Return to the Conifers Forum | Post a Follow-Up

Best way to trim a Mugo Pine?

Posted by mbrna 5 (My Page) on
Mon, May 19, 08 at 8:53

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?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Best way to trim a Mugo Pine?

With paper scissors.

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


RE: Best way to trim a Mugo Pine?

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 ...


RE: Best way to trim a Mugo Pine?

"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.


RE: Best way to trim a Mugo Pine?

I guess they could have been "bonzaied" when they were smaller, but its too late now.....

RE: Best way to trim a Mugo Pine?

They look fantastic -- healthy, happy, mature. I hope my babies thrive like that. I would never ever cut down something so healthy and beautiful.

RE: Best way to trim a Mugo Pine?

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.

RE: Best way to trim a Mugo Pine?

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.

RE: Best way to trim a Mugo Pine?

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!

RE: Best way to trim a Mugo Pine?

The 'candles' are the new growth this spring from the buds, before the new needles expand.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Conifers Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here