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Pruning Boxwoods

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by LazyWeekends, Jan 16, 2005.

  1. LazyWeekends

    LazyWeekends LawnSite Member
    Posts: 23

    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.
     
  2. Guthrie&Co

    Guthrie&Co LawnSite Senior Member
    from nc
    Posts: 784

    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.
     
  3. TrentSteel

    TrentSteel LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    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.
     
  4. Cutters Lawn Care

    Cutters Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 314

    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.
     
  5. LazyWeekends

    LazyWeekends LawnSite Member
    Posts: 23

    Thanks for your input. I think I will try. They have to be reduced in size one way or the other.
     
  6. Braxton

    Braxton LawnSite Member
    from TN
    Posts: 81

    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
     
  7. Guthrie&Co

    Guthrie&Co LawnSite Senior Member
    from nc
    Posts: 784

    well its 3 that say get a new plant and one that says cut away.
    i think i would get a new plant
     
  8. j fisher

    j fisher LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 296

    I'd cut em, but I would wait till just before spring.
     
  9. TurfdudeNCSU

    TurfdudeNCSU LawnSite Member
    Posts: 76

    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.
     
  10. Coffeecraver

    Coffeecraver LawnSite Senior Member
    from VA.
    Posts: 793

    Late March would be the best time
     

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