How To Prune Boxwood Trees?
When it comes to pruning boxwoods, there are many opinions out there. Some believe that all you need to do is cut back the tree until it looks like a small shrub or bush. Others say that if the tree is growing too tall, then you should leave some branches intact so they don’t get in your way when cutting them back. Still others say that you shouldn’t bother with any kind of pruning at all. They think that it’s better to just let the tree grow naturally and enjoy its beauty.
The truth is, none of these opinions are wrong. All of them have their merits and demerits.
But which one is right for you?
Well, that depends on what type of tree you want to keep and how big you want your boxwood trees to become. In this post, we’ll go over each of the three options as well as an additional one that isn’t common but can work well for those who are wanting to grow them in their yard.
Right To Its Roots
You might be wondering why anyone would ever want to let their boxwood trees grow freely and not prune them at all. After all, boxwoods are known for their beautiful and ornate appearance. They can be pruned into interesting shapes that look great anywhere that you put them.
So why would you ever want to grow one without pruning it at all?
The answer is somewhat complicated. Some people just want a full-grown boxwood tree in their yard without having to worry about pruning it. It’s not easy to do, as they can get quite large if left untended. And if you prune them too much or cut the branches back too far, they can become lopsided and unattractive.
However, there are ways to keep a boxwood tree at the size that you want without having to prune it regularly. All you really have to do is guide its growth in such a way that it won’t be able to reach any further than you want it to go.
A good example of this would be planting boxwoods near a brick wall, which is common among people who want to use them as hedges. The boxwoods will grow as tall and as wide as the space allows, which in this case is the wall. Once they hit the wall, they won’t be able to go any further. This allows you to have boxwood hedges that are as big or as small as you want them to be.
Another way of growing boxwoods without pruning is to plant them between shrubs or small trees. You can then guide the boxwoods to grow as big or little as you want.
Whichever way you decide to guide your growth, you’ll probably want to trim the bottom and top of your tree to make it look well shaped as well as removing any stray branches that are growing in places you don’t want them to be.
As detailed above, some people feel that all you need to do with boxwoods is keep them confined and they’ll stay the size that you want them to be. This is true; however, there are some downsides to this method. The most common problem is that the boxwoods can become lopsided from growing unrestricted in one direction for too long. If you want your boxwood tree(s) to look even and well shaped, then you might need to trim them every once in a while.
One of the things you can do to keep your boxwoods well-shaped and sized is to trim them as soon as you plant them. The basic concept behind this method is that you trim the top of the boxwood so that it won’t be able to grow any taller than you want it to be. You also trim the sides so that it has a nice and even shape. However, you leave the base of the tree alone so that it grows as wide as it can.
This seems like a lot of work just to grow a boxwood, but there are some benefits to doing this. The first and probably the most important one is that you don’t have to trim your boxwood at all afterward. Just plant it and forget about it. The second benefit is that when you do need to trim it, you won’t have to worry about trimming the top and sides.
There really isn’t a wrong or right way when it comes to trimming boxwoods. It really just boils down to what you prefer for your situation.
If you’re planting your boxwoods in the ground, then you have to decide on the shape that you want them to be. There are quite a few different varieties of boxwoods to choose from. Some of these trees can be rather large, so you need to make sure you have enough room for them and also make sure that the tree won’t interfere with anything.
Some of the more common boxwoods that you can trim into different shapes are:
Cleft – Also known as “the ballerina”, this is a very popular shape for boxwoods. The tree is basically shaped like a Christmas tree, except that the branches grow out in such a way that it looks like a ballerina in a dance pose.
Upright – This tree has long and very straight branches that extend directly upward. The branches do not angle out at all. This is probably the second most popular boxwood shape.
Pyramidal – Unlike the upright, the branches of this tree angle downward as they grow older. This gives it a pyramid shape, hence the name. This is another very common boxwood.
Rectangular Hedge – For those of you that want a more natural looking hedge, you can trim your boxwoods into a rectangular shape. This is best done with several trees to give the hedge a uniform look.
Half Moon – Shaped like a half moon, this boxwood has branches that extend outward and then turn upward. This creates the look of a half moon.
Ball – This perfectly describes the tree. The branches grow out in a spherical shape.
Pyramid – The branches of this tree grow outward and then turn downward, giving it a pyramid shape.
Teardrop – This is a very interesting looking tree. The branches initially grow straight out and then bend downward at their halfway point.
These are some of the most popular boxwood shapes. Of course there are other varieties of boxwoods to choose from, but these are probably some of the more common ones that you will find at your local garden center or nursery.
You can also use these trees in other areas of your property as well. A lot of people like to plant them along the driveway or on their property line. You can also plant them around the base of large trees to help stop the soil from eroding.
Trimming boxwoods is a great way to add more green to your property, especially since these trees are so low maintenance. They also have a nice shape that can be used for landscaping.
If you like the look of boxwoods, but don’t want to go through all the trouble of trimming them, then you can always attach cast iron or copper boxes around the trunks of the trees. They come in a wide variety of designs and will definitely add beauty to your yard. However, they do require a bit more maintenance than the trees themselves.
No matter which route you choose, boxwoods will definitely give your home a classy look and they are very easy to take care of.
Here are some recommended varieties of boxwoods for your yard:
B. Altissima – This is a low growing hedge that has very small leaves and grows to be only about 2-3 feet in height. It can also grow up to be 6-8 feet wide in just a few years. It has yellow flowers and even though it doesn’t have any variegated leaves, it is still one of the more popular varieties of boxwoods.
