Nursery Mugo Pine Pumilio

amkhalid

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This post started over in the Karaoke Bar, but I have decided to move it here since the discussion of this trees is getting more serious...

In July you need to remove all of this season's new growth back to just above where it started this spring. Resist the advise to remove all of the old needles as is recommended with JBP. This technique does not work as well with Mugos as it does with JBPs and limits the possibilities of being able to predict where back budding will take place. If you keep going the way you are going you will wind up with pom pom Mugos. The fact that you cut the needles leaving stubs is a thing in your favor that will help but it is much better to have active needles where you want back budding, otherwise it is a crap shoot. This is a good tree and in a few years you will have something worth bragging about. As to cutting the Apex? I would like to know what and where you plan to cut if you don't mind my input? I ask because I suggest that be done now. The active circulation being interrupted will add to the growing fire you are trying to stimulate with new buds.
Yeah Vance I made that mistake... even though I had read Hans Van Meer's article which says in the early stages of Mugo development, old needles should be left on... that was a long time ago and I forgot...

So it is backbudding nevertheless, but yes, unpredictably. Most of the buds are way back at the base of the branches and there are big bare spaces with no buds.

So in july: just snip off all the new shoots?

And yes, I kind of think I have to cut off the apex. First of all, see that big ball-bulge where there used to be a whorl? That has to go. Second of all, its simply too tall for the proportions of the tree.

Red line shows what I consider to be the first option. There is already a bud where the new apex would be, should I make that cut, but it would take a few years to become strong.

Blue line shows a second option. Less likely, I probably won't do this.

As for doing it now, it had a pretty rough repot this spring... it was growing in 100% clay for probably 20 years and after washing most of that off and pruning a decent amount of roots, it is not very vigorous. It just sent out a weak set of 1-2" candles. I wasn't planning on doing anything to it this year, but what do you think?

Do you still think I should prune the top? And the new growth, considering that it is not super vigorous?

Thanks

Aaron
 

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amkhalid

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Oh and so you can make a better judgment call, here are pics of the tree today...

In training pot... gives you an idea of how low the taproots went... I couldn't reduce the rootball much more than this... :(

100_1781.jpg

Examples of this years growth... pretty weak

100_1784.JPG
100_1785.JPG
100_1786.JPG


Example of the type of backbudding I've seen this year. (I know, beautiful day today!)

100_1789.JPG

Alright Vance, hopefully that helps...
 
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snobird

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That Sumo tree of yours ask to be styled in some crazy style just for fun. Maybe octupus? I think one should keep crazy looking trees as well just to test peoples reaction. Maybe combine it with something else in future. I would put it on a miniature wall and call it Humpty Dumpty!
 

Klytus

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Determine which bud is the least likely to flourish and train the plant to accept it as the new leader.

Try to make it look leisured.
 

amkhalid

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Determine which bud is the least likely to flourish and train the plant to accept it as the new leader.

Try to make it look leisured.
Hi Klytus,

Can you elaborate on this? Why do you recommend selecting the weakest bud as the new leader, as opposed to a stronger one?

And what do you mean by making it look leisured? Do you mean make it look natural, or to match the movement of the trunk?
 

amkhalid

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That Sumo tree of yours ask to be styled in some crazy style just for fun. Maybe octupus? I think one should keep crazy looking trees as well just to test peoples reaction. Maybe combine it with something else in future. I would put it on a miniature wall and call it Humpty Dumpty!
No kidding... this is what it looked like from the side LOL... seriously looked like it was giving someone a piggy back.

I recently carved down the humpback though... such an ugly tree!
 

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not to be a hijacker but when would you cut it back to force that bud to become the apex? spring? fall?
 

Vance Wood

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No kidding... this is what it looked like from the side LOL... seriously looked like it was giving someone a piggy back.

I recently carved down the humpback though... such an ugly tree!
It is possible to reduce down the side of the tree with the hump. It is a better option than tossing the tree. I just did that very thing to a tree I have been working on. Over the years it developed an unsightly hump where an old root crossed over the turn at that point, probably what happened to yours. This can be carved down to even out the flow of the trunk. It will take years to heal but it will work.
 

Vance Wood

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This post started over in the Karaoke Bar, but I have decided to move it here since the discussion of this trees is getting more serious...



Yeah Vance I made that mistake... even though I had read Hans Van Meer's article which says in the early stages of Mugo development, old needles should be left on... that was a long time ago and I forgot...

So it is backbudding nevertheless, but yes, unpredictably. Most of the buds are way back at the base of the branches and there are big bare spaces with no buds.

So in july: just snip off all the new shoots?

And yes, I kind of think I have to cut off the apex. First of all, see that big ball-bulge where there used to be a whorl? That has to go. Second of all, its simply too tall for the proportions of the tree.

Red line shows what I consider to be the first option. There is already a bud where the new apex would be, should I make that cut, but it would take a few years to become strong.

Blue line shows a second option. Less likely, I probably won't do this.

As for doing it now, it had a pretty rough repot this spring... it was growing in 100% clay for probably 20 years and after washing most of that off and pruning a decent amount of roots, it is not very vigorous. It just sent out a weak set of 1-2" candles. I wasn't planning on doing anything to it this year, but what do you think?

Do you still think I should prune the top? And the new growth, considering that it is not super vigorous?

Thanks

Aaron
I did not realize you had repotted this tree this spring. Spring is, in my opinion, a bad time to repot Mugos. I would let it grow out if it has only produce two candles this spring and wait till fall before deciding what to do and which way to go. Do not do anything additional untill it starts to shoot.
 

amkhalid

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Vance, when do you repot your Mugos?

And if you repot later in the season, do you provide any additional winter protection?

We live in similar climates, so your advice is really helpful.
 

amkhalid

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It is possible to reduce down the side of the tree with the hump. It is a better option than tossing the tree. I just did that very thing to a tree I have been working on. Over the years it developed an unsightly hump where an old root crossed over the turn at that point, probably what happened to yours. This can be carved down to even out the flow of the trunk. It will take years to heal but it will work.
Yes, as I mentioned I have carved down the hump since that pic... still a horrific tree though :)
 
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