Dwarf Mountain Pine

Basic Information
Tree ID: 
Genus and species: 
The Dwarf Mountain Pine sits in the Cretaceous Garden adjacent to the Peabody Museum. Though it is a small and easy to miss, do not dismiss this special tree. It produces buds and cones that can be used to make pine syrup for an interesting flare to your saturday morning pancakes. It can be recognized by its height of about the average human knee, its dark green foliage, and needle-like leaves. Often planted in gardens and landscapes for its relatively small size, the tree is native to Southwestern and Central Europe, in habitats of high elevation.
Mary Ann Santucci and Jen Berkowitz
Collected Data
Tree shape: 
Date of tree entry: 
0.52 m
There is some other reason the DBH cannot be measured accurately
The bark of the Dwarf Pine is a dark grey/brown color. It has somewhat of a plate-like appearance, and does not peel. There are asymmetrical scales in the bark. When absicion of the leaves occur, rough protuberances are left behind.
Twigs & branches
There are many small, low to the ground, and dense branches which contain needle-like leaves, cones, and flowers. The twigs are vertical with miniature needles on them. These tend to be above the canopy and emerge in the spring time. As the twigs mature they become rough, also known as needle-scarred.
The leaves consist of dark green needles that are arranged in pairs. They are roughly 3 to 4 centimeters long. Some of the needles can be somewhat rigid and slightly curved, while others are more straight. These leaves persist for up to five years on the Dwarf Mountain Pine.
Reproductive Structures
The flowers produced are monoecious, which means that their separate staminate and pistillate flowers are found on the same plant. They are known to contain both male flowers which are usually a light yellow color, and female flowers which are pink/red. The males blossom in dense clusters and the females blossom more solitarily. Our paritcular dwarf mountain pine, however, has not produced any visible flowers.
The fruits come in the form of cones. The cones usually grow in groups of 1 to 4. The cones are usually about 6 to 7 centimeters long. They are dark grey/dark brown in color. Seeds of the pine are spread mostly through wind dispersal.
Natural range of distribution: 
The Dwarf Mountain Pine is native to areas of high elevation in central and southern Europe. It thrives in the mountains. It does best in sunshine, and can survive in areas of partial shade. It grows well in temperate to cold climates. The tree will die, however, if it does not get enough sunlight. It thrives in the Pyrenees, the Alps, and on the Balkan peninsula. While it is native to Europe, it is commonly planted and grown in the United States in gardens and for landcaping purposes.
Origin, history, and uses: 


Given that New Haven is not in the natural range of this tree, the tree was planted for the landscape of the Crestaceous garden. These pines are low maintenance plants, really only needing sunlight and well drained soil. Due to this low maintenance, the pines are extremely versatile, being able to survive in windy, salty, low and high pH soil and temperatures.


The Dwarf Mountain Pine has several different names. Some refer to it as Mugo, others use a different spelling of Mugho. In 1933, Hyde Bailey, a horticulturist, explained that when the Dwarf Mountain Pine was originally names in 1764, it was Pinus Mugo. Mugho was simply a variety of the pine. Out of all the conifers, this tree has the most given names. 


The dwarf mountain pine has various uses. The pulpwood in the pines can produce a byproduct of a vanillin flavoring that can be used for culinary use. Medicinally, the resin in pine trees produces turpentine. Turpentine has several uses in the medical world. It can be used in an antiseptic for sterilization, diuretic for urine, rubefacient, which dilates capillaries causing redness and vermifuge, which aids in the ridding of parasitic worms. Turpentine is also a known expectorant, used in herbal steam baths and to aid in diseases of the mucous membranes and respiratory system. When turpentine is removed, Rosin is left. Rosin is used on many every day tasks. Rosin is used on violin bows, as well as used to making sealing wax and varnish.

The dwarf mountain pine grows during the spring and the summer. It tends to grow rather slowly and has a very long lifespan. It is perennial, that is it continues to live for far more than 2 years. The fruits and flowers tend to bloom and grow in the late spring and early summer. More fruits (cones) and flowers will be produced barring the level of sun the shrub recieves. Pinus mugo uses wind pollination as its main pollination syndrome. It also reproduces through sexual reproduction. Each cone of the pine will produce around 50-70 seeds. There are not a lot of known insects that attack the Pinus Mugo. Those that are known include the Ryacioni bouliana, Neodiprio certifer, and Tomicus piniperada. While there is history of these insects attacking the plant, there is not a lot of evidence of detrimental effects they cause. Along with insects, Fungi can cause trouble for the Pinus Mugo. These fungi include Gremmeniella abietina, Lophodermium pinastri and Heterobasidion annosus s.s.

