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LazyWeekends
01-16-2005, 02:56 PM
I have a customer who has some overgrown boxwoods, both English and American. They have grown to about 8-10 feet and the customer wants them cut back. She wants them cut back to about 4 ft. By doing so it woulf pretty much leave the shrubs naked of any foliage. Will this kill the plants? In the past I have cut back other types of shrubbery, hollies, etc, with good success. I have never done it with boxwoods and was wondering if anyone out there has? I would really appreciate any input.

Guthrie&Co
01-16-2005, 09:27 PM
i would think that i would kill the shrubs. doing so will render the plants ability to convert co2 to oxygen, photosynthesis, etc. however photosynthesis will use less than 1% of the total water take up by the plant. so to put it in a nut shell the plant wont have a way to make or store food. the plant will most likely die.

recomendation. find a shrub that grows 2-4 feet tall and replant with that.

TrentSteel
01-16-2005, 09:39 PM
Before I started practicing real arboriculture, it wasnt uncommon to cut a boxwood all the way back. They almost always grew back out. But was it healthy for the plant? No. When it comes to pruning shrubs versus pruning trees, shrubs can normally take a fairly severe pruning. It is still in the long run, not the best practice. Luckily, boxwood cultivars are often grown to take a certain habit and form. My advice is to check out cultivars that will meet the customers needs in the long run and see if you can sway her to take that route before firing the Stihl up.

Cutters Lawn Care
01-16-2005, 10:30 PM
I've done what your talking about with no problem. Boxwoods are pretty tough. They should flush back out nicely this spring. We have cut some back to the ground with no problems.

LazyWeekends
01-17-2005, 07:49 AM
Thanks for your input. I think I will try. They have to be reduced in size one way or the other.

Braxton
01-17-2005, 10:19 AM
I could be worng, but if you're doing this severe a pruning, I would think it'd be better to go even further, so that when they grow back out (assuming they don't die) you get new growth that you can shape and train however the customer wants it. That way, you have a better looking shrub in the long run.

Braxton

Guthrie&Co
01-17-2005, 06:03 PM
well its 3 that say get a new plant and one that says cut away.
i think i would get a new plant

j fisher
01-17-2005, 06:20 PM
I'd cut em, but I would wait till just before spring.

TurfdudeNCSU
01-17-2005, 07:30 PM
Just select prune them, not all the way to the ground... You may lose your origanal cultivar. Start pruning about mid to late Feburary...So they can have time to set buds before spring for new growth.

Coffeecraver
01-17-2005, 08:21 PM
Late March would be the best time

grassroots1993
01-25-2005, 11:39 AM
I have a customer who has some overgrown boxwoods, both English and American. They have grown to about 8-10 feet and the customer wants them cut back. She wants them cut back to about 4 ft. By doing so it woulf pretty much leave the shrubs naked of any foliage. Will this kill the plants? In the past I have cut back other types of shrubbery, hollies, etc, with good success. I have never done it with boxwoods and was wondering if anyone out there has? I would really appreciate any input.

It all depends on the health of the bushes. I have severly cut back Boxwoods before and I come to under satnd that it is a 50/50 chance of loss, depending on plant health. But if you try it wait until spring and make sure customer under stands. Most all shrubs enjoy being cut back, but some do not. Good luck!

nuchdig
03-10-2005, 08:29 PM
Seems to be a split crowd here. I have had 100% success radical pruning B. microphylla (Japanese & Korean cultivars) to within 18 inches. As for B. sempervirens, here's what Dirr has to say, "Cut older plants to within 18 to 36 in. of the ground; by the end of summer, the foliage will have covered the exposed stems". My advise would be to cut them back to 2 or 2 1/2 ft and maintain them at the 3 to 4 ft height.
Mike

old dog
03-12-2005, 12:45 AM
I'd cut em, but I would wait till just before spring.
By my calendar it is just before spring :D

Premo Services
03-13-2005, 08:42 AM
On the note of cutting boxwoods way back, I have a customer that has huge boxwoods in his yard. For years they have been trimmed with hedge trimmers and are all almost perfect circles.

What would you do about that, continue to trim the same or do the selective pruning.( He really likes the way they look now, and has asked me to bid on trimming them.)

Garden Panzer
03-13-2005, 12:05 PM
That's something I would do in late winter....one wouldn't want BRIGHT sunlight and HIGH temps when the new growth tries to return after being shocked....

Downside: Bad boxwood pruning will NEVER go away, one would need to go into the plant with handpruners and clip out the dead weight.....

UPside- boxwood pruning is easy, start at the bottom and work up with the shears, tarps around the dripline make for EASY cleanup, and one get's to cut them 2x a year- atleast where I live..

Good Luck!

payup :drinkup: payup

j fisher
03-13-2005, 12:22 PM
By my calendar it is just before spring :D
Check the date on the original post.

ashs inc
03-16-2005, 10:13 PM
There Are Two Types Of Plants That You Do Not Prune Hard
Junipers And Box Woods.

War Eagle

WhohasHelios?
03-16-2005, 11:04 PM
What about just approaching it in three or four phases. Let the customer know that this will take a year to a year and a half, however compared to the cost of replcement with new plants will be a huge savings.

Then just take the whole amount that you are taking off in time and divide it by three or four. Saves the plant alot of stress, and guarantees you a few more visits. Use those visits to remind them that you also do other services.

Thats how I would go about it...Though I know some people want the instant effect.

-Reuben

Sir Mow-A-Lot
03-18-2005, 07:15 PM
A little off topic but..

I was asked to severely cut back some Yews that were way overgrown - i'd say 10-12' tall & 8-10' wide. The homeowner wanted them to be under a window - which i'd say is 4-5FT off the ground. I warned them that they'd probably just have some bare twigs by the time i got finished. They insisted i did the work. Anyways, long story short, i trimmed them to about 4 ft tall and yes the shrubs were just trunks by the time i finished. Homeowner came out and almost had a fit about how bad they looked. This was last summer - so i'm hoping they will fill out this spring. Worst part though was that i way underestimated how long the work would take and how much disposal there was. Bottomline: Homeowner wasn't happy and i didnt make any money.