June: Pinching the Candles on Mugo Pines

The various forms of mugo pines will develop new growth tips called candles.  These candles appear in late May and must be pruned back by one half to two thirds each spring to keep the shrub compact and dense.  This pruning should be done once the candle is fully extended but the needles on it are still short and held close to the candle – usually needs to be done before the middle of June.