Thursday, June 23, 2016

Restoration of the boxwood hedge begins

Several days a week or two ago the boxwood shrubs on the healthy side of the drive were air layered to begin the process of restoring the full ring around the driveway.  
 The process is really not that complicated. A branch of boxwood smaller than a number 2 pencil is stripped of leaves. Two cuts are made around the branch about one inch apart. The outer layer of bark is removed.
 The now wounded area of bark is packed in moist sphagnum moss, and wrapped in plastic to help hold moisture.
 Press and Seal is a kitchen product but really makes this step easier.
 The final package is tightly sealed and twisted.
 The plastic is too tempting for birds so the whole thing is encased in an aluminum foil wrapping to give protection from birds searching for nesting materials, and to create a dark area for new roots to form.
The final product. This is a slow process. By the end of summer when the temperatures are beginning to drop the sphagnum moss should be completely full of new roots. The new plants will be cut from the shrub and potted up to grow over the winter in a sheltered area, usually under a tree or foundation shrubs for a year or so. Then they will be ready to plant.

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