Advice/Instuctions on Pinus Mugo

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Re: Advice/Instuctions on Pinus Mugo

Post  my nellie on Tue Dec 04, 2012 3:25 pm

Vance Wood wrote:... ... I have worked with Mugos for more then forty years and I hear this story all of the time. ... ....
Thank you very much Mr. Wood! I have contacted you on the "Bonsainut.com" and you have advised me in detail.

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Re: Advice/Instuctions on Pinus Mugo

Post  Vance Wood on Tue Dec 04, 2012 3:54 pm

my nellie wrote:
Vance Wood wrote:... ... I have worked with Mugos for more then forty years and I hear this story all of the time. ... ....
Thank you very much Mr. Wood! I have contacted you on the "Bonsainut.com" and you have advised me in detail.

How has the advise helped or hurt your efforts? You can be honest and you can call me Vance, Mr. Wood was my father. If what I have advised you has not worked I would like to know.

Vance Wood
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Re: Advice/Instuctions on Pinus Mugo

Post  my nellie on Tue Dec 04, 2012 4:07 pm

Going by your advice, I am waiting for next June to make the first repotting.
Removing branches will also wait.
This is an experiment as I've said already and I've decided to follow exactly the instructions in order to get valid results.

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Re: Advice/Instuctions on Pinus Mugo

Post  Vance Wood on Tue Dec 04, 2012 4:17 pm

my nellie wrote:Going by your advice, I am waiting for next June to make the first repotting.
Removing branches will also wait.
This is an experiment as I've said already and I've decided to follow exactly the instructions in order to get valid results.

I appreciate it immensely. I don't think you will be sorry. In zone 5-6 where I live I usually start potting them after the second week in June. I have never lost a Mugo to summer repotting or initial potting where 50% or more of the soil mass has been removed. I have found if you do this in the summer they just seem to not care; they chug along as though nothing has happened to them . If you do this in the spring you are more likely to lose a tree. I know this flies in the face of traditional wisdom and there will be many, as there have been in the past, that will say this is wrong and will look for reasons why my methods work. However you will never hear me saying that Mugos are difficult and fussy to repot----in my experience they are not.

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Re: Advice/Instuctions on Pinus Mugo

Post  Hans van Meer. on Tue Dec 04, 2012 4:29 pm

Vance Wood wrote:
my nellie wrote:Going by your advice, I am waiting for next June to make the first repotting.
Removing branches will also wait.
This is an experiment as I've said already and I've decided to follow exactly the instructions in order to get valid results.

I appreciate it immensely. I don't think you will be sorry. In zone 5-6 where I live I usually start potting them after the second week in June. I have never lost a Mugo to summer repotting or initial potting where 50% or more of the soil mass has been removed. I have found if you do this in the summer they just seem to not care; they chug along as though nothing has happened to them . If you do this in the spring you are more likely to lose a tree. I know this flies in the face of tradition wisdom and there will be many, as there have been in the past, that will say this is wrong and will look for reasons why my methods work.

Not to make things more complicated, and I know that my zone in West Europe is different than in South Europe, but the only two Mugo's yamadori's (one was a Uncinata) that I ever lost were repotted in Summer (early August). Never had any trouble with the onces I repotted in late Spring (May) when the buds started to swell! So I am also looking forward to the results of my nellie repotting!
Cheers,
Hans van Meer.

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Re: Advice/Instuctions on Pinus Mugo

Post  Vance Wood on Tue Dec 04, 2012 6:34 pm

Hans van Meer. wrote:
Vance Wood wrote:
my nellie wrote:Going by your advice, I am waiting for next June to make the first repotting.
Removing branches will also wait.
This is an experiment as I've said already and I've decided to follow exactly the instructions in order to get valid results.

I appreciate it immensely. I don't think you will be sorry. In zone 5-6 where I live I usually start potting them after the second week in June. I have never lost a Mugo to summer repotting or initial potting where 50% or more of the soil mass has been removed. I have found if you do this in the summer they just seem to not care; they chug along as though nothing has happened to them . If you do this in the spring you are more likely to lose a tree. I know this flies in the face of tradition wisdom and there will be many, as there have been in the past, that will say this is wrong and will look for reasons why my methods work.

Not to make things more complicated, and I know that my zone in West Europe is different than in South Europe, but the only two Mugo's yamadori's (one was a Uncinata) that I ever lost were repotted in Summer (early August). Never had any trouble with the onces I repotted in late Spring (May) when the buds started to swell! So I am also looking forward to the results of my nellie repotting!
Cheers,
Hans van Meer.

Sorry for the loss of your two trees. Uncinata is of now beyond my experience so I do not know if they really are the same tree as a Mugo Pine? As to the Yamadori Mugo here again I do not know about trees like this harvested from the wild, or is purview. I am not looking to make excuses or sell a bag of crap, but your situation is beyond an accurate response. However in the post where you were counseling Nellie your remark that Mugos do not like to have their roots worked on seem to me to be significant. Most of my work with Mugos has been with garden center trees, we don't have Mugo Yamadoroi here, and I have repotted them, drastically reduced the root masses anywhere between the middle of June through the beginning of September and never lost a tree to the procedure. In fact, with most of these trees I have drastically pruned and wired them at the same time----no problems.

So it seems we have a conundrum, a riddle that needs to be resolved. What is it that I do that I have success with and what is it you did that brought about your failure. I don't know but let us hope to solve it. There is no doubt in my mind that you know what your are doing.

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Re: Advice/Instuctions on Pinus Mugo

Post  my nellie on Wed Dec 05, 2012 9:52 am

My little mugo's thread seems to give rise to some significant (in my opinion) conversation Very Happy
Vance Wood wrote: ... ...As to the Yamadori Mugo here again I do not know about trees like this harvested from the wild
... ... Most of my work with Mugos has been with garden center trees, we don't have Mugo Yamadoroi here
... ...So it seems we have a conundrum, ... ...but let us hope to solve it. There is no doubt in my mind that you know what your are doing.
This is the very fact which moved me to choose Mr. Wood's approach, i.e. my little mugo is an ordinary nursery material. I never argued or questioned any other approach.

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Re: Advice/Instuctions on Pinus Mugo

Post  my nellie on Mon Mar 10, 2014 3:09 pm

Looks like mugo pines do not withstand interventions during the Athens hot & dry mid June....
Having done everything as instructed (...at least this is what I guess) the little tree did not manage to survive.
I will not give up, though. I will get another tree to work on but in a differentiated schedule regarding timing.

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MUGO PINE

Post  dave on Mon Mar 10, 2014 6:51 pm

What Vance said about repotting in summer works for me also.I take my zone friendly bonsai out of pots in winter and overwinter in my garden.So I have to put them back in pot in spring.However I dont disturb the roots(cut them) for the mugo's till summer.Another thing I learned from this site that hasn't been mentioned is" one injustice a year".Meaning if your cutting the roots don't trim the branches and if your trimming the branches don't work on the roots in the same year.Maybe someone can confirm this.

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Re: Advice/Instuctions on Pinus Mugo

Post  Vance Wood on Mon Mar 10, 2014 9:41 pm

my nellie wrote:Looks like mugo pines do not withstand interventions during the Athens hot & dry mid June....
Having done everything as instructed (...at least this is what I guess) the little tree did not manage to survive.
I will not give up, though. I will get another tree to work on but in a differentiated schedule regarding timing.

I suspect much of your problem is/was due to a combination of watering and soil content in your climate zone.  I have talked to many growers who have had problems with them when they are repotted in early spring.  I have been doing them in the middle of summer for many years.  I also prune them heavy, and wire them and they do fine.  I am no magician, I am sure many claim I do not know what I am talking about.  If you want to tell me exactly what you did we may be able to discover what happened.

I have also talked to a lot of people that would not try to grow a Mugo in your climate though I believe that a lot of those people have problems the for the same reason you did and it may not be climate. A fact does remain in my point of view. Mugo Pines are not Japanese Black Pines and can not be treated as such successfully in all climates.

