i would be looking at these for inspo
My thought was for a bigger tree, using 1:5 ratio current base before work to expose more roots gives me Around 30 inches of height so I was pruning back to around 15 inches to give myself room to grow it out and develop fine branching. My idea was a large live oak like a park, but walters do look very nice. This is what I was envisioning.
39ED5C60-4789-4B3C-8183-3ABD58136314.jpeg

After seeing your edit and seeing Walter’s trees taking it down to a 1:3 does seem like a very good option too. Hmmmm the consensus seems to be go waaaaay back. I’m going to keep staring at it and look at what you guys are seeing.
 

Trenthany

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As a side note I keep seeing repot spring and repot summer and even several fall repot experiments. Several good sources conflict saying spring or summer is best. Does anyone with experience with Buxus have any input on when is best? And should I cut at the same time or do one or the other first?
 

YamadoriFL

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As a side note I keep seeing repot spring and repot summer and even several fall repot experiments. Several good sources conflict saying spring or summer is best. Does anyone with experience with Buxus have any input on when is best? And should I cut at the same time or do one or the other first?

Hey Trent, I'm not far from you, Clearwater area. Hope you have good luck with this one. I've butchered a couple of these and I'd definitely say these are one of my most bipolar trees. Seems like I'm always trying to keep up with it. Random wilting, still trying to figure these out. When those leaves start to get crispy... it's pretty much toast. Please let me know how you keep up with this one. Thanks!
 

sorce

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The most important and most overlooked proportional aspect of bonsai is this one.

Capture+_2020-08-19-18-26-13.png

Where every next segment is roughly 1/3 the length of the previous.

You can make a lot of shit look good to fools, especially evergreens, but I don't think we should, cuz it makes us fools ourselves.


Sorce
 

Trenthany

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Hey Trent, I'm not far from you, Clearwater area. Hope you have good luck with this one. I've butchered a couple of these and I'd definitely say these are one of my most bipolar trees. Seems like I'm always trying to keep up with it. Random wilting, still trying to figure these out. When those leaves start to get crispy... it's pretty much toast. Please let me know how you keep up with this one. Thanks!
Will do! Any advice for repotting you’ve found? I’ve only ever had them as landscape plants.
 

YamadoriFL

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They always get grumpy on me after repots. Seems like they prefer the brick hard nursery potting soil over the nice bonsai mix. o_O
 

sorce

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...or wasn't it each segment should be 1/3 the remaining distance to the top? I don't know...

That can be both possible and impossible yes?

Are you confusing this..."the unbranched section of trunk should be 1/3 the total tree"?

Sorce
 

Trenthany

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That can be both possible and impossible yes?

Are you confusing this..."the unbranched section of trunk should be 1/3 the total tree"?

Sorce
I think it’s all tied in. Look at golden rectangles and ratios for an approximation. It ties in to a lot of the bonsai rules. Numbers are interesting.
 

Trenthany

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They always get grumpy on me after repots. Seems like they prefer the brick hard nursery potting soil over the nice bonsai mix. o_O
Mine is certainly brick hard, I noticed as I tried to remove the moss! That’s what brought up the repot question.
 
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That can be both possible and impossible yes?

Good point. My recollection (more imperfect than ever at my current age) was you go 1/3 total height to grow first trunk section (typically first branch goes there), then 2/9 for the next trunk section (1/3 of 2/3), etc. But yes, you can only cut it up just so small.

I clearly need to pull my books back out.
 

Trenthany

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I’ve
Good point. My recollection (more imperfect than ever at my current age) was you go 1/3 total height to grow first trunk section (typically first branch goes there), then 2/9 for the next trunk section (1/3 of 2/3), etc. But yes, you can only cut it up just so small.

I clearly need to pull my books back out.
also heard 1/3 of overall but I understood it was 1/3 of previous section that way it rapidly starts reducing. I need to reread it too it sounds like! I’ll look up the diagram I saved and share it.
 

BobbyLane

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Mine is certainly brick hard, I noticed as I tried to remove the moss! That’s what brought up the repot question.

this is what 99.9% of beginners say.
you can repot at anytime if you know what youre doing.
if you want it to recover as fast as possible and develop quickly i recommend leaving the core of the rootball intact, cutting around the edges, uncovering the nebari, taking a slice off the base with a saw and old scissors and filling in with good soil and not barerooting i do this with all nursery trees. im not saying to re pot now, but when you do.

the rootballs often look something like this when done.
this is why i can move my trees on very quickly and do so much on them.
 

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