New Mugo


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Macon, Georgia U.S.A.
I stopped at my local Ace Hardware looking at sale items. I picked up a nice bald cypress and maple. I also splurged and spent $4 on this mugo pine. It is extremely pot bound. Water runs off the surface like it was canvas.

1. Can I slip-pot it into something larger now? I plan on using a pond basket and turface/granite soil mix.

2. I also would appreciate comments on styling, virts, and any suggestions.




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Now is a good time to do root work on Mugos. I bare rooted one three weeks ago and another three years ago in July. Both are doing fine.

See Vance Wood's Mugo article here:

Good find for four dollars. Its a bit leggy but you can get back budding to correct this problem. It doesn't look like it has the typical whorl and still has lots of needles close to the trunk. Read Hans' article carefully to get your Mugo to back bud (his article covers Mugo and Scotts and some operations are handled differently on these two trees).
See Hans van Meer's pine article here:

Good luck
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Thanks Waltr1,

In looking at the surface and trying to identify potential nebari, all I have is a tight web of fine roots on the surface. Is it OK to prune some of these away?

Thanks. I will give the articles a good read.

Great find...

I just pruned back candles and branches on my mugo and also repotted it, with the help of my bonsai club. So far, so good. I've read that July/August are the months to work on Mugos.

I too recommend reading up before doing anything, so that your better armed before you begin cutting roots and pruning back. I like those articles that were mentioned alot. Good stuff there!

With some of the branches a bit leggy, pruning the new years candles back will hopefully cause some new buds and new branching.

One person here at BN who is an excellent source of Mugo knowledge is Vance Wood. Google his name and read his articles. Hopefully soon his new book will be out, which I look forward to getting my hands on.

I wish you all the best with your new finds.
Any advice on how to expose potential nebari?


Before you can start cutting into the soil mass you need to start the new root development process by getting it into a training planter or pond basket. Saw one half of the soil mass off of the bottom of the soil ball. Take a rook hook or chop stick and loosen the roots growing around the outside of the remaining soil mass. Plant into the training vehicle and let it grow for two seasons at which time you can start doing some work on the top of the tree. At the beginning of the third season remove the tree from the training planter pond basket etc. and wash away the remaining soil from close into the trunk, trying not to distrub the new fine roots formed in the new soil, and see what kind of nebari you have to work with. This is kind of like making a hole in a doug nutt. Straighten out what can be straightened and replant into the training box.
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Thank you. I will plant it as you suggest in a pond basket. Should I prune any of the candles at this time?


Thank you. I will plant it as you suggest in a pond basket. Should I prune any of the candles at this time?

At this point pull out the main terminal buds with a pair of tweezers, don't cut the shoots.
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