Twila E. Palmer's Blog
Mugo Pine – An Attractive Landscape Addition If you are looking for a beautiful evergreen shrub to use in home landscaping, the Mugo Pine is hard to beat. Easy to grow, tolerant of poor soil, and adaptable to varied light conditions, the Mugo Pine adds rich green color and visual interest to the home garden. Mugo pines proudly display graceful deep-green, long needles and brown, rough bark. Other types of pine trees are not suited to mass plantings as they have a tendency to loose lower branches and inner needles as they mature. Mugo Pine, also known as Swiss Mountain Pine is one of the most popular dwarf conifers used in home landscaping. There are more than 40 different dwarf verities of Mugo Pine. A member of the plant family Pinaceae, the Mugo Pine is a shrub or small tree, round or pyramidal in shape that grows from two to ten feet tall at maturity. Mugo Pine trees are available for purchase online or from local home and garden supply stores or landscape nurseries. Description Ideally suited for mass planting along fences and foundations Mugo Pine holds its needles for more than four years. The hardy shrub is also used for privacy screening or as an ornamental landscape signature specimen. Mugo Pine is complimented by planting English Ivy around the base of the plant to provide a blanket of greenery that is a distinctive statement when colorful summer plants are dormant. Popular Varieties Popular varieties of Mugo pine include “Mops” a slow-growing compact form, “Slowmound” a slow-growing round or mounded form, and “Sherwood Compact” a slow-growing flat mounded form that only grows only two feet tall. These varieties of Mugo pine have a 30 to 40-year life span. Considered a sign of prosperity or good fortune, Mugo Pine trees, presented in an attractive pot or container, are often given as a housewarming gift. “Tannenbaum” is a tall-growing (10 feet or more) dense conical form often used as a potted living Christmas tree before being planted in the home landscape. “Oregon Jade” is a dwarf variety of Mugo pine that grows low to the ground and performs well as foundation planting. Minature Varieties “Valley Cushion” is a little variety of Mugo pine, well suited to potted container or bonsai cultivation. When cultivated as a bonsai planting, Mugo pine trees require plenty of sunlight and water. Soil must have excellent drainage or root rot will develop. Mugo Pine trees can not stand having “wet feet” and will die if root rot develops. Plant Needs Mugo pine trees grow best in United States Department of Agriculture Plant Hardiness Zones 2 through 7. They tend not to do well in warmer climates. Mugo pines are not particular about soil types and do well in with either an acid or alkaline soil. They will benefit by a regular top dressing of well-age herbivore manure (cow, horse, sheep or goat) around the base of the shrub.