Pruning MUGO Pine Pom Pom Trees

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by TyWebb, Apr 13, 2005.

  1. TyWebb

    TyWebb LawnSite Member
    Posts: 8

    Was just wondering if anyone has any experience with pruning these ornamental trees. We've had ours in the ground for 2 years now and it doesn't seem to be sending any new growth anywhere. I was told by the nursery we purchased it from to allow the "candlesticks" that come up in the spring to develop, but all that did last year was thicken the individual "pom poms" and did nothing to encourage a new branch from growing.

    Any help would be appreciated!
  2. Vaughan's Lawns

    Vaughan's Lawns LawnSite Member
    Posts: 7

    Yes, by pinching or breaking in half the candles is the best way to prune mugo's. Mike
  3. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

    I'm a little confused with your meaning.You have let the new candles develop and grow right are there any new candles?The new candles are the new growth and thats how the tree grows off of those.If your Mugho
    pine is not sending out new candles each spring then something is wrong.These and all pines need good fast draining soil and cant stand wet feet.They also don't like to be tromped around or planted to deep.They like a fast draining sandy soil and sun.Yours may not be getting enough sunlight.So check to see if there is too much soil piled over it's base-that it's planted in fast draining soil and in a place where water dosent stand very long-and check to see if it gets at least 6hours of full sun a day.Then don't over water it in summer and don't feed it any fast acting chemical fertilizers and see how it does.
  4. TyWebb

    TyWebb LawnSite Member
    Posts: 8

    Sorry for the confusion. The tree is producing "candles" every spring. However, last spring I was told to leave them alone and the tree would branch out. What happened was the candles developed needles and thickened the "pom poms" (something I didn't want).

    So I guess my question is how do you identify which candles are going to develop in to new branches, or do you have to graf a couple of those together to actually create a new branch.
  5. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

    Well what is it you want?Are you trying to get it to branch a certain way or what?A topiary?\

    It takes more than one years growth for a branch to become a branch sometimes,can you take a pic or give me an example pic of what you are trying to achieve and then I can better help you.
    I recommend not trying to prune a Muhgo Pine at all.They are what they are and tree's are like people in the fact they don't like being shaped into something they are not.Do you know they have a rounded mound form?

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