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Re: Advice/Instuctions on Pinus Mugo

Post  Vance Wood on Sun Mar 16, 2014 1:39 pm

Neli:  What is the make up of your soil mix?  How often do you water and how often do you water a newly repotted Mugo?  You said you repotted in Summer but how do you define Summer?  You said hot and dry mid June?  Is this correct what exactly do you mean by Mid-June?  I won't touch mine before the the 24th so I guess this is the end of June but I suspect something else not really your fault is going on. I would really like to get a greater handle on this tree than I now have.  When I do mine it is usually hot and dry sometimes near 100* Fahrenheit.  So now I suspect it comes down to soil and watering. How do you water your pines and do you water your Mugos the same way?

Vance Wood
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Re: Advice/Instuctions on Pinus Mugo

Post  jtay123 on Sun Mar 16, 2014 10:17 pm

This is a really interesting thread and as I only been back into bonsai for just over a year (but horticulture all my working life) I have read many conflicting articles on when to work a pine.

One thing I would like to add to the mix regardless of where you are growing the tree is the province of the tree in question (where did it come from?)

This might come over as a little farfetched but my first understanding of this term come about twenty years ago when I was Christmas tree buyer and the up and coming tree was the Nordmann Fir, Abies Nordmanniana. All Christmas growers in Europe wanted to grow this tree for the market demand but sadly it went wrong for so many. As the origin of seed is most important.

The seed that come from Ambrolauri in Russia was outstanding and grew a very short leader each year (a memory from its past growing conditions in a short season) and this produced a good bushy Christmas tree with lots of branches, a great full bushy tree.

At this time seed was also been sold from more southern areas of turkey as Abies nordmanniana without any subspecies information and many Christmas tree growers planted thousands of trees with the same expectation.

Sadly the growers who bought the cheap Turkish seed experienced leader growth of over eighteen inches each year and produced a very sparse looking Christmas tree and no good for the market at this time.
So in short what I am trying to say to say is regardless of past history of success do we need to think of the province of the tree we have in hand?

A self sown tree collected in the mountains of Europe might react differently to stress we put on it compared to other places in the world??

John

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Re: Advice/Instuctions on Pinus Mugo

Post  Vance Wood on Sun Mar 16, 2014 11:29 pm

Understanding that most of my experience with Mugo Pines is from trees grown from seed that had been harvested from stands in Europe. So genetically all of the Mugos are from the same stock within the natural range of the tree in Europe. There are regional differences with Mugos depending on source but most if not all of them are still from the high elevations of the mountains of Europe.

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Re: Advice/Instuctions on Pinus Mugo

Post  Neli on Fri Mar 21, 2014 7:48 am

I dont have any experience with Mugo pines, but speaking from professional horticultural experience of over 30 years, as a nurseries owner, where everything was propagated by me, I have made many personal observations regarding grows of plants, and one of them that really surprised me is that many plants have built in clock, regarding their habits of growth. while it is generally considered that tree growth is governed by climatic and geographical conditions.
During importation of many different varieties of plants from the northern hemisphere, into the southern, some plants upon detecting temperature, length of day and some other factors, coming from winter to spring behaved just as a tree should behave in spring, leafing out, flowering...while some varieties, never pushed a leaf, and behaved as if they are in winter dormancy. just to wake up at the time they normally would in their native climate. That really surprised me and told me that provenance in trees is very important and there are many factors, that we are not aware of that needs to be considered, especially with a tree subjected to stress.
I hope this helps.

Neli
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Re: Advice/Instuctions on Pinus Mugo

Post  my nellie on Fri Mar 21, 2014 9:27 am

Thank you everyone for your response.
Vance Wood wrote:... ...A fact does remain in my point of view.  Mugo Pines are not Japanese Black Pines and can not be treated as such successfully in all climates.
Dear Vance, believe me I have read almost each and every post of you on Mugo pines all over the internet  Very Happy  I am aware about those differences you mention. Consequently I have treated my tree the way you suggest for Mugos.

