Good Mugo Pine Stock

Mike423

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I'm looking for some good Mugo stock that isn't in the common broom shape with multiple branches converging on the same part of the trunk causing a bulging effect. Something that could possibly be trained into a nice informal upright shohin specimen similar to the picture of the Mugo below.
 

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Bonsai Nut

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Funny... I was just looking at Ponderosa Pines the other day and I bumped into someone selling Mugos.... and now for the life of me I can't find the site. I'll try to locate it - it may have been in the nursery links pages because I have been checking links the last couple of days to make sure they are all good.
 

Vance Wood

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I'm looking for some good Mugo stock that isn't in the common broom shape with multiple branches converging on the same part of the trunk causing a bulging effect. Something that could possibly be trained into a nice informal upright shohin specimen similar to the picture of the Mugo below.

This particular Mugo is one of mine. It was developed from a three gallon nursery tree over a period of several years. When I obtained the tree it was in the form we all associate with nursery Mugos, sheared in the mound shape with an abundance of branches all over the place. You are not likely going to be able to find a Mugo with a single trunk line in America because the nursery trade cultivates them to look like bushes. It takes time, imagination and effort to get this kind of result by reducing and pruning down the original stock.

If you want a Shohin, look at material in the one gallon range, dig around in the pot and eventually you will find something that does indeed have a large trunk with the kind of branching you can use to develop a single trunk. I believe Mugos to be one of the best trees for bonsai in this country but they take a lot of work and are not likely to be instant bonsai candidates.
 

woodguy

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You pretty much have to look through a whole lot of nursery stock. I have several that have decent trunks and good potential but I looked through hundreds to find them. Then as Vance said you have to still put in a good bit of work to make them into bonsai. I love mugos and every time I see them at a nursery I have to go and pick up and examine every one to see if there might be decent trunk under all those needles. Usually there isn't... but sometimes you get lucky. Good luck hunting.
 

Mike423

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"I love mugos and every time I see them at a nursery I have to go and pick up and examine every one to see if there might be decent trunk under all those needles." haha I like that one

Thanks guys, I guess it sounds like my best bet is to just keep searching and hope I can find some diamond in the rough stock at a nursery. Great job Vance that mugo is phenomenal. Kind of funny how pictures circulate on the web :)
 
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Vance Wood

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"I love mugos and every time I see them at a nursery I have to go and pick up and examine every one to see if there might be decent trunk under all those needles." haha I like that one

Thanks guys, I guess it sounds like my best bet is to just keep searching and hope I can find some diamond in the rough stock at a nursery. Great job Vance that mugo is phenomenal. Kind of funny how pictures circulate on the web :)

Don't give up on finding a good Mugo, they're out there and not quite so uncommon as one might think. You have to be willing to get your hands in under all the low branches and dig down into the soil a little bit to see, or really feel, if you have a decent trunk to work with. For the most part I look at 3 gallon trees because they have some age on them and it is easier to find a good trunk. The smaller ones are of course younger and smaller and the trunks seem to follow but occasionally you find a good one of those as well.
 

Vance Wood

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I might add to my above remarks there is some prejudice toward this tree. There are those who claim you cannot make a good bonsai out of a nursery Mugo. Of course this is not true in my opinion, but try not to let these nay-sayers influence. Most of them think the only thing worth working with are Yamadori, something most of us do not have access to either because of location or financial limitations.
 

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