Pinus mugo

Discussion in 'Gymnosperms (incl. Conifers)' started by landsco5, Dec 7, 2005.

  1. landsco5

    landsco5 Member

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    What are two factors that should be considered when choosing a particular Pinus mugo
    cultivar at a nursery or garden centre.
     
  2. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    first one from me would by "why do I want a mugo?" :)
     
  3. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Find out whether it is a low-growing cultivar (derived from P. mugo subsp. mugo), or an erect, tall-growing cultivar (derived from P. mugo subsp. uncinata)

    For Paul - I'd guess, because (a) it is quite an attractive shrub, and (b) there are not many other alternatives hardy in zone 4. One that is worth looking into is Pinus pumila (Dwarf Siberian Pine).
     
  4. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Micheal F. sorry, I am not a big fan of them, overused around here.
     
  5. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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  6. Ralph Walton

    Ralph Walton Active Member 10 Years

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    Michael: I would never have guessed those were mugo pines! Paul is right, they are over used around here (gov't spec in landscape contracts; keeps getting cut & pasted into new contracts in lieu of actual design work!), but they don't look anything like these pics. If they did, we'd see even more of them.
    What are the climatic conditions where they are native? Are they alpine in the photos?

    Ralph
     
  7. pierrot

    pierrot Active Member 10 Years

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    for Paul

    here is a couple of Mugo's from VanDusen. I agree it is over used in the landscape but you gotta remember it is easier to say the words Pinus mugo than to actually give a clear definition. So many cultivars and so many names that look almost the same like a Pinus Mugo
     

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  8. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Scale insects becoming prevalent on them around Seattle. Cold climate conifers generally bug prone here in USDA 8, where winters are too mild to kill sucking pests off.
     
  9. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    What are two factors that should be considered
    when choosing a particular Pinus mugo cultivar
    at a nursery or garden centre.


    I look for any browning of the needles as for us
    spider mites can be a problem here. Tip and shoot
    moths can be a problem in Oregon. I also look
    for any resin (sap) anywhere on the tree.

    It depends on what we want from the plant for a
    specific spot or whether we want to grow the
    tree in a container. Some people like the golden
    needle forms which are very nice but they have
    their limitations also, especially in warm climates.
    Varieties of Pinus mugo can make nice container
    plants. For some reason I do better with the named
    varieties grown as container plants rather than in
    the ground, although Pinus mugo var. pumillo (sorry
    Michael I am too regimented to change over to
    subspecies), not to be confused with Pinus mugo
    'Pumilla' as they are not the same plant and I have
    both of them, have done very well for me in the
    ground.

    Ralph, I have an old Pinus mugo var. uncinata
    growing in a Western Garden book zone 3 without
    any trouble.

    Michael, I like Pinus pumila a lot. A pretty Pine
    all year round for me in the mountains..

    Jim
     
  10. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Hi Ralph, - they're at 2300m altitude, 41°42'N 23°31'E, at the southeastern limit of the species' range, middle of its altitudinal range there (1800-2700m); slightly above the tree line (scattered Pinus peuce at 2250-2300m).

    The whitish tips on the needles on the 2nd photo are water droplets from cloud condensation - it was cloudy up there shortly before I took the photo

    Hi Jim - Pinus mugo var. pumilio is just a synonym of Pinus mugo subsp. mugo var. mugo. This species has suffered more than most from the attentions of over-zealous plant namers (Farjon lists over 170 synonyms in his Kew checklist of conifers)
     
  11. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Our source of Pinus mugo var. pumillo came
    out of Switzerland and is a shorter plant than
    mugo var. mugo is of which we had some
    25 foot tall ones in the Conifer collection in
    the nursery. Mugo var. pumillo will only get
    up to about 6-8 feet tall in 25-30 years in
    comparison of same aged plants.

    Technically, there are people that feel mugo
    var. mugo
    is synonymous with mugo var.
    mugus
    of which some people also feel that
    mugo var. pumilio is included in that same
    group but mugo var. pumillo is a different
    plant than the others..

    Jim
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2005
  12. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Hi Jim,

    Pinus mugo subsp. mugo var. mugo typically only reaches 1-3m tall. If you had one that got significantly taller than that, it wasn't that, being either Pinus mugo subsp. uncinata or (perhaps more likely) Pinus mugo nothosubsp. rotundata (= hybrid subsp. mugo x subsp. uncinata)

    Sorry, this is incorrect, as Pinus mugo var. mugo is an autonym (i.e., automatically the valid name as it is the type variety, and therefore must take the same varietal name as the species name). It is the other way round, with var. mughus being the synonym.

    For a detailed monograph of the species, see Christensen, K.I. (1987). Taxonomic revision of the Pinus mugo complex and P. × rhaetica (P. mugo × sylvestris) (Pinaceae). Nordic J. Botany 7: 383-408. Essential reading for any discussion of the species!
     
  13. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Sorry, this is incorrect, as Pinus mugo var. mugo is an
    autonym (i.e., automatically the valid name as it is the
    type variety, and therefore must take the same varietal
    name as the species name). It is the other way round,
    with var. mughus being the synonym.


