mugo pine white bud

sean f

Mame
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hello,this is a mugo pine white bud.i have had this tree since july 08,it was in a 4 in nursery pot.
i removed a few thin,weak branches,light root pruning and put it in a 6 in pot i had laying around
all i did this summer was clean needles from branches.
I'm already thinking ahead to next summer.i'd like to open the tree up a little,does anyone know when the best time to prune this variety can be or how much foliage can be safely removed?
any ideas or suggestions welcome
thanks sean
 

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Vance Wood

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This tree is typical of the dwarf varieties; the classic sling shot problem. What you need to do is decide which portion of the trunk to keep and develop on into a bonsai and which one to remove and discard. This will also mean that you will have to change the planting angle to make the surviving trunk more vertical in order to make it into a believable bonsai.
 

emorrin

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That is interesting. Basically remove one of the two sides and re pot on a new angle. I can see that progressing into something nice in a few years. My question is, would not removing half the foliage on a dwarf species cause a high likely hood that it may not survive? I have read that this dwarf species needs to be treated more gingerly than a regular mugo pine.

I have a white bud mugo as well. I stuck it in a pond basket last year and removed a few unwanted branches. Other than that, I still have not envisioned anything for it yet. Mine does not have that sling shot issue.

http://s265.photobucket.com/albums/ii208/emorrin/2009 Bonsai/?action=view&current=100_2554.jpg
 

Vance Wood

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That is interesting. Basically remove one of the two sides and re pot on a new angle. I can see that progressing into something nice in a few years. My question is, would not removing half the foliage on a dwarf species cause a high likely hood that it may not survive? I have read that this dwarf species needs to be treated more gingerly than a regular mugo pine.

I have a white bud mugo as well. I stuck it in a pond basket last year and removed a few unwanted branches. Other than that, I still have not envisioned anything for it yet. Mine does not have that sling shot issue.

http://s265.photobucket.com/albums/ii208/emorrin/2009 Bonsai/?action=view&current=100_2554.jpg
Removing one of the forks should still be in the realm of possibility if done in the summer and a stub is left to dry, harden and the life line diverted.
 

sean f

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I've thought about removing one of the branches to make it smaller.there also is a small knob at the base of the slingshot that will most likely cause reverse taper if not dealt with soon
Vance what do you mean by divert the live vein?
 

Vance Wood

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I've thought about removing one of the branches to make it smaller.there also is a small knob at the base of the slingshot that will most likely cause reverse taper if not dealt with soon
Vance what do you mean by divert the live vein?
If you cut flush, as is the custom of some, two things could happen: One the tree could die from the shock of losing half the tree; possible but not likely in the summer. By leaving a stub you are causing the live veins running to this portion of the tree time to adjust without killing the adjacent roots. Two: By cutting flush you will encourage the formation of a large scar which should be avoided, and can be avoided, by leaving a stub for a couple of years till it dries out and then either jin the thing or cut it flush. The other knob that you mention as being small. If it has dried out it will not effect the tree at all from this point on. If you see it as a problem you should remove it.
 

Attila Soos

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If you cut flush, as is the custom of some, two things could happen: One the tree could die from the shock of losing half the tree; possible but not likely in the summer. By leaving a stub you are causing the live veins running to this portion of the tree time to adjust without killing the adjacent roots.
....or, if one wants to play it safer, for the sake of healthy roots, the removal of the large branch can be done in two steps, the first step being that one removes most of the branch, but leaves a small live portion of it (i.e. the lowest secondary branch), and then 6 months later remove the rest of it, leaving a stub, as Vance described it. This way the lifeline will have plenty of time to adjust toward the remaining half.
 

Vance Wood

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....or, if one wants to play it safer, for the sake of healthy roots, the removal of the large branch can be done in two steps, the first step being that one removes most of the branch, but leaves a small live portion of it (i.e. the lowest secondary branch), and then 6 months later remove the rest of it, leaving a stub, as Vance described it. This way the lifeline will have plenty of time to adjust toward the remaining half.
That might even be a better option considering the relative size of the removal and the fact that the tree is one of the dwarf varieties. In fact after thinking about this for a "few" I think I will deffer to that option as being the best decision.

There is another unintended consequence to a large removal that this will hopefully head off at the pass, and that is of a total die back all the way down the side of the trunk where the old live veins supported that side of the tree now removed.
 

sean f

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I understand what you mean now,thanks for the information.now all i have to do is decide which side to remove. both sides are well branched,so i have all winter to figure out what to do.
vance i was looking at pictures of your mugos..very nice..thanks sean
 

emorrin

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I have been basically only been removing a branch or two each year on my white bud to be on the safe side as well. I have time and am in no hurry. Besides having a few extra branches on it will help it thicken the trunk a bit faster.
 

Vance Wood

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I understand what you mean now,thanks for the information.now all i have to do is decide which side to remove. both sides are well branched,so i have all winter to figure out what to do.
vance i was looking at pictures of your mugos..very nice..thanks sean
Here is what I would do with it. First of all you are going to have to tilt the planted angle a little either one way or the other depending on which side of the tree is removed. I would remove the tree from the nursery container, remove with your fingers as much of the surface soil that comes off without tearing into the roots. This will let you know just where the first surface roots actually begin. Then tilt the tree to allow the remaining portion of the tree that is left, in this case you are considering both sides as you have not yet decided which side to remove, to point more or less upward. Examine the branches on the remaining side (which ever it might be) for branching and trunk movement if any and make your decision from there. Remember we have only begun reducing this tree there is more to follow.

A year after the one side is removed you will have to start reducing branches in order to create a bonsai form. I figure it will take at least three seasons of work before this little guy starts looking like something. This is after all the fun and the pain of creating bonsai out of Mugo Pines. Most of the beginning work is involved in removing the unwanted and encouraging that which is left into a bonsai form. I would very much enjoy helping you through this process once you get started, and I am sure others here feel the same.
 

Vance Wood

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I have been basically only been removing a branch or two each year on my white bud to be on the safe side as well. I have time and am in no hurry. Besides having a few extra branches on it will help it thicken the trunk a bit faster.
You may not want the upper portion of the tree to thicken, especially if you want to keep the tree small. The key is removing the correct branches, especially those that occur at the ubiquitous knuckles. This is the one major draw back with this cultivar, (the others are not much better but easier to deal with) branches formed from the knuckle or whorl will always cause an unsightly bulge to form and remain distorting any type of logical taper to the trunk.
 

emorrin

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You may not want the upper portion of the tree to thicken, especially if you want to keep the tree small. The key is removing the correct branches, especially those that occur at the ubiquitous knuckles. This is the one major draw back with this cultivar, (the others are not much better but easier to deal with) branches formed from the knuckle or whorl will always cause an unsightly bulge to form and remain distorting any type of logical taper to the trunk.
Yes, now that you mention it, I can see how it could get reverse taper rather quickly. I guess it is a bit too late this year to work on but I will definitely heed to your advise when I work on it next summer. I will have to figure out what I want to keep and remove the rest. I am looking to keep this mame.
 

sean f

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hello,..i ve been very busy lately. with my newborn baby girl,not much time to work on trees.
i,m ready to start working on this mugo. i'll post some pics of it to show which side i'm going to keep
vance..when is a good time to prune this varietty
 
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