JoeLewko
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Possible Boxwood Problem

My boxwood might be dying, and I'm not sure what to do. I say it might be dying, because even though the leaves lost their coppery color (or rather regained the green), they lack the leathery "shine", and look to be dying. However, the tree is still alive (i scratched the bark earlier today, still green :>), but i was planning on repotting it, and now I'm not sure what to do. Thoughts?

[img]https://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m204/joelewko/boxwood3_20_08003.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m204/joelewko/boxwood3_20_08005.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m204/joelewko/boxwood3_20_08001.jpg[/img]

Any help is appreciated, as always.

Joe

By the way, for comparison's sake, this is the tree in what i believe to be a healthier state, during the last growing season.

[img]https://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m204/joelewko/bonsai_odie002.jpg[/img]

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Gnome
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Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

Joe,

I have re-potted three Buxus this spring and I just went out to check on them. One is a vibrant green and looks very healthy. The others are rather dull and coppery. I don't believe any of them are in distress, that's how they get over the winter.

Can I ask why you are considering re-potting this year? Your tree does not appear to be root-bound. Did you not do a proper re-pot last time around? I think I might be able to see evidence of an old root-ball in your otherwise gritty soil. Otherwise I might be inclined to leave it alone this year.

Norm

JoeLewko
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I haven't repotted it since i got it (about two years ago), and the soil has pretty much become a rock. What i mean by that is, it's not loose like normal soil should be, (i.e. putting a toothpick in it is a battle) and when i water it, the water sits on top in a puddle, and takes long to absorb (this was observed during the growing season, not the winter, although the same thing occurs). Also, i want to try to get it into a shallower pot.

Joe

Also Norm, i posted some pics of my pine in my other thread (titled been busy...), along with a question about it, if you could take a look at them i'd really appreciate it.

arboricola
Senior Member
Posts: 224
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2007 9:07 pm
Location: Minnesota zone 4

Joe;
That seems like a rather large pot for that tree. If the plant is 6-8 inches tall I would go with a pot no bigger than 6 inches, 1¾- 2 inches deep. I would also go with an unglazed pot. They let the roots breath a little better. You will have to adjust your watering as the soil will dry a little faster. Whatever you decide, a change of soil will only improve things...

Phil...

JoeLewko
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Posts: 348
Joined: Sun Jul 02, 2006 7:29 pm

Just thought i'd update this. The tree's condition worsened, until the leaves started to turn a straw color. I did some research online, and my tree showed all the symptoms of root rot. I had to repot it, and when i looked at the roots, mostly the entire root system was brown. I remember when transplanting my boxwood last year that the roots were all white. I put it in some new soil anyway, and a new pot (might as well give it a chance), but it did not make it. I believe this was indeed a case of Root Rot.

It seems i do not have much luck with Boxwoods :cry: , but i'd like to try my shot at another one this year. :wink:

Live and Learn i guess 8)

Joe

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Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

Joe,

One of mine has not been looking very good so far and after reading your recent post I took a long hard look at it and came to the conclusion that it was probably not going to make it. Today I did an emergency re-pot into a coarser medium. The roots were pretty much as you described, not at all fleshy ow white but dark and limp.

I think I was too aggressive with my root pruning this spring and I may have re-potted a bit on the early side as well. I have a very bad habit of wanting to get to work in the spring. I'll have to do better from now on.

Norm

constantstaticx3
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Location: Haddonfield, NJ

Norm

I started thinking the same thing with the english box I started this year. Although it has started budding now and it should be fine. The buds aren't exactly in the correct place but at least it's alive. The branches can be worked later on.

Tom

alisios
Senior Member
Posts: 298
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2007 3:25 am
Location: Sedona, Arizona

I harvested six old boxwoods last fall. All of them had 3-4 inch trunks but they weren't watered at the place where they were so they were already in pretty bad shape - all but one are in the condition you describe: kind of gray, straw leaves, dull red leaves, obvious dead branches - the one thing I can say after six months, is that they aren't any worse which I think is a good thing. These were really abused, and me yanking them from the ground didn't really help either I sure... Three of these trees I put in the ground and the others are in oversized growing pots.

I feel they are still alive as the branches are not brittle and breaking when bent. I also believe that boxes are really hardy and can take some serious punishment.

The other day, I was curious and cut off a branch and noticed a slight green ring around the edge near the bark so I think there is still hope. You could try this. Don't give up hope!

One of the six has just started to bud out - I'm very pleased as I thought for sure it was dead. :) This particular tree was one that was in the ground.

I was going to post pictures of them when they looked a little better. Perhaps I can get a pic tomorrow since we all seem to have similar issues.

Also, I have to note I put tree wound paste on the branches that were cut. I'm not sure if this will make a difference, but I felt it couldn't hurt...

I also think some iron (like Ironite) in your water might be a good thing - or some B1...

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