Multi-trunk Boxwood

chrisbotero

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Hi everybody. This is my first post although I have been following the site for several months. Great site by the way!

On to business. Here is a multi-trunk boxwood I acquired this winter. He had been in a nursery pot for quite some time so he has been root-pruned pretty agressively and potted in a growing box. I completed an intitial styling the other day and Im concerned about two things with this tree, the lower left branch (which I didnt style, I just wired out of the way) and the cut trunk in the middle of the tree (whic was cut when I got the tree).

Im tempted to remove the rear branch completely but I though I would ask the experts. It actually starts about 2 inches from the base of the tree although the pics dont show it well. I could wire it and try to create something similar to the other side or I could just remove it.

The "jin" if we can even call it that, is a sore spot and Im tempted to cut it off completely. Thoughts?

Thanks for any feedback!
 

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Bonsai Nut

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(1) Remove the branch. It doesn't contribute to the design, is in the wrong place, and is much too low. Easy decision.

(2) Right now the jin is a bad jin. It is in a strange position for your design and tends to draw the eye. HOWEVER if you eliminate it completely you will have a big scar to deal with. I would recommend first cutting the bark on the jin branch all the way back to the trunk so the jin looks more natural. Then I would reduce it as much as possible -- make it thinner and less apparent. You can always eliminate it if you don't like the look after the changes - but it is tough to add back after the fact :)

(3) Open up your design a little bit. Right now there are a lot of small branches crossing back and forth between the trunks. The negative space between the trunks is very important. Try to reduce extraneous small branches, and group your other branches into foliage bundles so the design is cleaner.

boxrev.jpg
 

jk_lewis

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Yes get rid of the branch and the jin. Neither contribute to the design of the tree -- which is very nice, BTW. Since cutting the jin off will leave a scar, you might want to get some wood stain and color the cut to match the bark until it calluses over -- which will take quite some time
 

chrisbotero

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Thanks for the input and the good words. I think with a season or two of developing foliage pads, ramification in the apex and a few other small changes it will be a very nice tree. This was just an initial styling as I dont belive the tree has ever really been styled. I will keep you posted with progress.
 

noissee

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I absolutely love the base of this tree. The way the three trunks come out is very stunning. Keep this healthy, it has great potential.
 

chrisbotero

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The more I look at my virtual, the more I would eliminate the primary branch on the lower left.

The lower left branch as seen in your virt is actually the back branch I had originally asked about. If you look in my original pictures above I had covered this back branch with a paper towel so you can see how it looks if this branch was removed.

I did remove the back branch. That was my initial thought but I wanted to check with the pros! It just wasnt adding anything to the tree. I also removed the ugly jin on the front branch. I was able to cut along the back of the tree and taper the cut so it will look more natural from the front. I imagine with a years growth it will be unnoticeable from the front (or so I hope!).

My plan is to let this guy rest for a few months. I pruned him pretty hard about 2 weeks ago both above and below the soil reducing both by more than 50% and he seems to be responding well. He was in a large nursery pot packed in mud so the grow box with Boons soil is a big improvement.

Thanks again for the input and the kind words!
 

chrisbotero

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Wanted to give a quick update on thie boxwood.

Ive been taking classes from Michael Hagerdorn and this fall we did some work on the boxwood. The biggest problem with this guy was the lack of taper. There were also a few bar branches causing a bulge on the left trunk. We decided to take a few steps back which will ultimately make a much nicer tree. We chopped the three trunks (Im calling the one on the right a branch:)) and wired new leaders. I expect a few years of creating a new branch structure and a few more of refinement but ultimatley this will be a much better tree. We considered chopping the main branch down even further but that likely would extend the project several more years.

This year the trees new shoots will be wired for shape and it will be fertilized heavily and allowed to grow like crazy. Im looking for some backbudding so we really need to get the juices flowing before chopping again. It will stay in the box during development.

The picture isn't great but all I have at the moment. Ill try again once things dry out a little around here!
 

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jk_lewis

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Wow! That was a re-work. I was going to suggest the virt below, but it's too late now. I'll await your better picture.
 

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multi trunk boxwood

this is an excellent tree chris !
if it were mine i'd grow it in the ground for awhile for further trunk development.
where did you get this ?
i've been looking for one to add to my collection .
 

chrisbotero

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I picked it up, along with another box that's getting a complete reworking, from a guy named Greg who lives in Molina. He had a small nursery/large collection but I think most of the trees are gone now except for his personal collection. He brought 10-15 to the BSOP auction last X-mas. He has some really nice personal trees but much of what he was selling was beginner material.

Here are a few pics of the other box. It has been cut way back as well; it was very leggy when I got it. The main trunk cuts were there when I got it and are beginning to heal. I will likely do some hollowing when the time comes This one will need some time to develop but I love the base flare (most of which is covered by soil in these pictures) and the bark texture.
 

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chrisbotero

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A year and a half later and this is what we have. I had done some minor wiring and trimming last year, but today I spent about 8 hours thinning and wiring this guy. Looking back at the pictures Im really amazed at just how much this guy has grown. I must have removed at least half of the leaves in order to wire it properly, so Im really impressed with how vigorous this tree has become over the past couple of years. Likely he will be put into a pot next spring. Othewise it will be a summer of rest, fertilization and back-budding.

Thoughs?
 

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