Night: first step of a mugo pine

text and photos by Alfredo Salaccione


"Summer night" is the name of this mugo pine.

It is very strong and it is ready for the first step of work.

Mugo pines are very sensitive trees. They need a long time of resting between work stages.



A large part of the trunk is dead and it has deep cavities. This is an important focal point which makes the tree very impressive.



The stumps of old branches have to be carved. I decide to use manual tools, because the wood's fibers are still fresh. In this way the jin looks more natural.

The fire helps me to make the dead wood older. Then I don't use jin liquid, because I don't want to protect the wood at this moment.

Cleaning from the old foliage. The needles of this mugo are thick and long. I cut them at the base.

The preliminary operation goes on, raffia, tape and copper wire on the main branch.

A screw at the back of the trunk is very useful to anchor tie rods.

A jack band helps me to bend the main branch to the right position.

The bend begins to act, the foliage is moving. Meanwhile a long secondary branch is passed onto the back of the trunk.

Wiring proceeds and from the picture it is possible to appreciate the dimension of the pine.

The first setting of the tree ends at this point. The styling of foliage optically breaks the height of this pine. In this way, it looks smaller than it really is.

The following spring, the plant grows without any problems. The new candles are strong and long.

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