Collected Mugo Pines. Help!

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#1
So I just got two mugo pines from free Craigslist (like 5 mins ago). I know it’s the wrong time of year to be doing anything in the way of collecting/planting/potting, but the guy wanted them gone ASAP. It also happens to be 100 degrees in Michigan today (great lol).

My question is, to keep them alive, is it best to get them into pumice ASAP? Plant them in my yard to collect them later? Or plant them in some kind of potting soil?

Also, if the answer is to put them in pumice, do I have to worry about bare-rooting them?

Thank you!
 
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#2
Check Vance Woods compiled mugo guide on the forum here.
This guy knows them better than the back of his hand.
From what I read, summer repotting is alright.

My own mugo's were treated like crap by me, and made it. But it's better to go the safe way and take his experience over mine.
 

Adair M

Pinus Envy
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#5
So I just got two mugo pines from free Craigslist (like 5 mins ago). I know it’s the wrong time of year to be doing anything in the way of collecting/planting/potting, but the guy wanted them gone ASAP. It also happens to be 100 degrees in Michigan today (great lol).

My question is, to keep them alive, is it best to get them into pumice ASAP? Plant them in my yard to collect them later? Or plant them in some kind of potting soil?

Also, if the answer is to put them in pumice, do I have to worry about bare-rooting them?

Thank you!
When you dig, get as much soil/roots as you can.

Keep rootball moist as you build a grow box

Pumice is great! Use it.

Build grow boxes just big enough to contain rootball with maybe 1 inch gap all around. When you place tree in box use whatever means necessary to attach the tree to the box so that there is absolutely no wiggle at all. None. Use wedges, wire, staples, rebar, screws... whatever. No wiggle. This is MOST important.

Backfill with pumice, being careful to fill all the voids, but not damage roots.

Set the tree in where it will be for the next 6 months and give the box a few firm raps with the heel of your fist. That should help the soil settle.

Water in well. Really well. Water again ina half hour. Then water as usual.

The above process is valid for pretty much any conifer.
 
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#6
When you dig, get as much soil/roots as you can.

Keep rootball moist as you build a grow box

Pumice is great! Use it.

Build grow boxes just big enough to contain rootball with maybe 1 inch gap all around. When you place tree in box use whatever means necessary to attach the tree to the box so that there is absolutely no wiggle at all. None. Use wedges, wire, staples, rebar, screws... whatever. No wiggle. This is MOST important.

Backfill with pumice, being careful to fill all the voids, but not damage roots.

Set the tree in where it will be for the next 6 months and give the box a few firm raps with the heel of your fist. That should help the soil settle.

Water in well. Really well. Water again ina half hour. Then water as usual.

The above process is valid for pretty much any conifer.

Awesome! Thank you.
 

M. Frary

Bonsai Godzilla
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#7
Actually since we do footwork now on them you should in theory be able to collect them now.
Vance doesn't dig many trees. He uses nursery stock.
Wet the ground first so the soil sticks together better when you're digging.
Dig at the drip line at the least.
Keep all the field soil you can.
I bring the container to the collection site.
I also back fill with the field soil fro the area.
Get it home and water the hell out of it to settle the soil.
Put it in shade.
daily.
Once you see that it is recovering move gradually to full sun.
Leave for at least 2 years before doing anything more to it.
 
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#8
We'll still transplant stuff at work (although we would avoid transplanting an established tree on a 100F day, sometimes the client gives you no choice). I would treat it like a regular landscape material plant being transplanted, pretty much exactly as M. Frary described. In theory the only issue really is water if you do little to no damage to roots and don't leave the tree out of soil medium too long without enough soil covering the roots drying them out. I've transplanted plenty of large shrubs and trees in the heat with success. Occasionally one goes into shock but more often than not they recover, often during the following season. The biggest issue is water when it is hot.
 
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#9
One piece of advice, bring burlap. Even out of the soil for a short while an uncovered rootball can get damaged by heat and put the plant into shock. Just cover it around the root ball until you move to its pot; twine if needed to secure it around. You could even put it in the pot with burlap (some growers will do this for nursery stock). It is amazing how quick the heat can shock a plant when dug up when it is in this temperature range. While it's not necessarily a death sentence, it certainly doesn't make things easier.
 

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