Don’t Butcher Your Pine
|The Mugo gets large when left unpruned|
I have to make this small entry, to save someone out there from the butchering I saw was once done to mugo pines. On the other hand, if you don’t keep up timely pruning, you will have a monster bush on your hands ( like said example above).
Now (Spring with the new growth) is the time to snip the new growth, called candles. Snipping these growing points is how the pines should be pruned.
I usually just cut them half off with shears. Occasionally, in the larger type (mugos vary) I will cut out the odd branch or two to shape it,. Don’t ever cut pines into their old wood, such as the massive pruning that is done on some deciduous bushes.
Mugho, or Swiss Mountain Pines are dwarf trees, and they keep their shape well with yearly attention in the spring. It doesn’t take very much time to trim them. Half an hour for a very large shrub.
I haven’t spotted them this year, yet, but my mugos have often gotten an ugly case of caterpillars that strip the needles. I hand pick those and burn them. I suppose you could drown them in something, but I live in the country where we can still burn things. A little bar-be-cue stove would work in the city.
The things we do for our garden!
If you’d like information on how to plant and grow a Mugo pine: