Old Ugly Boxwood

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I picked this old ugly boxwood up at a club auction last year for some reason that hasn't quite became clear to me yet....the branches are poorly placed and judging by the scars, some branches in good locations were removed at one time. All the branches went straight upward and all the foliage was at the top of the tree.

After setting on my bench, too high in its primer-spray painted mica pot that it came in, for a year, I finally got around to trying to decide if I should keep it, or move it off my benches for good. I removed at least 50 percent of the foliage and pulled the branches down from vertical orientation with guy wires.

If you look closely, you can see that now there is back budding starting much lower on the branches/trunks. The tree is 27" high as is shown in the picture.

What direction would you take with this tree?

Oh, by the way, keep in mind that this is a $10.00 piece of stock. ;)



Will
 

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Bonsai Nut

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Ugh. You're right Will that is one ugly tree :) Next time, give me $10, I'll hit you in the head with a board, and you'll be better off and the pain won't last so long :)

I think this is an example of one of those trees where you can take drastic action NOW, and end up with a decent tree in a decade, or else take tiny steps, and have to take drastic action in a decade that still leaves you with a lot of development to go. The competing apex and the split in the middle of the trunk really needs to go. I would eliminate the lower trunk as well - it is too thick and won't help to thicken the trunk any longer.

I did a quick virtual of what the tree might look like after just chopping it. The foilage mass on the right may be from the old lower branch so I didn't know whether to keep it or not. However you can see that with all those branches removed you just need to get some buds and you'll be back in business with decent roots, a nice trunk line, and a much better taper that you will be able to further develop. Odds are you will get buds at the cut scars to start.

 

irene_b

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I think maybe you should ask Behr what to do with it :D
He is a Boxwood King down here!
Irene
 
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I don't see much potential in this tree. "Decent roots?" Not so much. They act like stilts making the tree look suspended in the air. After air layering it, I would reassess if it's going to be worth the trouble. In my opinion, this is one of those trees that we all have had, that in ten years will make you wish you had not spent so much time and trouble on.
 
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Bnut,

Thanks for the virt and the idea, I appreciate it very much.

Other than heavy pruning to encourage the back budding that is now starting with gusto, all I have done is move the branches lower to allow sunlight to enter, feed heavy, and occasionally think about if it is worthwhile to rate bench space.

Below is a very rough virt on one idea of many I have had in which I removed the lower right branch, took advantage of the lower back budding to shorten the tree considerably, and planted the tree deeper, thus eliminating some of the extreme height of the roots.

I am still open for all ideas however, thanks. If all else fails, maybe I could double my money ;)


Will
 

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agraham

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In my opinion, this is one of those trees that we all have had, that in ten years will make you wish you had not spent so much time and trouble on.
I have a bunch of those.The worst thing is I keep trying to think of a way to "fix" them.

Will,

I don't necessarily agree with Chris' opinion of this one,But the roots do need immediate attention.I also liked Bnut's virt, though to me,it doesn't look like the lower right foliage would still be there if you pruned the lower right branch.I think your virtual is going to take a long,long time to reach fruition.

andy
 

JTGJr25

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You could just chop all the branches back plant it lower in the pot and hope it will back bud at the chop sites. Pretty much the sames as Will's idea.

Tom
 

anttal63

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i was thinking the same as bnut, makes things a lot more interesting and if the roots can be sorted out i think its a go.
 

bonsainotwar

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I like the idea of chopping half the top off,it may be the only way to get a halfway decent tree.If it were mine,that's just what I'd do,maybe even go ahead and jin it.I think it's great to put jins on trees that normally don't have them.
 
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Ah yes, my back bench boxwood. Thanks for the bump....

This tree is still in the same pot, quite a bit of hacking back, back-budding, and guy wiring has been accomplished since this thread was started, it'll need re-potting this year, but into a deeper pot, as the next step is lowering those roots.

Amasingly, it is quite healthy, for being basically ignored.



Will
 

mapleman77

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I'll offer a bone...
I would remove the whole left side (this is going off of the second post to this thread, so if it's already done, sorry) and make the looooooooooooong right brance a cascade! It wouldn't take too much work and would look complement the roots as well.

This is from a newb so, you know, take it with a grain of salt. LOL :D

David
 
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David, while larger branches on boxwood can be bent (Behr Appleby proved it), they are very rigid and can snap easily. It takes a long time to put bends in them, with just a little force added each year.

Chris
 
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I find it easier to induce back-budding and then cut back the branches to get extreme bends, however this must be done with care as it takes forever for scars to heal on this species. Lowering branches is best with guy wires that can be re-tightened every so often.





Will
 

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