pinus mugo pre bonsai

brianjuniper

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100_1013.jpg100_1014.jpg100_1015.jpg100_1016.jpgThis is my new mugo. any possible suggestions/virtual for where i should go from here


thank you to all who answer Brian...
 

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Bonsai Nut

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Slip pot it into a bigger growing pot and backfill with loose bonsai soil. Don't disturb the roots. Fertilize heavily during growing season with organic fertilizer.

I would trim it in following fashion. Hard to tell with the photos how much you have to work with in terms of buds and growth close to the trunk. You want to let it grow strong and hope that after this trunk chop you get a lot of back budding. Let it recover for a year before doing anything else dramatic - just grow it as strong and fast as possible.

 

brianjuniper

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thanks for answering so quickly. Is now the time to chop or should i wait till late winter/ spring. thanks again for the response Brian.
 

Bonsai Nut

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thanks for answering so quickly. Is now the time to chop or should i wait till late winter/ spring. thanks again for the response Brian.

For where you live I would wait until early spring - just as you see the buds first starting to swell. You can move it into a bigger pot right now - as long as you don't mess with the roots. Don't fertilize either until the spring.
 

Vance Wood

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Go to the Valley Cushion thread on the Pines forum and read it from beginning to end, there's a lot of good information there that will be useful to you.

As to this tree. If this tree is going to be viewed as Pre-Bonsai it is up to you to bring it to that point. In my opinion you are going to have to treat this tree as prue raw stock and make it grow into what you would like it to be. This tree is probably not much older than five years if that and it demonstrates a lot of the problems you will encounter with young Mugo Pines. First of all the trunk is nothing to jump up and down about. Secondly the branching is nothing to jump up and down about. Those are the two major thing you need to contend with.

What you need to do is decide that the tree cannot at this point be styled into a bonsai that in five years you are going to be happy with, you need to treat it as a seedling or potted liner. One of the flaws in Mugos is the tendency to form knuckles. This one is not too bad but it is bad enough. What I mean by knuckles is a large bulge at the area where a group of branches have emerged from the early spring growth. This is common in most Pine but annoyingly so in Mugos. If you look you will see the the trunk where the first branch emerges is larger than the trunk below it. This will cause what we call a reverse taper.

I recommend removing that lower branch, but leave a one inch stub, do not cut it flush to the trunk. Proceeding up the tree you will notice a similar knuckle formation in every spot where you have branches. These are not too bad and can be dealt with. I suggest removing all but one of the branches at each location, generally the largest, leaving stubs as before. By doing this you will stimulate back budding on the trunk with a tree as young as this one. Place it in a larger pot or pond basket and let it grow being careful to not disturb any of the new buds that will break on the bare wood, these are very fragile and easily damaged. The more of these new buds you can get to develop the more options you will have in the future to remove branches that are too large for the trunk. Planting it in a larger pot or pond basket will allow the trunk to thicken. Your goal is to get the trunk to thicken instead of the branches which is the tendency for young Mugos.

This process is going to take some time but by the time the tree starts showing signs that give you ideas for a bonsai you will have gathered the developmental skills to work with larger trees and older trees.
 

brianjuniper

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thanks Vance, yes it is a young tree and i had really thought that first branch had to go i have plenty other stuff to keep me busy until this little guy is ready to be styled. when do you think the best time to cut the branches on mugos, when do u do it? we live in a similar zone? thanks, Brian.
 

brianjuniper

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"Place it in a larger pot or pond basket"

or the ground right? thanks Brian.
 

Vance Wood

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thanks Vance, yes it is a young tree and i had really thought that first branch had to go i have plenty other stuff to keep me busy until this little guy is ready to be styled. when do you think the best time to cut the branches on mugos, when do u do it? we live in a similar zone? thanks, Brian.

I usually cut branches in late summer, but mostly because it is convenient for me to do it at the same time I do a lot of other stuff. I would avoid early spring because the major sap flow may wind up gluing the tree to your hand.
 

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