Miniature Mugo Pine

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Miniature Mugo Pine

Post  bonsaisr on Fri Feb 17, 2012 2:31 am

Has anyone really been successful in growing one of the Iseli miniature pines as a bonsai? Being a little girl who plays with dollhouses inside, I find them irresistible. I have killed my share. Sad
The first breakthrough I found was to repot in summer. That removes the danger of dying from repotting. The second sad fact I learned was never bring one to a workshop with a Visiting Expert whose experience is with 3-foot seasoned yamadori. No You can't lop off a third of the branches on one of these little smidgens.
The best cultivar of these so far is 'Short Needle.' It seems stronger than the previous varieties. At least I haven't killed mine after two years, and it is beginning to look like a pine tree. Without drastic techniques, the tiny needles are in proportion to its size.
Problems I have are mainly that it resists wiring. I probably haven't left the wire on long enough. As soon as I take it off, the branches go sproingg!. Also it has no nebari & almost no taper. Am I asking too much?
I don't have a recent photo. I just rewired it, & my wiring is not suitable for display in a family oriented web site. Here it is last fall with my friend Baphomet. It is 7 inches (18 cm) tall in a 6 inch pot.
Iris



Last edited by bonsaisr on Fri Feb 17, 2012 2:33 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Add measurements)

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Re: Miniature Mugo Pine

Post  marcus watts on Fri Feb 17, 2012 7:22 am

great bark development on the lower trunk.....i can see a face in it.......... Laughing

haha, regards Marcus

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Re: Miniature Mugo Pine

Post  Jesse on Fri Feb 17, 2012 3:52 pm

marcus watts wrote:great bark development on the lower trunk.....i can see a face in it.......... Laughing

haha, regards Marcus
Haha....nice marcus. Cute tree Iris. I don't have any insights to share except to say I killed something similar after lopping off 1/3 of its branches as you warn of here... Embarassed

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Re: Miniature Mugo Pine

Post  RKatzin on Fri Feb 17, 2012 4:30 pm

Hi Iris, I most cofess to killing more than my share of these little darlings, but I have do have some live ones. I had to adopt a different timing schedule, which is basicly, the dwarfier and minier they are the longer you need to give between insults. Really though I gauge by rate of growth, the slower they grow the longer between work. Pinus aristata, though not a dwarf or mini is very slow growing. Also I went from the uaual 30% for pruning most conifers to about 10-15% for removing branches or roots. Lastly, but maybe most importantly, I've moved all my tiny trees into the garden to grow and they all seem much happier. One more thing I've changed, and no one told me to do this so I'd value any opinions, when I want to take a branch or twig, rather than just lopping it off I kill it first by removing the neddles and let it die slowly. Then when it's removed there's no shock to the tree. Hope I helped some, I'm feeling my way along with these little guys too. Rick

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Miniature Mugo Pine

Post  bonsaisr on Fri Feb 17, 2012 6:41 pm

Thanks for the suggestions. Mine is outdoors in the sun with the rest of my bonsai all summer, & in the sunporch for the winter. I have successfully wintered these outdoors in the ground in Zone 5.
What I did right, I did the major wiring and styling in April 2010, & repotted it in June 2011. Before I bought it, it had been repotted previously into semi-bonsai soil, which also eased the transition.
But I am still waiting to see one in a show.
Iris

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Re: Miniature Mugo Pine

Post  Leo Schordje on Fri Feb 17, 2012 10:32 pm

Thanks Iris for the tip, I just picked up one of mugo 'Short Needle' from WeeTree. I was going to repot it this spring, but I will wait for summer. Good advice. AND I will take it easy on the pruning.

Mine has no taper, but there are a lot of branches to choose from, maybe within the decade I will have something.

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Re: Miniature Mugo Pine

Post  marcus watts on Sat Feb 18, 2012 6:01 am

Hi Iris,
Actually looking closely at the picture I think it may be a tricky one to do well - all the branches are coming very much from bud clusters so the tree is strongly producing the wheel spoke type of growth pattern - the bulges in the trunk are already forming where 4, 5 or even more branches are coming from the same spot. Very very top dominant too - look how thick all the apex branches are.

This indicates the most critical part of 'bonsai-ing' this tree will be bud thinning - plucking off all but 2 well placed medium strength ones from all terminals in the winter. As far as dealing with the existing branch clusters the needle pulling and slow killing off method sounds totally brilliant.

As for getting a tree good enough for a show.........probably not (ever?) with a garden nursery grown tree due to all the poor branch placements, bare trunk sections and lack of bud selection from an early stage. Growing one to be a bonsai from the earliest stage (grafted i guess?) so you can control the leader and main branch placement from day one would be the way to go - I guess 7-10 years would get a lovely 6" tree but the lower rootstock may become too swollen and overlarge, who knowns?

I'd use a garden center tree as the practice model and start off a few from scratch to get a good one. Traditionally slow growing genetic dwarfs aren't great bonsai subjucts as you spend so long waiting for things to happen, but the number of buds this little one must produce certainly will give you plenty to work with.

cheers Marcus

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Re: Miniature Mugo Pine

Post  lordy on Wed Mar 14, 2012 2:29 pm

I wish I had some insight for you other than to say dont let your dog get ahold of it. Dont ask me how I know.
I had this one for about 4 years before it's untimely demise. Evil or Very Mad It was maybe 4" tall from the soil.


