Preparing my old Italian yamadori Mugo for wirring.

Above: Spring 2008. Big Ron is looking just fine in this picture! Not too formal and strict and I was pretty pleased with him! It was shown in the famous Ginkgo Awards and the “Noelander Trophy” both in Belgium! Only the pot is too big I know…this expensive and handmade pot by my dear friend Brian Albright (UK) is beautiful but…too plump and massive…but that is my fold and not Brian’s! I like the arrangement of the foliage, not too strict and forced but still triangle-shaped with lots of open spaces!

Below: February 2009 Noelanders Trophy in Belgium. The wooden falcon was handmade in China for me.

Below: 29-1-2022. Today the sun was shining and I felt ok so I grabbed a little stool to stand on and a bucket for the needles that I would pluck off and started to carefully pull off the old needles of my Mugo. This old Pine has filled out so nicely after the complete restyling that I did a few years ago! And there is even some back budding on the thinner branches!

Note: Don’t remove all the old needles from a Mugo Pine!!! Unlike other Pines like Sylvestris, they don’t bud out/back easily on bare wood! They make their new buds next to last year’s growth/needles and even the year for that growth! So don’t remove all of the older needles if you want back budding!!!

I removed these last year’s needles because they were covered in black sticky residue from a late summer lice attack that I (due to circumstances) did not treat properly and way too late! Every inch of those old needles and the bark was covered with black sticky stuff that I could not remove! Those older covered needles had become useless anyway…so I did an out-of-season needle pluck! So little back budding this year for this old tree!

Above: 29-1-2022. Halfway through, the old needles on the left side branches are plucked and she is starting to look just like what I hoped for… an old and battered small tree in a pot!

Above: 30-1-2022. Later that same day and all finished, for now, so tomorrow I can start cleaning all the deadwood and treating it with Jin seal and wood hardener and then I will wire every branch and create a new look for him!


Hans van Meer.

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