Asked on Feb 28, 2012

Have 20% yr old boxwoods that are overgrown for the foundation area. Can these be cut back drastically to a few feet w/

Douglas HuntRicardo B360 Sod (Donna Dixson)


only branches left? I've heard different opinions, some say they will die, others that they will sprout right back out. Help? Suggestions?
4 answers
  • Hi Brenda, What is the foundation for and how close are the roots of the trees?

  • 360 Sod (Donna Dixson)
    on Feb 28, 2012

    Brenda are you absolutely positive on your ID? There is some Hollies that are often called Boxwood. If it is a boxwood do you know which one? That too will make a difference in the advice. Would it be possible for you to post a couple of picture. One of the group and one pretty close up of the leaf and stem?

  • Ricardo B
    on Feb 29, 2012

    I've cut back boxwood and hollies to a smaller size and haven't killed them. They'll look pretty stark, but with patience they'll start putting out leaves. Be smart about how you prune. Don't chop, view each branch on your knees and spread out the branches. Prune back to a fork, a base branch or to a smaller young branch and it will probably be fine. If not, then you have an excuse to tie a chain to it and then to your truck and yank it out for a different one, Brenda.

  • Douglas Hunt
    on Feb 29, 2012

    I like to follow the rule that, other than when rejuvenation pruning is needed, you don't cut back more than one-third of a plant at a time. As Ricardo says, it should be done methodically, with frequent steps back to take a look as you are doing so.

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