Do these trees have potential? (Mugo pine, Birds nest spruce)

Cruiser

Seedling
Messages
19
Reaction score
19
Location
Washington
USDA Zone
8a
I found a birds nest spruce and Mugo pine at a local nursery. The root masses were not potted, missing chunks, and were exposed for at least a year. Despite that, the foliage looks ok on both trees.

The spruce has 3 trunks each 3-5 in diameter. The Mugo trunk is 4 in.

Both trees were potted into large containers to help their roots recover. Id like to prune some branches on the spruce soon and work on the pine branches this summer.

I’ve been learning about bonsai styling but I’m still new to all this so I’m not quite sure what the best way to prune these trees is.

Could someone more experienced please provide some direction?
 

Attachments

  • 995A39FC-7C88-4CA2-A18A-6FA9D1709F2C.jpeg
    995A39FC-7C88-4CA2-A18A-6FA9D1709F2C.jpeg
    340.3 KB · Views: 95
  • C3A45FBA-6C13-4C41-8B39-35BEB70788D6.jpeg
    C3A45FBA-6C13-4C41-8B39-35BEB70788D6.jpeg
    350.7 KB · Views: 90
  • F6CB53B4-E6E5-4CC9-BB06-2D6CACC48399.jpeg
    F6CB53B4-E6E5-4CC9-BB06-2D6CACC48399.jpeg
    338.7 KB · Views: 80
  • CD07A0E8-8D98-48EF-A22A-5F4AB29E95D6.jpeg
    CD07A0E8-8D98-48EF-A22A-5F4AB29E95D6.jpeg
    302.9 KB · Views: 72
  • AE7C8FF5-86BB-452D-A7DD-9A9025487492.jpeg
    AE7C8FF5-86BB-452D-A7DD-9A9025487492.jpeg
    235.3 KB · Views: 74
  • 8C7B32E0-8606-42C6-9F5B-C39E955B8FE6.jpeg
    8C7B32E0-8606-42C6-9F5B-C39E955B8FE6.jpeg
    283.8 KB · Views: 73
  • 54522829-341E-47D8-B59F-18B9B2441C40.jpeg
    54522829-341E-47D8-B59F-18B9B2441C40.jpeg
    288.1 KB · Views: 100

Potawatomi13

Masterpiece
Messages
3,931
Reaction score
2,591
Location
Eugene, OR
USDA Zone
8
Indeed yes. Perhaps number one best suggestion is keep healthy and alive until possible to contact local Bonsai club and meet with experienced member to get personal pointers moving forward. Trees seem to have very good potential and would be shame to kill them so PATIENCE most needed and is most hard skill to master for new Bonsai fans. Be aware most newcomers kill trees with impatience and excess of "attention" not needed nor desired by innocent tree.
 

edprocoat

Masterpiece
Messages
3,423
Reaction score
326
Location
Ohio/Florida
USDA Zone
6
Both make great Bonsai. I think you may still be able to find posts here from Vance Wood who is a master with the Mugho pine. I have had two very nice Bird's nest Spruce, they are very hardy and the new growth looks like little bright green flowers. This is not a good time to prune any conifer though due to sap flowing which will be like the tree bleeding to death. Prune these only when they are dormant late fall/winter. You will find with a Mugho Pine that usually the best part of the trunk is just below the surface of the soil, they tend to grow roots that encircle the trunk like a tourniquet which will make the trunk swell even thicker.
 

sorce

Nonsense Rascal
Messages
29,365
Reaction score
39,984
Location
Berwyn, Il
USDA Zone
6.2
Both make great Bonsai. I think you may still be able to find posts here from Vance Wood who is a master with the Mugho pine. I have had two very nice Bird's nest Spruce, they are very hardy and the new growth looks like little bright green flowers. This is not a good time to prune any conifer though due to sap flowing which will be like the tree bleeding to death. Prune these only when they are dormant late fall/winter. You will find with a Mugho Pine that usually the best part of the trunk is just below the surface of the soil, they tend to grow roots that encircle the trunk like a tourniquet which will make the trunk swell even thicker.

Hey man! Glad you're up!

Hope you're well!

Sorce
 

Cruiser

Seedling
Messages
19
Reaction score
19
Location
Washington
USDA Zone
8a
Indeed yes. Perhaps number one best suggestion is keep healthy and alive until possible to contact local Bonsai club and meet with experienced member to get personal pointers moving forward. Trees seem to have very good potential and would be shame to kill them so PATIENCE most needed and is most hard skill to master for new Bonsai fans. Be aware most newcomers kill trees with impatience and excess of "attention" not needed nor desired by innocent tree.
Thanks. I needed to hear this. It’s true, I’m excited to learn and impatient, but I don’t want to hurt these trees, so I’ll wait.
 

Cruiser

Seedling
Messages
19
Reaction score
19
Location
Washington
USDA Zone
8a
Both make great Bonsai. I think you may still be able to find posts here from Vance Wood who is a master with the Mugho pine. I have had two very nice Bird's nest Spruce, they are very hardy and the new growth looks like little bright green flowers. This is not a good time to prune any conifer though due to sap flowing which will be like the tree bleeding to death. Prune these only when they are dormant late fall/winter. You will find with a Mugho Pine that usually the best part of the trunk is just below the surface of the soil, they tend to grow roots that encircle the trunk like a tourniquet which will make the trunk swell even thicker.
Thanks for the advice. I thought Mugos were an exception and are ok to prune mid summer? Either way I’ll wait until someone local with more experience can have a look.
 
Messages
1,607
Reaction score
2,004
Location
Central NJ
USDA Zone
7a
Youre in Washington state, which means your trees should just be coming out of dormancy. Let grow through spring until summer pause at least until working them. I would prune back mid summer for the mugho and then fertilize heavily with a balanced fertilizer in late summer fall to promote backbudding. This will give you option next year to cut back to.

There is an excellent thread on mugho in the pines subforum with @Vance Wood's advice on mughos. They are a versatile hardy species.

The spruce I would treat like any spruce... after first flush of growth in early-mid may hardens off, you can prune back to the point just after the new growth's elongation to promote budding back on the branch. Fertilize as with the pine through late summer and fall.

Both species love lots of sunlight. Careful with your watering on the mugho. They like it on the drier side.
 

Similar threads

Top Bottom