New Mugo Pine

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New Mugo Pine

Post  Jake16 on Fri Jul 27, 2012 12:10 am

This is a Mugo Pine that I picked up over the weekend for a few bucks. Its pretty root bound, and I also read that these like to be repotted around this time. Does this plant look healthy enough to repot? Also down below I would like comment on where the trunk line should go. Any tips about these would be very helpful.





Im not sure if im going to make this the trunk line



or like this (maybe turning the planting angle)






Last edited by Jake16 on Fri Jul 27, 2012 4:39 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: New Mugo Pine

Post  JimLewis on Fri Jul 27, 2012 12:22 pm

Maybe you can edit the post and right-side-up those first pics?????

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Re: New Mugo Pine

Post  Jake16 on Fri Jul 27, 2012 4:32 pm

Yeah I can do that, I just didnt think it was that important those were just to ask about the health.

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timing to transplant pine

Post  fuzei on Fri Jul 27, 2012 4:49 pm

Jake..
health is determined by the roots. Then the symptoms show up in the crown.
If the roots are not white, impregnated with mycorrhizae, then it is not time to repot or transplant.
And keeping in mind that when one transplants, the candles will stay at that size until the next cycle of growth.
These are not elongated... do you think it is the right time to transplant? edzard

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Re: New Mugo Pine

Post  Jake16 on Fri Jul 27, 2012 5:05 pm

It has a lot of mycorrhizae, I cant remember if the roots are white (im sure most of them are). I dont know if its time to repot or not, what factors make it time to repot? (it is root bound though)

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Re: New Mugo Pine

Post  fiona on Fri Jul 27, 2012 5:16 pm

If I had acquired that the first thing I'd be doing is picking off all that obviously dead growth. What I'm seeing there is buds that have died off most probably because there was insufficient light getting through the foliage to let them grow and develop. Then I'd be looking to see what you're left with that can be thinned out for the same reason of letting light and air in.

We can't see the roots so a call on whether to repot or not is slipping into the realms of guesswork. To be honest, I think a clean out is necessary before you worry about repotting (although perhaps a simple slip pot would be okay if you think it's really that root bound) as there's precious little point in busying yourself with roots if next year's new buds are just going to die off as well.

As I say, that is what I'd do with it if it were mine.


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Re: New Mugo Pine

Post  Jake16 on Fri Jul 27, 2012 5:38 pm

Fiona,

I thought you had to wait until fall do do the needle thinning and winter for major pruning.

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Re: New Mugo Pine

Post  fiona on Fri Jul 27, 2012 6:21 pm

No, maybe I didn't explain that properly. I'm not suggesting major work like needle plucking/thinning - just removing the dead stuff that is cluttering up and blocking light and therefore which could actually cause further damage (i.e. more bits to die off because they're not getting light to them) if not taken off. I used the phrase "clean out" deliberately because that is all you are doing here - getting rid of debris.


I'll leave it to those from your own climate area to tell you when to do the ongoing routine stuff.


Last edited by fiona on Sat Jul 28, 2012 8:55 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: New Mugo Pine

Post  Jake16 on Fri Jul 27, 2012 6:29 pm

oh ok my apologies, this is my first pine and I have read stuff about mugos and I just wanna get it right. I am going to post pictures of the roots in a little while. Im not sure if its that root bound but as you will see I can clearly lift it out of the pot. Thanks for the reply.

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Re: New Mugo Pine

Post  Jake16 on Fri Jul 27, 2012 7:10 pm

pic of the roots


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Re: New Mugo Pine

Post  Jake16 on Fri Jul 27, 2012 8:31 pm

ok so I cleaned out all the dead stuff and put it into a bigger pot (i have the worst time trying to make a good soil) Also, does any body have any good examples of mame/shohin mugos. I wanted to keep this one some where in between mame shohin size but im starting to think im going to need to go on the large side of shohin.

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Re: New Mugo Pine

Post  Steven on Sat Jul 28, 2012 12:19 am

Jake,

If you are just slip potting this, or potting it up to give it some room to grow and develop before eventually putting it into a bonsai pot depending on the size and timeline that requires, it is not necessary to create a fancy and possibly expensive soil mix(just my opinion for my not bonsai potted trees). When I am growing out in larger pots, or in the ground I use the mix bellow, all of which you can get a most home improvement stores. Once I get the size trunk I am looking for I start reducing the roots and place the tree in its first training pot with a more inorganic and usually nicer soil (again just my preference). There are plenty of bonsai and gardening sites you can search too, that can help you find a mix or blend that may meet your needs, this is just one that I have always used for my container plants and it has worked well for my grow out trees as well.

