Common Name: Mugo pine

Scientific Name: 
Family: Pinaceae
Genus: Pinus
Species: mugo

Hardiness Zone: 2 to 7
Height: 15 to 20 ft
Width: 25 to 30 ft

Common characteristics:

The mugo pine is a shrub to small tree and ranges in size, it can grow to 15' to 20' tall and 25' to 30 ft wide. Its bark is gray-brown in color and has a scaly texture. Its needles are arranged in bundles of two and are stiff and slightly curved. They are 1 to 3 inches long, bright green color with a serrated margin. Needles will persist for 5 years. Cones are dark-gray and ovoid. They grow to be 1 to 2 inches long, held in clusters of 2 to 4, or found alone.

Where it grows:

Prefers to grow in moist, well-drained soils in full sun. It will tolerate dry sites, alkaline soils, and clay soils. Avoid poorly-drained wet soils. It will prefer cool summer climates. Plants are generally tolerant of urban conditions.

How it’s used:

​Mugo pine can be seen in Minnesota's urban environment. These shrubs are used around building foundations and homes. There are numerous dwarf varieties offered in nurseries as well as the natural form. The size of Mugo pine is wholly dependent on the variety. Some will stay very small and compact while others will grow quite large, reaching a tree form. When purchasing a mugo pine it is very important to check the size at maturity.​ 

Where it is native to:

The mugo pine is native to central Europe but has shown good adaptability in Minnesota as a landscape feature. 

Known Varieties and Their Traits:

Donna's Mini-Dwarf Mugo (Pinus mugo 'Donna's Mini'): A dense low mounded, miniature evergreen reaching 12 to 18 feet high and 18 to 24 inches wide.

Enci Mugo pine (Pinus mugo ‘Enci’):  This cultivar grows 3-4 feet high and 3-5 feet wide with a mounded shape.

Slowmound Dwarf Mugo pine (Pinus mugo 'Slowmound): Rounded, 2 to 3 feet high and wide. Dark green foliage, excellent for rock gardens.

Tannenbaum Mugo pine (Pinus mugo 'Tannenbaum'): Compact, pyrimidal shape, 10 to 12 feet high and 5 to 6 feet wide; dark green foliage.

White Bud Dwarf Mugo pine (Pinus mugo 'White Bud'): A 2 to 3 feet high and wide, low mounded dwarf evergreen. Dark needles have a white, waxy winter bud coating adding winter interest


This plant is susceptible to pine needle scale and pine sawflies. It is relatively resistant to deer browse. 


Missouri Botanical Garden

The Morton Arboretum

mugo pine form
mugo pine bud
mugo pine foliage
mugo pine cone