Best way to trim a Mugo Pine?

mbrnaMay 19, 2008

Any idea how to trim a mature Mugo? I have two that have taken over their place in my yard. They are about 20 years old, and the one I trimmed really took off since I trimmed it.


Here's a link to a couple photos of these beasts

Thanks for any reply.


Here is a link that might be useful: How do I trim these?

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With paper scissors.

I think they look very nice the way they are ;-)


    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 9:10AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i sorta agree with resin ....

either enjoy them for what they are ....

or think about getting rid of them ...

when they were babes. they were not sited properly versus their ultimate size ....

though it is possible to beat them back with a stick .... you could make a much better statement with new and improved choices for your landscape ...


    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 9:43AM
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dcsteg(5 Shawnee, KS.)

"How do I trim these"?

You don't. Way over grown for the area. They have out lived their usefulness and will only continue to get bigger.

These two Mugo Pines are arboretum size material.

Replace them with something that will give better balance to your landscape.


    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 10:03AM
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I guess they could have been "bonzaied" when they were smaller, but its too late now.....

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 10:50AM
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They look fantastic -- healthy, happy, mature. I hope my babies thrive like that. I would never ever cut down something so healthy and beautiful.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 11:37AM
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The one ate a traffic sign... I say yank them out and either replace then with little ones and watch them grow again or pick another plant for some variety.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 12:31PM
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If you're not in the position to take them out, my practical, albeit amateur, advice would be to get ladder, a good pair of pruners and cut the candles. (Don't cut beyond the candles.) Won't reduce the current size, but will keep them from expanding. Even though infortunately positioned, they are nice.

I'm fond of Mugos and pass by several in my neighborhood that are the size of small planets - literally covering entire yards. Mine are 35+ years old and each late spring I do a ritual candle cutting. They've stayed remarkably tidy and well in bounds. Don't know the variety, but most likely something dwarf(er) to begin with.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 1:13PM
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Thanks for the replies!

What does "do not cut beyond the candles" really mean?
I guess the candles are the upright parts...but are you saying not to cut below the needles on an upright?

While the landscape in our yard is very mature, I have learned not to be afraid of hacking (or over-hacking) away at things until they are somewhat manageable again. Usually things grow back twice as big later -- so I'm not worried about killing off anything.

I asked about trimming the Mugos in case there is a correct method so that I don't ruin their looks. My choices are to reduce the number of candles?? in each bush, or cut the tops off all of them and make the bush shorter.

I gather by the responses above, anything I do will not necessarily achieve my goal to reduce the size of these beasts.

Someone tell the people who landscape a new house to spread things out and not put trees and bushes so close to each other nor to the home. This isn't the first house I owned/seen with crowded landscaping.

thanks again!

    Bookmark   May 20, 2008 at 8:16AM
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The 'candles' are the new growth this spring from the buds, before the new needles expand.


    Bookmark   May 20, 2008 at 12:12PM
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