Growing mix:
potting soil 20%
fine agricultural sand 30%
vermiculite 15%
perilite 15%
decomposed granite 20% (sometimes I use tiny river rock/pebbles just something to help break up the soil)

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Re: New Mugo Pine

Post  Jake16 on Sat Jul 28, 2012 1:34 am

Thanks thats a big help. I need to get to a store and buy stuff like that, right now im just getting some sand, soil and some small pebbles, and it never drains the way I want. What do you think about the trunk direction?

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Re: New Mugo Pine

Post  Curtis on Sat Jul 28, 2012 7:32 am


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Re: New Mugo Pine

Post  Jake16 on Sat Jul 28, 2012 2:45 pm

Curtis,

Thank you. That helped out a lot Smile

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Re: New Mugo Pine

Post  Leo Schordje on Sun Jul 29, 2012 7:15 pm

nice tree Jake

you are on the right track. Pot it up into a larger pot, clean out the dead and let it rest until next year. You need the larger pot to be able to get vigorous growth next year, and begin styling work next year. I would just move it to a larger pot, break up the outside of your root mass, but don't disrupt everything, no major root pruning.

I would really plant it in a more mineral soil, Home Depot, Menards and Lowes all stock Turface MVP for use in golf courses and ball fields, to create a faster draining turf. Also look for a product like Dry Stall, at your local rural feed and saddlery shop Rural King, Farm and Fleet come to mind. Of course crushed granite used as grit for poultry. It is used in barns over the floor to give a dry layer for the horses or cattle to walk on. It is a pumice particle that is about the same size as the turface or perlite particle. If you find a full service Feed Store I really like the particle size of Turkey Grit. It is courser than the Layer grit or the Grower grit.

Blend at least 2 different mineral grits together, then shake over a piece of window screen to remove excess fines to make a nice free draining, with good air penetration mix, Turface and granite by themselves tend to settle and compact after a year or two. For pines I would keep the organic component of your mix under 25%. Vermiculite is so soft it crushes over time, consider it an organic component in that it will become part of the mush of decomposed organics in the pot as the soil breaks down.

Other mineral substrates that make good bonsai soil, check building supply/concrete supply shops, ask about aggregate for light weight concrete, there are many alternatives. Tell them you are doing concrete garden art, if you talk plants they may send you back to the garden centers.

If you pot in a more mineral mix, you won't have to repot as often. With mugos, you really only want to stress the trees no more than once a year, or you risk set back or worse. So if you can pot in a mineral mix, then you can do styling work 2 or 3 years in a row before you have to take a year off to do the repotting.

Mugos won't back bud easily where there are no needles, ignore all advise to needle pluck until you are in the final 2 or 3 years of preparation for display in a national show.

Hope those thoughts help, my Mugo is resting after being repotted this year.

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Re: New Mugo Pine

Post  Jake16 on Sun Jul 29, 2012 7:32 pm

So I should do no needle plucking this fall? And no pruning this winter ? Also how important is cut paste on a mugo? (because I dont have any )

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New Mugo Pine

Post  bonsaisr on Sun Jul 29, 2012 9:18 pm

You appear to have one of the Iseli micro-miniature mugo pines. Not all the rules for mugo pines apply to them. They can be delicate & temperamental. Do you know which cultivar you have? They are usually labeled. In my climate (Zone 5) they absolutely must be repotted only in midsummer. They are one of the only-one-insult-a-year species.
Iris

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Re: New Mugo Pine

Post  Jake16 on Sun Jul 29, 2012 9:24 pm

no I wish the pot said which one, I hate when nurseries half-a** labeling trees. Does needle plucking count as an insult?. Also if im trying to get it to grow taller should I leave the needles and the extra branches alone?

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Re: New Mugo Pine

Post  0soyoung on Sun Jul 29, 2012 10:57 pm

Trees from Isely come with very accurate labelling, so maybe it isn't and Isely tree as Iris suggests. Nevertheless, Isely's web-site describes the 19 or 20 different Mugo cultivars they raise. Might I ask that you investigate and get back to us?