Vance Wood wrote:Neli:  What is the make up of your soil mix? Regarding this Mugo pine, I would say 80% inorganic (lava & pumice) and the rest is mix of peat moss and crushed pine bark.
How often do you water and how often do you water a newly repotted Mugo?  
Generally speaking, I water my trees considering their needs as species and checking the substrate's moisture leve. My trees are in training pots. Watering the repotted Mugo pine was scheduled taking care not to leave the substrate to dry. The tree was kept in shade after repotting.  
You said you repotted in Summer but how do you define Summer?  You said hot and dry mid June?  Is this correct what exactly do you mean by Mid-June? Yes, this is correct.
... ...How do you water your pines and do you water your Mugos the same way?
I have not other pines. That was my first attempt with a pine.
but I suspect something else not really your fault is going on. Could that be the fact that I have repotted the tree into a plastic colander? Which is my fault...., due to my inexperience I had not taken into consideration that was the very first repotting of the tree. What do you think?


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Re: Advice/Instuctions on Pinus Mugo

Post  my nellie on Fri Mar 21, 2014 9:28 am

Neli wrote:... ...That really surprised me and told me that provenance in trees is very important and there are many factors, that we are not aware of that needs to be considered, especially with a tree subjected to  stress.
I hope this helps.
This is surprising, indeed. Thank you for your input.

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Re: Advice/Instuctions on Pinus Mugo

Post  Neli on Fri Mar 21, 2014 10:40 am

Can your tree be imported by any chance, even from different climatic region? A tree grown from seed, and acclimtized to the local conditions, will behave in a totally different manner to a tree imported from different climatic region. Older trees have difficulties adjusting to change of climate.

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Re: Advice/Instuctions on Pinus Mugo

Post  my nellie on Fri Mar 21, 2014 11:12 am

This is a critical question of you, Neli!
It's a common practice for most nurseries here to import such species... and I am almost certain the tree was imported. Furthermore, I know it was grafted.

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Re: Advice/Instuctions on Pinus Mugo

Post  Vance Wood on Fri Mar 21, 2014 12:47 pm

my nellie wrote:This is a critical question of you, Neli!
It's a common practice for most nurseries here to import such species... and I am almost certain the tree was imported. Furthermore, I know it was grafted.

How do you know for sure the tree was grafted?  I have heard people mention this before but in the forty some odd years I have been working with Mugo Pines I have never encountered a grafted Mugo. Understand that any Mugo that falls into my hands is likely to have its roots aggressively dealt with. In all of this I have never encountered evidence of a graft scar on any of the hundreds of Mugos I have worked on over the years. I hope I am not sounding argumentative on this issue, but I am most concerned about what is going on here.

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Re: Advice/Instuctions on Pinus Mugo

Post  my nellie on Fri Mar 21, 2014 12:59 pm

I am also interested in getting some clue about what is wrong with Mugo pines in Athens... From all the bonsai friends I know there is no one who votes in favor  Very Happy 
So, how do I know the tree was grafted :
1.- The nursery owner has told me so
2.- I have seen the graft scar on the trunk and it was apparent and ugly

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Re: Advice/Instuctions on Pinus Mugo

Post  Vance Wood on Fri Mar 21, 2014 1:34 pm

my nellie wrote:I am also interested in getting some clue about what is wrong with Mugo pines in Athens... From all the bonsai friends I know there is no one who votes in favor  Very Happy 
So, how do I know the tree was grafted :  
1.-  The nursery owner has told me so
2.- I have seen the graft scar on the trunk and it was apparent and ugly

Well--- you should  know as well as I that a lot of nursery owners think two things:  They know everything and they can make up the rest and People that grow bonsai are nuts and should be discouraged at all costs unless they come with their own shopping cart to fill up with useless stuff.  In which case you tell them what you think they want to hear.  As to the graft scar???  There are a lot of things that can scar a trunk especially the way many Mugos are handled in the nursery trade.  

