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Mugo PinePinus mugo

  • Mugo Pine
  • Mugo Pine
This tree has become a favorite landscape plant throughout suburban America. Generally planted as an ornamental, the mugo pine has the ability to grow easily in so many places and is smaller in size than most pines. It also has a variety of dwarf cultivars.

Hardiness Zones

The mugo pine can be expected to grow in Hardiness Zones 3–7. View Map

Tree Type

Mature Size

The mugo pine grows to a height of around 20' and a spread of around 25' at maturity.

Growth Speed Slow Growth Rate

This tree grows at a slow rate, with height increases of less than 12" per year.

Sun Preference

Full sun and partial shade are best for this tree, meaning it prefers a minimum of 4 hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight each day.

Soil Preference

The mugo pine grows in acidic, alkaline, loamy, moist, sandy, well-drained, and clay soils. It is also drought-tolerant.


This tree:
  • Features stout, dark green needles 1–2" in length with finely toothed margins. Color often turns yellowish-green in the winter.
  • Produces oval, dry brown cones that are 1–2" in length.
  • Grows in a pyramidal, rounded shape.
  • Can occasionally grow in Hardiness Zone 8.
  • Is valued for its dwarf cultivars, often used in landscaping.

Wildlife Value

This tree provides cover for mammals and birds.


The name of this tree is confusing, with many sources using the spelling "Mugho." But eminent horticulturist Liberty Hyde Bailey wrote in 1933 that the original scientific naming of the species in 1764 was Mugo, with Mugho being one of its several natural varieties. The mugo pine tree is native in the high mountains of central Europe. There it grows low to the ground in mounds like a creature huddling against the cold winds.