Mugo Pine - Potential bonsai or Xmas Tree

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Mugo Pine - Potential bonsai or Xmas Tree

Post  fred blogg on Mon Oct 31, 2011 5:04 am

Hi Folks

I have the above Mugo Pine and am wondering if you think it is worth working on for a potential bonsai or keep it as a potted Xmas tree.

The bottom branch is too high at present, there is not a lot of movement in the trunk and there is not enough growth on branches near the trunk.

Options:

(1) Cut back branches in the autumn, be patient and hope I get back budding. Bend the trunk.

(2) Foreshortening the lower branches and add some bends in the trunk to reduce it's height and add some movement.

(3) Remove the top just above the second from bottom layer of branches and use one of these branches as the new apex. I would then remove the two thick bottom branches as there is too much gap before any foliage. There are three thin branches that could be used for the first left, right and back branches.

If the trunk was tilted to the left it would look like the trunk had more movement.

(4) Style it as a Literati. There are plenty of healthy branches at the top. This would eliminate the problem of trying to get branches to back bud or foreshortening them. I could put a number of twists and turns into the trunk, left to right and forward to back. Then thin out the top.

What do you think?

I have attached a photo of the tree as it is and one with the lower branches removed.

Fred


[img]

fred blogg
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Re: Mugo Pine - Potential bonsai or Xmas Tree

Post  Tona on Mon Oct 31, 2011 5:13 am

Hey Fred,
Mugo Pines are very pliable and putting movement in the trunk should be pretty easy to do. Then you could decide whether an Informal Upright or a Literati style would be best. I have a few Mugo Pines and have been able to bend them very easily.
Tona

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Re: Mugo Pine - Potential bonsai or Xmas Tree

Post  Pavel Slovák on Mon Oct 31, 2011 6:46 am

Hi Fred

Yes, as it says Ton. Pine is very flexible. I would remove the red line at the spring and transplanted. Then the shape of the trunk of his own ideas. The shape of the branch of the new tree top. The shape of the branches on the basic shape of the tree. Such as virtual. Good luck and joy with the tree.
Gretings Pavel

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Re: Mugo Pine - Potential bonsai or Xmas Tree

Post  George on Sat Nov 05, 2011 12:35 pm

Hi Pavel. This is the sort of material that most people would have access to. I'd love to see you turn this relatively uninspired material into a tree with character as shown by your sketch.

George
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Re: Mugo Pine - Potential bonsai or Xmas Tree

Post  fred blogg on Sat Nov 05, 2011 11:06 pm

Hi Pavel

Thanks for your expertise and virtual. I will endeavour to to create something similar.

fred

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Top heavy

Post  Reiner Goebel on Sun Nov 06, 2011 2:12 am

Well, frankly, I would go looking for a mugo that is better suited for bonsai from the outset.

However.

Regardless of what you do with this plant, there is one thing I would like to point out, and that is the difference in vigour of growth in the top of the plant vs. its bottom. One of the challenges of bonsai, and especially pine bonsai, is making sure that a plant's top is not more vigorous than the bottom. If you look at your first picture, you can see how obviously your 'tree' is putting all its efforts into the top at the expense of the bottom by comparing the length of the candles in the two regions.

Trees want to grow at the top, because that is where the light is. But in most cases, we want our trees to grow evenly all over, and very often, especially in the development stage, more at the bottom than at the top, because that will encourage formation of a tapering trunk. To achieve that, we have to interfere with a plant's natural inclination to grow more at the top than at the bottom.

OK, so much for everyone's general edification. Smile

Reiner Goebel
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Re: Mugo Pine - Potential bonsai or Xmas Tree

Post  fred blogg on Sun Nov 06, 2011 11:19 am

Hi Reiner

I see the tree as challenge, a learning process, something to practice on. It cost me nothing so all I have to lose is time.

The term you are looking for where trees grow at the top is Apical Dominance. By reducing or removing the top I am going to, for a period, even out the vigour until the new apex I create takes over.

If I am not wrong you were in New Zealand at the National Bonsai Conference in 2003 with Craig Coussins?

Fred

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Re: Mugo Pine - Potential bonsai or Xmas Tree

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