Boland, Todd. “Mugo Pines - One of the Most Popular Dwarf Conifers.” Tips and Advice on Outdoor Gardening, Flower Gardens, Plants, & Seeds. Dave’s Garden, 16 June 2012. Web. 24 Apr. 2016. <http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/2811/>.

“Dwarf Mountain Pine (Pinus Mugo).” STIHL. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Apr. 2016. http://www.stihl.com/792.aspx?idTree=71

“Dwarf Mugo Pine.” - Monrovia -. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Apr. 2016. http://www.monrovia.com/plant-catalog/plants/1975/dwarf-mugo-pine/

“Dwarf Pinus.” Dwarf Pinus. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Apr. 2016. http://www.hort.uconn.edu/plants/detail.php?pid=326

Jorgensen, Henrik, and Danish Forest. “Invasive Alien Species Fact Sheet: Pinus Mugo.” NOBANIS (2010): n. pag. Online Data Base of European Network on Invasive Species. Web. 25 Apr. 2016. <https://www.nobanis.org/globalassets/speciesinfo/p/pinus-mugo/pinus_mugo….

“Mugo Pine: Pinus Mugo.” Mugo Pine on the Tree Guide at Arborday.org. Arbor Day Foundation, n.d. Web. 24 Apr. 2016. <https://www.arborday.org/trees/treeguide/TreeDetail.cfm?ItemID=1201>.

“Pinus Mugo.” Encyclopedia of Life. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2016. http://eol.org/pages/1061737/data

“Pinus Mugo.” OSU Pocket Gardener. Ohio State University, n.d. Web. 25 Apr. 2016. <http://hvp.osu.edu/pocketgardener/source/description/pi_mugo.html>.

“Pinus Mugo.” Plant Database. University of Connecticut, n.d. Web. 25 Apr. 2016. <http://www.hort.uconn.edu/plants/detail.php?pid=326>.

“Pinos Mugo- Turra.” Plants For A Future. Plants For A Future, 2012. Web. 24 Apr. 2016. <www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Pinus+mugo>.

“Plant Database.” Plant Detail. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Apr.2016. http://www.conifer.com.au/dwarf_pinus

Media and Arts

Dwarf Mountain Pine

Now, this is a story all about how

This shrub got assigned as the tree of mine

And I’d like to take a minute

Just sit right there

We’ll tell you how it became the tree called the dwarf mountain pine

In south central Europe born and raised

On the mountain was where It spent most of its days

Chillin’ out maxin’ relaxin’ all cool

And all soaking up the sun by the natural pool,

When a couple of guys who were up to some good

Brought the plant over to our neighborhood

It dropped one of its cones and it got really scared

It said I’m movin’ with some guys to New Haven, better beware

They assigned us our tree,

Number 23,

We went to look for it,

I said Jen where does it sit?

It must be small,

I cant find it at all!

Oh snap there it is!

That’s not a tree – its so much smaller than me.

At first we must admit, we really did judge it,

But then we got surprised by this little guy,

And how he survives and thrives

Dwarf mountain pine,

Like a foot high,

Its so small got no dbh but its fine,

Needle-like leaves you best believes

This tree went 0 to a hundred real quick.

Flowers? Yeah they’re there,

But not to put in your hair,

They bud in the spring, yellow or pink

Giving this little shrub all his bling.

Cones what are those? They carry the seeds,

And aid in all the reproductive deeds!

They could be brown or grey,

Whose to really say, either way their bae.

This little tree produces turpentine,

Which can sterilize lots – its so clean,

It can clear out your pathways when you got a lot of gunk,

Dang – this trees a slam dunk!

Dwarf mountain pine,

Like a foot high,

Its so small got no dbh but its fine,

Needle-like leaves you best believes

This tree went 0 to a hundred real quick.

It grows in the spring and the summer,

Heck yeah that’s not a bummer,

But its growth is slow,

Yeah- that kind of blows,

Its got densely packed leaves,

They might scratch up your knees,

But another good thing its not a home for bees!

Its got a lot of names,

But its not his fault, don’t blame

In the beginning of this rap, you thought he was lame,

But now you know his greatness – that was our aim.

Peace out