Best time to transplant mugo pines

I’m thinking about digging up a mugo pine in my yard. It’s been in the ground for about 4 years and has girthed up pretty well. When is the best time of year to do this and what are some dos and don’t regarding mugo pines?
dane b

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The best time to dig mugo - anything really - is at the end of winter or early spring, about the time you repot your container trees.

Some do’s and don’ts

  • Start digging further out than you’d expect and work your way toward the center until you have a reasonably-sized rootball (a little bigger than the foliage).
  • Don’t bare-root the tree. Some deciduous specimens can handle this but most conifers can’t.
  • Keep as many roots as you can get. Root-bases aren’t always the shape you want them to be so it can be easy to knock away more soil than you’d planned to remove.
  • When you plant the tree into bonsai soil, make sure some of the roots protrude beyond the rootball and make contact with the new soil.
  • Once you pot up the tree, watch the watering carefully by checking the soil where the roots are, not the new soil that doesn’t have roots in it yet.
  • Light overhead watering can help keep the tree cool while the new roots are being established.
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