Mugo pine health

I’m a total novice. I have had a mugo pine for about 18months, nursery bought, but very recently the pines appear to be browning and dropping.

It’s pushed buds and new growth, just curious to know if people believe these are old needles being shed or there is something to take action on?

Can you add a picture or two of the soil?
Majority of needles shows discoloration at the tips which might indicates too wet conditions. The browning confuses me tho esp on the last pic and you saying needles are dropping :thinking:

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Of course - I’ve managed the watering routine closely, although the soil is 2:1 grit:organic material.
Pines are dropping, and there has been recent browning.

I would try keeping it on the dryer side, tilt it up on an angle for a while.


If it is on all branches it’s definitely a root related issue most likely caused by the soil holding too much water. If it’s only on a few branches it’s most likely a disease of some kind.

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Thank you all, will take the advice and reduce the frequency of watering further.

Should I let it dry then saturate?

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I do let my pines get dry between waterings even in the peak of summer temperatures. They seem to like that brutal approach or in other more bonsai words - preferring oxygen over water.
For comparison: when broadleaf average tree needs watering daily I do my pines every other day even every 3rd day.
Hope it will help your little mugo :slight_smile:

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yes this would be the best approach

I too let my moss get completely dry before watering. I also use my rain barrels to water as much as possible to avoid city water usage. Which seems to have helped quite a bit with a lot of health issues

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Nobody mentioned this but the size of the pot is big compared to the amount of foliage. This is not something you can influence now but should be a learning for the future. Up potting for development makes sense but bigger is not better. Rule of thumb don’t go bigger than the roots can occupy in one year. Between 1 and 2 thumb’s on all sides depending on the species for pines closer to 1 than 2.