Magnolia stellata

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Western Long Island, NY
USDA Zone
7B
#1
A local nursery has a small B+B M. stellata I was considering turning into bonsai (or a nice little Mugo Pine that is a bit pricey). It could make an interesting broom style but it's a little large. It's currently flowering, would a chop at this time be bad?
 

0soyoung

Imperial Masterpiece
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Anacortes, WA (AHS heat zone 1)
USDA Zone
8b
#2
#1 get it out of the B&B muck and into a good inorganic substrate
#2 let it grow and set flower buds
#3 enjoy the flowers next year and then chop it (chop it good!)

Maybe you don't wanna, now that I've said that.

I have had mugo, I still have mugo. IMHO, one should not pay much for a decent mugo (i.e., less than $50). Buy the stellata - they are a kick. Meanwhile, look for a reasonably priced pine. Mugo is okay, but p. thunbergii and/or p. densi are far better. Buy some 0-3 saplings if you can (about $15 a pop) and have a ball raising them - they grow fast and allow one to really create 'their tree'. Now that is F U N, IMHO. P. nigra (Austrian/european black pine) are just as fun to grow, but offer bigger challenges controlling needle size as refined bonsai. P. sylvestris (scots pine) is maybe better and is handled a lot like mugo, if that matters. You might be able to find a bigger one with some nice bark in a garden center.
 

0soyoung

Imperial Masterpiece
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Location
Anacortes, WA (AHS heat zone 1)
USDA Zone
8b
#4
They (stellata, mugo) are two entirely different things. One would do different things to each and one will be working on them at different times.

If it is a budget matter, get the stellata soon (might be on sale in a few weeks time) and the mugo in a few months time. It is best to repot/prune mugos after the summer solstice.

Why are you having to choose (as opposed to just buying both)?


One cannot have too many trees.
Only too few.
 

coh

Masterpiece
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Location
Rochester, NY
USDA Zone
6
#7
I've got a Magnolia 'leonard messel' (cross between kobus and stellata), commonly available at nurseries. Been playing around with it for 4 or 5 years now. Fairly slow to develop/thicken
in the container so I've been thinking about planting it in the ground. It's blooming right now, generally I let it bloom and then cut back before the new growth gets too far along.

Also have one of the "little girl" hybrids in the ground for possible future bonsai use. I think it's "Jane" which is a cross between liliflora and stellata. Completely different flower style. Most attractive I think just as the buds are swelling but before they open as the flowers are so large.
 

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