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Thread: Mugo Pine 'MOPS" vs Mugo Pine Sherwood

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    Mugo Pine 'MOPS" vs Mugo Pine Sherwood

    Are dwarf Mugo Pine and Mugo Pine Sherwood the same? If not can you describe the difference. I would like to use them for Bonsai eventually.

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    Malick

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    "Mops" and "Sherwood Compact" are two different dwarf varieties of mugo pine(I've never heard of the variety Sherwood). From my experience, they are both very slow growing, with a very compact, bushy growth, and, generally, grafted. Google American Conifer Society and check out their database. You will find many dwarf and miniature varieties of mugo pine that have basically the same growth rate and form, though the foliage will have subtle differences in color and needle shape. I've heard people discuss them as possible material for bonsai, but have yet to see many bonsai made by any of them. Most mugo bonsai I've seen have been created from the species, and not dwarf cultivars. This isn't to say it can't be done, but I think it would be difficult developing a bonsai given the extremely slow growth rate of these trees. You would also have graft union to deal with in most cases. Good luck,

    Dave
    Last edited by Dav4; December 4th, 2010 at 02:42 PM.

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    The problem with the dwarf cultivars is that they do not like to have their roots messed with. Generally, the dwarfs do not have trunks that can be made to conform to pleasing bonsai shapes, though that does not mean this does not happen. I grow a lot of Mugos as bonsai and over the years I have found that the best ones are the species, and the cultivars, Montana (not easily found) Pumilia (pretty common), Tyrolian (the best). I generally don't touch anything smaller than those found in a three gallon container. Anything smaller usually have trunks that are not acceptable. How to find good Mugos is a complicated issue taking a lot of crawling around on the ground and getting your hands dirty searching through hundreds of nursery containers for trees with desirable bases.

    Unless you want to cultivate shohin or mame sized bonsai you would do best to stay away from the dwarfs. If you insist on using it, it is important that you repot and do drastic root work after the middle of June through the end of August. If you work on the roots in spring you will most likely lose the tree or see it sit on your bench and sulk for two more seasons. Also; when removing large branches make sure you leave a large stump or stub. This is to prevent portions of the trunk from dying down to the roots, and possibly killing the tree.

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    I just bought a Sherwood that's about 9" tall and has a 2" + trunk. Garden nursery stock no less. Since there's more I'll have to head back. I guess if I"m going to do any root work I better do it soon by the above post. I can't remember how well these mugo varieties back bud. can you fill me in a bit?
    Last edited by TheSteve; August 23rd, 2011 at 08:42 AM. Reason: typo
    "If you choose not to decide you still have made a choice."- Rush

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    Vance. if a person is supposed to work on the mugo roots this time of year, would you also recommend pruning back branches to a new bud at this time of year (I want to bring the existing canopy shorter)?

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    I had 3 Mugo Pines when I first got into pines and found that not only does summer repotting work, it benefits them! There was a surge of growth about 2 weeks after the repotting was done sometime in July. But I do recommend sticking to one major task per year. I don't know whether or not trunk chopping/heavy pruning at a specific time of year is different for each pine species, but I've always read winter is the safest. One pine authority in my area said mid-summer also works for pines due to their semi-dormant state. Since everyone's climate differs, I tend to value experience over literature.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tanlu View Post
    I had 3 Mugo Pines when I first got into pines and found that not only does summer repotting work, it benefits them! There was a surge of growth about 2 weeks after the repotting was done sometime in July. But I do recommend sticking to one major task per year. I don't know whether or not trunk chopping/heavy pruning at a specific time of year is different for each pine species, but I've always read winter is the safest. One pine authority in my area said mid-summer also works for pines due to their semi-dormant state. Since everyone's climate differs, I tend to value experience over literature.
    Just for anyone who may be interested I have root pruned, top pruned, and wired the same tree in the same year in the middle of the summer and still had the same result people, who have tried my methods, are now reporting---successful procedures.

    As to pruning to get back budding on older wood I usually do not do that the same year as the above. The following year, as the tree is starting to bud strongly, I will perform this task. It seems to work well as long as there are needles or small emerging buds in the areas where new growth is wanted. I do this in late June or early July along with bud removal and needle thinning. Sometimes you can get back budding on bare wood as long as it appears to have rough needle scales still visible on the branch. These are usually those branches that at some point became very dominant and grew dramatically at some point in the last two or three years six inches or more.

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