Mugo Pine Planting Instructions


Mugo pine (Pinus mugo) is a dark green, shrubby evergreen. The twin, stiff needles are 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 inches long. Brown pine cones grow 1 to 2 inches long. Mugo pines are 3 to 20 feet tall and spread 5 to 30 feet across. This drought-resistant pine survives winters in USDA plant hardiness zone 2. Mugo pines are used as cover for wildlife, ornamental landscape plants, foundation trees, mass plantings, bonsai trees and Christmas trees. Mugo pine is also a source of turpentine oil.

Step 1

Remove weeds, rocks and other unwanted plants in a 5 foot circle in full sunlight. Mugo pines prefer full sun, but will tolerate partial shade.

Step 2

Loosen the soil to the depth of 36 inches with a shovel. Break up large soil clumps and remove any root masses. Do not plant mugo pines in an area with standing water.

Step 3

Dig a hole as deep as the root ball and 1 foot wider. Rough up the sides of the hole with the edge of the shovel. This prevents the compaction of the soil and allows the roots to escape the planting hole.

Step 4

Cut away the packaging with a sharp knife. Remove all the tags and strings on the mugo pine. Spread the roots out carefully so you do not damage the roots.

Step 5

Place the mugo pine in the hole and fill it halfway with soil. Fill the hole to the top with water. Replace the rest of the soil in the hole. Firm the soil around the mugo pine tree.

Tips and Warnings

  • Remove any branches on the mugo pine that are infected with pine rust. Pruning away just the infected areas will keep the mugo pine tree healthy.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Mugo pine tree
  • Sharp knife


  • North Dakota State University: Mugo Pine
  • Virginia Tech Tree ID: Mugo Pine
  • U.S. Forest Service Department of Agricultures: Mugo Pine
Keywords: Pinus mugo, planting mugo pine, planting tree instructions

About this Author

Karen Carter has spent the last three years working as a technology specialist in the public school system. This position included hardware/software installation, customer support, and writing training manuals. She also spent four years as a newspaper editor/reporter at the Willapa Harbor Herald.