    Yes, I realized my mistake after I wrote the post and
    said the hell with it. There was a time that mughus
    was considered to be a subspecies, not a variety of
    mugo. Based on the plants we had in the collection
    and they are still there intact, we always felt that
    mughus was a subspecies of mugo. In the last few
    years I am seeing more of the mugus spelling and
    how it is being used in relation to mugo is not the
    mughus that I know. We may very well be talking
    two different forms here. Yes, I should have
    written that mugus is considered by some people
    to be a synonym of mugo. I did have it backwards.
    On the other hand there is no comparison of a
    mugo var. pumilio and mugo var. pumillo as they
    are not even close to being the same form. They
    are worlds apart in needle color, needle length
    and growth habit. Spreading is not a term to be
    used for pumillo, that is "way" wrong!

    Jim
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2005
  14. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    There will always be some disagreement with the
    Mugo Pines. A lot depends on where these Pines
    were first found and what others have done to the
    names later that never grew these plants. How a
    book author will describe a form of mugo may
    indeed be a lot different than how these plants
    will behave either grown in a collection, a nursery
    or even grown in a Botanical Garden. The old
    school people grew them on to see how they
    were different from what they already had. The
    problem area is when a book author comes in to
    set the record straight and has to deal with a
    variety of forms from collections and then has to
    figure out what to do with them. In such cases
    it is easier to lump them together and call the
    varieties as being the same as one of more rather
    than have 50 or more named subspecies. I agree
    with this as many of the names of mugo that were
    varieties to us, now considered to be subspecies
    are not distinguished enough to be considered
    different than mugo var. mugo.

    We considered the mughus form to be a subspecies
    while at the same time feeling the pumillo was a
    variety. We were not the only ones to feel this
    way as it was a consensus opinion as others in
    other countries that had many forms of mugo
    also felt that mughus and pumillo deserved to
    be considered a subspecies and the other a
    variety of mugo as well. It did not matter what
    a book author wrote about the plant when the
    people that were doing the growing and the
    research on the plant were talking among
    themselves about their plants and what those
    plants were showing them. Not all the time
    and in some cases never did the book author
    know the consensus opinion and then we had
    some authors deliberately attack the opinions
    of others just to knit pick them without having
    any real knowledge of the plant and how it
    grows in a variety of locations. When this
    kind of thing happens I side with the growers
    almost every time. The people that did the
    footwork and the research trials are easily
    forgotten when the books come out. There
    was also a time in which book authors with
    post graduate degrees made it a point to go
    after the growers and collectors because
    some to many of them only had college
    level degrees or less and it became a matter
    of who are people going to believe the guy
    with a Ph.D. or the lowly nurseryman with
    a B.S or B.A. . I've seen it done and have
    witnessed people using that same scenario
    as one to discredit someone else and I've
    seen it done more than once. It matters not
    that the guy with the B.S. has 50 years of
    background knowledge of the plant, the guy
    that with perhaps no real prior knowledge of
    the plant and may never have seen one will
    have more credence among the intellectual
    community. So, in effect, for many authors
    doing a treatise on Pines may have to depend
    for much of their information from other
    people that they are indeed wanting to push
    off to the side as being meaningless, which
    is one reason why the people that supplied
    much to most of the information for the basis
    of the book are not always given their due
    credit and in a few cases I know no credit
    at all was given in the book.

    I know of one professor/book author that
    about died from fright when he saw 23
    forms of Cephalotaxus all together side
    by side in a Conifer collection in which
    those plants had been in the ground since
    the early 70s. He wrote of being an expert
    on three of them and did not know them at
    all when he saw them here in 1986. You
    guys can buy his books, I will not. I will
    read them if I have them available to me
    but I will not be overly excited about them.

    Michael, I don't mind people coming back
    at me. I made a big mistake and at the time
    did not care as I am tired of giving away
    secrets that I did not want to tell in this
    forum. You pointed my error out like you
    should do. I have no problems with that.

    Jim
     
  15. treelover3

    treelover3 Active Member

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    I would also look for a named variety of P. mugo. Pinus mugo var. pumilio is a seed-grown selection and all of the plants will vary slightly in size, form and look. Depending on how you're going to use these plants, that may or many not be acceptable.
    Good luck,
    Mike
    (p.s. a couple of my favorites are Pinus mugo 'Teeny' (aka 'Sherwood Compact') and Pinus mugo 'Jacobsen'. There are so many different cultivars that you could have a collection of just P. mugo and have a very nice landscape. Be sure to check out the cultivars that turn gold in the winter or that are variegated, also.)
     
  16. sgarrett

    sgarrett Member

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    Ron,
    You mentioned scale on mugo pines. I am having that problem here in Bend, OR and have been frustrated with the solution. Horicultural oils and neem have not been effective. Have you found something that works and how do you tell when it is successful?
     
  17. Dixie

    Dixie Active Member

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    scale controll is all about the timing. you are right by putting out a neem or horticultural oil. the best time to spray for the scale is right around the time they are about to lay their eggs. where i am from, that would be now. that way you will hopefully prevent most of those eggs from hatching.
     
  18. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    for the record, Neem oil is not registered as a pesticide in Canada. It is however sold as a 'leaf shine" product.
     

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