Pinus mugo -- Mugo Pine

Etymology

Mugo from an old Tyrolese name (Coombes)

Common Name

Mugo Pine

Origin

Naturally occurring variety from the mountains of Spain to northern Europe

Family

Pinaceae

Type

Evergreen conifer shrub

ID Features

Flat-topped, multi-trunked shrub, wider than tall First year’s growth is very long & upright 2 needles/fascicle, 1 – 3” long Graft line (if grafted), Gray bark Some spines on cone; cones perpendicular on tree & sessile New growth is very upright & long Pointy, pitchy buds

Size

Mature: Grafted: 3 – 4’ H, 3 – 4’ S Seed: 10 – 15’ H, 10 – 15’ S

Landscape: Grafted: 3 – 4’ H, 3 – 4’ S Seed: 10 – 15’ H, 10 – 15’ S

Growth rate: Varies: slow to moderate if grafted

Form

Lots of seedling variation Flat-topped, multi-trunked shrub

habit photo
Pinus mugo habit

Bark & Branches

Very dark gray bark with fine small flakes

bark photo
Pinus mugo bark

Foliage

2 needles/fascicle Needles are 1 – 2½ (3)” long Color: bright green, occasionally with stomatal lines Holds needles 3 years

foliage photo
Pinus mugo foliage

Buds

Pitchy bud—looks like Pinus contorta but it’s narrower

buds photo
Pinus mugo buds

Cones

Sessile, rounded cones (1 – 1½”), dark brown Cones have some scattered spines when immature, but then lose spines when mature

cones photo
Pinus mugo cones

Cultural considerations

Hardiness

Sunset: A1, A3, 1 – 11, 14 – 24

USDA: 2 – 8

Exposure

Full sun

Soil

Needs good drainage, but otherwise not fussy

Water

With or without irrigation

Pests

Pine Needle Scale: needles turn sickly yellow & die; very susceptible

Diseases / Problems

Root Rot where conditions too wet

Pruning

Candle by hand to get dense foliage

Propagation

Seed: great variability Grafted

Use

Rockeries; specimen conifer; container

Other

Pinus mugo, Swiss Mountain Pine grows 3 – 4’ H, 4 – 6’ S ‘Pumila’ is a prostrate form, 16” H, 3 – 4’ S Suffers with too much dry heat

Links

OSU -- Wikipedia

Credits

Photos taken by Jeff Kidder on the PCC Rock Creek campus, unless noted to the contrary.

Much of the text in the plant info was taken from handouts in the Evergreen Plant ID course.