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Re: Miniature Mugo Pine

Post  bruce muhlbaier on Wed Mar 14, 2012 9:23 pm

these mugo pines from Isle's are grown from cuttings,that is why they have no taper and week roots.treat them carefully but can make nice trees in time

bruce

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Re: Miniature Mugo Pine

Post  Deadwood on Sat Apr 21, 2012 7:02 pm

Baphomet huh? Twisted Evil

Sometimes I feel like I know someone through their post and light humor..... until stuff like this.

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Miniature Mugo Pine

Post  bonsaisr on Sun Apr 22, 2012 11:20 pm

Do you know who Baphomet is? He (a hermaphrodite) was originally a fake god invented by the Crusaders, who accused the Saracens (Muslims) of worshipping him. Later on the Knights Templars (an order of warrior monks) were accused of worshipping him. He has survived ever since as an object of religious folklore. In modern times he is a favorite of Wiccans & Satanists. My Internet garden buddy in Tennessee posted a photograph of some plants with this figurine in the middle. I loved it as a bonsai companion so she sent it to me. I sent her a Golem in exchange.
Baphomet scares bugs away from the mugo pine.
Iris

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Re: Miniature Mugo Pine

Post  fiona on Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:14 am

I have two plaster of paris skulls sitting beside my bonsai benches and a warning poster beside them that these are the remains of the last thieves who tried to steal my trees. I like to think it works.

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Re: Miniature Mugo Pine

Post  Russell Coker on Mon Apr 23, 2012 2:53 am

Deadwood wrote:I reject satanic idolletry in all of its forms.

Nice mugo. If you place small slits (3-4) on the inside of the curve of a wired branch, it will set the branch. Crush the idol and accept Christ as your Savior.


Seriously? Is this really the place for all of that? I don't think Iris, or anyone else needs to hear that on this forum.

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Re: Miniature Mugo Pine

Post  fiona on Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:39 am

Agreed. I would be happy for you to repost the second sentence of your comments again - but please leave it at bonsai advice only.

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Re: Miniature Mugo Pine

Post  Fore on Mon Apr 23, 2012 3:28 pm

Thanks Fiona and Russel! Let's leave this to bonsai please. Mugo's certainly are a unique pine to work with it's idiosyncrasies like not back budding if there's no needles present. I should've read up on this before I spent $25 on a small one with no interior needles. So I now have a landscaping Mugo with pom pom terminal buds. Live and learn. Good Luck Iris!

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Re: Miniature Mugo Pine

Post  bonsaisr on Sun Apr 29, 2012 10:24 pm

marcus watts wrote: all the branches are coming very much from bud clusters so the tree is strongly producing the wheel spoke type of growth pattern
Traditionally slow growing genetic dwarfs aren't great bonsai subjucts as you spend so long waiting for things to happen, but the number of buds this little one must produce certainly will give you plenty to work with.
cheers Marcus
Looking at this tree in the round, the growth is not as clustered as it seems. There are only two or maybe three branches at each level, without much swelling. You can't take much off without killing the tree. So you work with what you've got. As the candles develop I will be very careful to encourage growth where necessary.
Sorry, my development was arrested in Lilliput and I can't resist genetic dwarfs. My dog is a Boston terrier.
Iris

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Miniature Mugo Pine

Post  bonsaisr on Sat Mar 14, 2015 4:53 pm

Still trying. I don't remember what happened to 'Short Needle.' I was ready to give up, but last spring Bill V. had a 'Slowmound' for sale. He warned me that I would kill it, but I bought it anyway. I am working with the one insult a year theory. I did a little light pruning & thinning & removed one branch. In June I repotted it in a slightly oversize bonsai pot with coarse mix. It is very healthy. Last week we had a workshop with Dave Paris and it is being styled. I will try to restrain myself and repot it the following year.



Iris

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Miniature Mugo Pine

Post  bonsaisr on Sat Mar 14, 2015 5:12 pm

I searched online and could not find a single Iseli dwarf bonsai that looked like anything but a green lollipop. The Mugos in shows are all collected or full size nursery stock. Discouraging. No
I have to have a mugo pine because it is the only thing I can grow at all from Czech Republic. It is for the Golem. I should really have a European weeping birch, but I haven't succeeded with them & they are very hard to find.
Iris

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Re: Miniature Mugo Pine

Post  M. Frary on Sun Mar 15, 2015 1:40 pm

Doesn't Vance post on this forum?
Mugo isn't that tough of a tree once you listen to the man!
First off. Iris hit upon the right time to do rootwork. Summer. Sometime after Father's day of middle of June for our overseas friends.
Lo and behold! You can do the pruning and wiring then too. All at once. Did it. Watched Vance do it.
They will back bud on old wood. After the candle opens and as the needles start to harden cut back to 2 sets of needles.
When pruning leave at least a 1 inch stub or you could kill that side of the tree. It needs to think that branch is still there in order for it to continue sending energy up and around the cut off branch. After a while cut the stub off or Jin it.
Now after all that I must say. After the initial rootwork,pruning and rewiring you need to let it recover at least one year two is better.
This year I'm helping Vance repot a big one of these. It's been in one of his grow boxes for 10 years. 10 years between repots! It will get the usual. 1/3 of the compacted rootballs cut off the bottom and slices cut into that towards the trunk.
Mugos from nursery stock can become showstoppers. Google Vance Wood bonsai!

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Miniature Mugo Pine

Post  bonsaisr on Mon Mar 16, 2015 12:55 am

Thanks. I have read Vance's writings on mugo pine & larch. I do leave a stub on pines when pruning.
Iris

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Re: Miniature Mugo Pine

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