However let's assume that you are correct.  There are only two reasons to graft a tree.  One is to put a scion onto a root stock that will grow better in a particular area.  So one has to ask what root stock would that be and can we identify it?  Two; is to make sure a cultivar is reproduced (asexually) preserving all of its traits that would not be so if the tree were grown from seed where the natural variability in genes take place. Was this particular tree sold as being a particular cultivar of Mugo that was special enough it had to be grafted to preserve its genetic integrity?   In which case what cultivar are we looking at?  

As I mentioned previously in the forty some odd years with Mugos I have never encountered a cultivar sold in the nursery trade that was cultivated by any means other than seed.  In fact, using the denominator: cultivar, is really a misnomer understanding that if the tree is from seed it cannot be a cultivar. Cultivar is defined as being reproducible only by the intervention of man, gratings, cuttings or air layering.  If; on the outside event your tree was indeed grafted for what ever reason, it is probably this fact that  caused the events that produced its failure.  It has been my experience that grafts are inherently weak and prone to failure.  In fact, a grated tree if it is possible,  will in some cases grow around the weaker graft or abandon it altogether in order to survive. In the case of a Mugo Pine, or any Pine for that matter, being unable to sucker around a graft, like a Crab Apple etc., will when stressed to this degree probably die.


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Re: Advice/Instuctions on Pinus Mugo

Post  my nellie on Fri Mar 21, 2014 1:47 pm

Vance Wood wrote:... ...If; on the outside event your tree was indeed grafted for what ever reason, it is probably this fact that  caused the events that produced its failure.  It has been my experience that grafts are inherently weak and prone to failure.
Well, the nursery lady has told me that the root stock was "forest pine"... a sylvestris can be assumed?
I am not at least aware of species and cultivars and things like these, so I accepted what that lady has told me.
However, regarding the scar it was certainly a grafting scar, it was more than obvious.
So, could we now say that we have located one mostly probable reason of failure?

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Re: Advice/Instuctions on Pinus Mugo

Post  Vance Wood on Fri Mar 21, 2014 1:57 pm

my nellie wrote:
Vance Wood wrote:... ...If; on the outside event your tree was indeed grafted for what ever reason, it is probably this fact that  caused the events that produced its failure.  It has been my experience that grafts are inherently weak and prone to failure.
Well, the nursery lady has told me that the root stock was "forest pine"... a sylvestris can be assumed?
I am not at least aware of species and cultivars and things like these, so I accepted what that lady has told me.
However, regarding the scar it was certainly a grafting scar, it was more than obvious.
So, could we now say that we have located one mostly probable reason of failure?

I doubted you only on the basis of my many years of exposure to this tree in an ungrafted state.  However; if the stock is indeed Pinus Sylvestris, which interestingly enough is closely related to the Mugo Pine, a graft is possible. I then must assume the reason is not to preserve the integrity of a sub species like Tyroliean, Mugus or Pumilio but simply to survive in your climate where it must be assumed that Mugo on its own roots is considered weak and the Scots, on the other hand, is able to handle a Mediteranian Climate.  Then all of this makes sense. If the Scots Pine stock was seriously compromised it is more than possible the entire tree died because of it considering the tree was dependent on this graft.

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Re: Advice/Instuctions on Pinus Mugo

Post  my nellie on Fri Mar 21, 2014 2:18 pm

I do not give up my dream for a pine tree, though.
Vance Wood wrote:... ...I then must assume the reason is not to preserve the integrity of a sub species like Tyroliean, Mugus or Pumilio but simply to survive in your climate where it must be assumed that Mugo on its own roots is considered weak and the Scots, on the other hand, is able to handle a Mediteranian Climate.  Then all of this makes sense.  If the Scots Pine stock was seriously compromised it is more than possible the entire tree died because of it considering the tree was dependent on this graft.
Then, a sylvestris is more compatible with my country's climate and I should shift to this variety, should not I ?

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Re: Advice/Instuctions on Pinus Mugo

Post  Vance Wood on Fri Mar 21, 2014 2:22 pm

I love Scots Pine almost as much as Mugo Pines, not quite but close.  I would try it and see what happens.  It could be that failure was due to the graft and not necessarily the nature of the two plants involved.

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Re: Advice/Instuctions on Pinus Mugo

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