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Re: New Mugo Pine

Post  Jake16 on Sun Jul 29, 2012 11:00 pm

I will definitely do that, hopefully later today or tomorrow. I got this tree from Pike nursery

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Re: New Mugo Pine

Post  Jake16 on Mon Jul 30, 2012 4:06 am

Ok I think its a Pinus Mugo "Mops" (blue-ish green foliage, small evenly spaced needles, globe shaped) I guess I will find out in the winter when/if the foliage turns a yellow color. Or possibly a slow mound.

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Re: New Mugo Pine

Post  Leo Schordje on Mon Jul 30, 2012 8:38 pm

Jake16 wrote:So I should do no needle plucking this fall? And no pruning this winter ? Also how important is cut paste on a mugo? (because I dont have any )

No plucking of live green needles. Plucking green needles is an "insult". No winter pruning. Winter wiring may be okay, but even wiring is an "insult".

Plucking out dead needles is a yes, not an insult. This is what others meant "by clean up".

For these miniature mugos, all work should be done middle of summer growing season. I would even do the pruning in mid summer. Do all the work at once, then leave the tree recover. My old ponderosa pine, I often give it 2 years to recover. Mugos and ponderosa are pines adapted to very short growing seasons, both can be found near the tree lines on their home mountain ranges. You won't get 2 growth spurts from them the way you can with JBP and most deciduous trees.

Late fall or very early spring, I might check the plant over and remove a few surplus buds. Get rid of the occasional overly big & vigorous bud where you don't need it, and thin buds a little, but always leave more than 2 buds, just in case one or more don't sprout in spring. You want to avoid forming new "broom clusters" or "wheel & spoke clusters" of shoots growing, they form knots & bulges in the trunk or branch which then can become a zone of reverse taper. Other than that, really save work for mid summer.

I won't pluck green needles from my mugos ever, except where there is a real problem with one cluster of needles shading out lower branch that I need. Once a stretch of branch is bare it is very unlikely to back bud in that region. You will need all the potential back budding you can get as the tree gets mature enough to design.

Only begin plucking needles AFTER the tree has become a full bonsai, not a 'potensai'. For your new mugo, I would not worry about needle plucking for another 10 or more years. Shape the tree first. Get the branches where you want them first. Get some ramification, form the framework for the foliage pads first. Only then do you need to worry about needle plucking.

One caveat, I am not a certified 'expert'. But I have been doing bonsai for over 40 years, and have studied with various teachers for the last 15 years. (I discovered that in teaching myself, I was missing something, that's what the face to face teachers are really good for, to fill in the gap between the books and reality)

My personal reluctance to needle pluck extends beyond just miniature forms of Mugos. Even 5 needle pines I am reluctant to needle pluck because where ever you have no needles, it is unlikely to ever back bud in that region. Occasionally a back bud does happen, but you can't depend on it. With needles, it is much more likely that back budding will succeed.

I can't give anyone advice on black pines, I have killed way too many of them. One advice I can give, if you live in zone 5 or colder, don't listen to California or Georgia growers for how to handle your black pines. They are not a vigorous tree in zone 5 or zone 4.

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Re: New Mugo Pine

Post  Jake16 on Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:29 pm

Leo,

That was very helpful. Thank you for all the information. My plans for this tree are to get rid of a few branches to allow some light to get in and air flow. Then allow the top to grow taller, right now its a little short.

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Re: New Mugo Pine

Post  Guest on Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:40 am

Jake16 wrote:ok so I cleaned out all the dead stuff and put it into a bigger pot (i have the worst time trying to make a good soil) Also, does any body have any good examples of mame/shohin mugos. I wanted to keep this one some where in between mame shohin size but im starting to think im going to need to go on the large side of shohin.

hello Jake, i dont know 'how good' you think my little mugo is, it has no big trunk, it also came from nursery stock, its about 10 years in training of which the last 5 years applying somewhat more advanced techniques (like needle plucking once every 2 years).
If that is an inspiration to you? its about 17cm in heigt.
I should take some more pics because you really cant see the ramification and lots of tiny buds it has inside the little branches


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Re: New Mugo Pine

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