Pruning Mugo Pine
I have 6 mugo pines growing together and crowding out my other plantings. How much can I prune them back without causing damage?
You can prune out 1/2 to 2/3 of the expanding new tip growth (called candles) this spring. Repeat each spring to minimize new growth. More severe pruning should be limited. You can prune branches back to side shoots or healthy buds in spring. More severe prune can result in bare branches that will eventually die. You may have to choose between the mugo pines and other plantings. As all the plants grow space and light may become limiting factors. Overcrowded plants are less attractive and more subject to pest problems.