Lonely Zundert Mugo - Thoughts on design and a couple questions.

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Last Christmas I spotted a lonely Mugo Pine in the 1/2 price nursery section of the locally owned hardware store. It was almost nightfall, but I thought there might be some possibilities in this tree. I knew something was up when the gardener thanked me for buying the tree. It seems it had been there for quite a long time.

I immediately dug it into the ground, pot and all, and forgot about it. In late February early March I took it out of the ground put It in the cold frame and waited. Things started warming up quickly, so I decided to pot it up. That went smoothly... lots of roots, trimmed about 30% or so of the roots and potted it in Boone’s mix. Since then all I did to it was water, fertilize (lots) and candle prune. It’s popping new buds already.

At his point I’m wanting to get some more input on the design. I was thinking a low cut. @Leo in N E Illinois thought down to 1st or 2nd whorl. Here’s full photos from all sides, also 3 photos from around the base. Please let me know what you think. 😊

My follow up question: Once my design is determined how much can I safely cut....and is this good timing for a chop?

Cheers
DSD sends
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0soyoung

Imperial Masterpiece
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Cut anytime between now (that new foliage is hardened) and Sep ought to produce lots of back budding.

The new foliage is the most productive, so the longer you keep it the stronger the tree gets. With mugos, one can cut off all this year's growth just like decandling a JBP (but it won't reflush, just new buds) and it will usually back bud all over the place (never quite where you want, though!). Otherwise, it is pretty much like any other pine.

There is a collected wisdom of Vance Wood on BNut. You may want to check that out.
 

Adair M

Pinus Envy
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Rather than “chop”, think about “cutting back”. Find places where 3 branches intersect, and remove one. It’s usually the center one, but not always. Cut to shorten internodes.
 

Waldo

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I would agree with Adair. your tree has great movement . I think it would make a great informal upright. I Bought a very similar mugo a few months ago. I removed about 2/3 of the root mass. I removed a few branches,
cleaned it up and repotted it. This is the initial style. A similar shaped trunk. So, if you are interested in this kind of form. It's an idea. I think this is similar to what Adair is suggesting. Not a finished tree by any means. please post progress. Good luck with it. mugo 8.jpg
 
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Thanks for the great ideas and information. I’m in the third reading of Vance Woods advice now. It’s good stuff!
At this point I figured I’d go out and prune and see what looks speaks to me. Here’s what the trees looks like now. Full view, two views...
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I can clearly see a solid informal upright in this Mugo pine..... yet it’s pretty leggy between the internodes, got a knob where the branch spoke can in and the taper in the trunk is there, but very gradual.... it doesn’t appear to be speaking to me yet.... looking at what the tree would look like if cut half way down....136EA5C7-EA8E-41E2-8C48-065E2AD36C26.jpeg

Now this is starting to speak... I could work with this.... looking close down low now.... looking at two sides

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I really like the thought of chopping to above the first wheel or the branch to make the thicker branch a top and hope for some back budding to help with branch reduction.

Hmm... at this point I’m thinking I should cut 1/2 way and see what kind of budding I get.

Any thoughts?
DSD sends
 

Waldo

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I think your will find that with much of that foliage removed it will back bud for your . Right now mine are back budding like crazy. I am following Vance Woods recommendations as well as some of Walter Palls suggestions regarding Mugos. I have organic fertilizer on my Mugos, Sumo Cakes. I also supplement with chemical fertilizers , Miracle grow. I am using a heavier concentration than the package recommends .
Seems to be working well. The trees all seem very happy and have lots of vigor and energy to back bud. I think the area where you have cut a large branch, about 2/3 of the way up would be a good place to train one of the branches at that location into a new leader. Also you have a lot of bar branches. In this photo of yours I think you could remove the lower right branch. Giving more emphasis to the branch on the left. I would also start bending branches down while they are still, relatively flexible. Fertilize, and monitor your watering closely. The one thing that Vance has convinced me of, is that these little trees are very forgiving. They will tolerate a lot. Again, good luck with it. Back budding in the next few years will advise you. Study the styling of other trees that may be similar to yours for styling ideas. 92CF9FD2-294E-4F30-823A-E8E481C65AFF.jpg
 
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