B. Candida – Also known as the French Hybrid, this boxwood has very glossy leaves that are a bright green color. It is easy to trim and keep up and it grows to be about 3-4 feet wide and about 2 feet tall.
B. Normalis – Also known as the “normal” or the typical box, this one has never really been considered “normal” in terms of its size. It can grow to be 10 feet in height and up to 15 feet wide. It has a broad oval shape and grows very slow, so you won’t ever have to worry about trimming it for a very long time.
B. Prostrata – This is known as the “creeping” or the “prostrate” boxwood and it is one of the most popular varieties of boxwoods around. It only grows to be about 1 foot high and 2 feet wide, but what makes it so popular is the fact that it spreads outward like a carpet. If you were to plant this in the ground, it would quickly take over the area. However, if you plant it in a container it grows slower and makes a nice addition to any yard or garden.
These are just some of the most popular boxwoods that you can find at your local nursery or garden center. As mentioned earlier though, there are many more kinds of boxwoods to choose from, so make sure you explore your options before making a final choice.
Improve Your Property With Shrubs
A nice shrub can greatly improve the look of your house and your yard. They are very easy to care for and they can effectively hide things that you may not want seen. For example if you have an old broken down car that you don’t want people to see, a shrubbery around it will effectively hide that unsightly car.
Shrubs can also be effective in keeping your house cooler during the summer. If you plant them around the perimeter of your house, they will block the sunlight from directly hitting the house all day. This will help keep the interior of your home cooler during those hot summer months.
If you don’t have much of a green thumb and you don’t want to mess around with plants that will require a lot of maintenance and care, then shrubs might be something to consider. They are by far one of the easier ways that you can improve the look of your home without a lot of work on your part.
Tips For Maintaining Your Lawn
Maintaining a good looking lawn is something that most people want, but not everyone knows how to do it. If you are one of these people, all you really need are a few helpful tips and you’ll be well on your way to having beautiful grass.
The first thing you need to do is make sure that you have the right tools for the job. You’re probably wondering what you would need special tools for, and the answer is a lawn mower. Unless you have a huge lot, you won’t need anything but a basic push mower, but if you have several hundred or even a thousand square feet of turf then you may need something a little bigger. When looking for a lawn mower, there are a few things that you should consider before just jumping out and buying the first one you find.
One of these is the engine size. The larger the engine size, the less times a year you’ll have to fill up the tank with gasoline. Of course, a larger engine will also be a little more expensive, so you’ll have to find the right size for you.
The next thing you should look for is the wheels. Most lawn mowers have wheels in the back, but some have them in the front. This doesn’t seem like a big deal until you have to mow some rough terrain, then you’ll definitely be glad you have the wheels in the back.
The last thing to look for is how easy the mower is to push. You will be spending a lot of time pushing this thing around, so you want to make sure it isn’t going to be a pain in the butt. Make sure to try and push the mower before you buy it.
Now that you have your mower, it is time to learn how to properly maintain your lawn. This involves three major steps, cutting, feeding and watering.
The cutting process involves exactly what it sounds like. You cut your grass to the height that you desire. Most people these days like to keep their grass fairly short, about an inch or two at the most. There are also people who like to keep their grass long, almost like a pasture. It all depends on your preference.
The feeding process is pretty simple too. After you mow your grass, you need to feed it fertilizer. This is because as you cut the grass, you are actually cutting off the nutrients that the grass needs to survive. By feeding it fertilizer, you are putting back those vital nutrients that the plant needs to grow new shoots to replace the old ones.
The last process is watering. This one seems fairly simple, but you would be surprised at how many people kill their grass by drowning it. The best way to water your grass is to do it slowly over the course of a day or two. This allows the grass to drink in just as much water as it needs to survive without drowning.
If you follow these few tips on maintaining your lawn, then your grass should turn out nice and green with each passing year.
Pest and Weeds (Message Two)
Hey this is Dolly. I just wanted to do a quick follow up on the message I sent last week about lawn care. I was wrong about one thing, there is actually a fourth step to maintaining your lawn and that is ridding it of pests. Whether it is pests such as insects or animals, you will need to get rid of them before they become a problem.
While most animals aren’t harmful to your lawn, there are some animals that like to eat grass just as much as you do. The most common animal pests are going to be something like squirrels or rabbits. If left unchecked these types of animals can do a lot of damage to your lawn, but it is an easy fix if you know how to handle it. You can purchase cages online or from a hardware store and then trap the animal inside of it.
Sources & references used in this article:
Cass Turnbull’s guide to pruning by C Turnbull – 2010 – books.google.com
Effect of pruning, defoliation, and promalin on new shoot development of boxwood by S Musselwhite, R Harris, J Latimer… – Journal of …, 2004 – meridian.allenpress.com
Selecting landscape plants: Boxwoods by AX Niemiera – 2018 – vtechworks.lib.vt.edu
Boxwood by AX Niemiera – 2009 – vtechworks.lib.vt.edu
IPM Series: Boxwood by R Bosmans, DL Clement, MK Malinoski – 2009 – drum.lib.umd.edu
Boxwood in the Landscape by D Relf, BL Appleton, JA Weidhaas, WH Wills – 1989 – vtechworks.lib.vt.edu
The pruning book by L Reich – 2010 – books.google.com
Pruning ornamental plants by V Williams – 2005 – drum.lib.umd.edu