Thursday, June 10, 2010

Today is finally the day...

My Mugho Pines have been begging to have their candles trimmed... 
and today is finally the day.

Mugho Pines grow by putting out new growth from the end of each branch in the Spring. 
The new growth is called a candle.

The right time to prune the candles is before the needles open.
As you can see from my pictures below, I've almost waited too long as the needles have already begun to open.  Experience tells me it's not too late, the branch is still very tender. Optimum time is before the shoot has opened but the reality of life is sometimes we don't always get to choose the optimum.

If I want to shape them this year, I need to do it today. 

Fast forward a couple of hours...
 Trim the Mugho Pines... done!

Here are the before and after shots of just a few of my mugho's:

In this particular location I love how this mugho is spreading wide and low. The before shot on the left shows this mugho needs only a branch or two trimmed. The after shot on the right shows it looking much more balanced. Just perfect for what I want to accomplish in this spot! I prune the candles each year to allow them to fit the space that I have planned for them.

This is the same mugho with the picture taken from another angle. The pic on the right is after my candle trim this morning... looks great! Can you tell which direction the winds blow in my garden?

For some reason this mugho is growing taller and more dense on the left side so I trimmed the candles on the left but not so much on the right to allow it to catch up a bit.  I want this plant to grow taller because it sits on a berm that lends a little privacy to our yard.  (We live in an open space neighborhood with paved pathways separating back yards. So much nicer than fences!) This mugho is still a work in progress, but then, aren't they all? Just a little effort for so much pleasure! 

So what have we learned today?
Cutting back the candles of Mugho Pines allows you to shape them
and somewhat control their height and width. 
It also encourages denser growth.

Never cut below the candles 
as it will never fill in properly
and will leave your Mugho Pine looking deformed.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the fave on Blotanical, how very nice of you to do that for me.

    What a great gardening blog, beautifully laid out, and interesting posts.

    I look forward to visiting again.

    Jen ~ Muddy Boot Dreams


Welcome to my gardens!
Your comments are the sweet nectar that keeps me posting.
So glad you stopped by!