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     Marijke & Piet.

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Trimming the topiary O-karikomi (buxus) sculpture



In my post Tuning the hako-zukuri part of our main o-karikomi box topiary, I showed how the center part of the Main garden karikomi was trimmed. This was done because keeping the hako-zukuri part in the desired shape is much more time-critical than that of the parts. Where sometimes one annual trimming is sufficient for the topiary sculpture as a whole, the center needs to get trimmed at least twice per annum.

Trimming the whole, except the center, is a full day of hard labor.


Like always preparation and tidy-up account for a substantial part of this effort. In my post Timing for box-topiary trimming  I already stipulated the importance and restrictions around timing of these activities.

Preferably we do this job during the second half of August. First weeks in September will also do but due to the weather conditions it happened more than once that we did not manage to do so.

How the trimmed O-karikomi looks in full is shown  in some of the rotating banner panorama-photo’s of this blog. The photo at the bottom of this post also shows a distant view.

Covering the ground to prevent that the debris falls on the gravel and the tidy-up afterwards accounts for a substantial part of the time involved. So does removal of dead leafs from under the shrubs.



After finishing the overall trimming work some fine-tuning is required such as taking out dead leafs and branches and the leafs folded together by the Boxwood psyllid or Cacopsylla buxi. The latter forms a leaf-ball at the top and closes off its own small imperium. Cupped, distorted, stunted leaves are the result.

The Internet shows that the boxwood leaf miner is the traditional and perennial pest of Boxwood. The good news is that this is something we never came across in our garden so far. Our “best” pest example is the Boxwood psyllid, Cacopsylla buxi (Dutch: topmijt of buxustopmijt en buxusbladvlo). This pest is the most serious pest of this evergreen plant in our garden. The insect starts building its home only in the freshest and newest buts and runners.


Prior to clipping the “higher” parts I first cover any lower shrubs that where already clipped. It is easier to remove the debris in this way than just let it fall on top of the lower plants and remove it from there.

This is a distant view of the end result. In the banner on top of this page some panorama-views are shown in a rotating fashion. okarikomi-just-trimmedIMG_4011

Related: Karikomi and hako-zukuri. Shrubs, Evergreen trees, Training, clipping and pruning, Control of pests, weeds and diseases in Tsubo-en.