Mountain Pine

Basic Information
Tree ID: 
Genus and species: 
Commonly known as mountain pine, dwarf mountain pine, and Swiss mountain pine—just to name a few—Pinus mugo has more names than any other conifer. A native to southwestern and Central Europe, mountain pine thrives in high elevation habitats and enjoys widespread popularity as an ornamental.
Tracy George and Drew Peterson
Collected Data
Tree shape: 
Squat and low
Date of tree entry: 
0.58 m
Diameter at breast height: 
0.08 m

The bark is gray, with a non-peeling plated appearance. When leaves abscise, rough protuberances are left.
Twigs & branches
Needles are present throughout the plant.
Reproductive Structures
Dark gray cone. Ovoid, 1 to 2" long. Held in clusters of 2 to 4, or found alone. Tip of cone surrounded by a darker ring.
Cold hardy. Prefers a deep, well-drained, loose soil, but also quite adaptable. Prefers to be in the sun, or partial shade (one of the few pine species that are tolerant of some shade. Easily transplanted. Throughout their long history (see below) they have been widespread in cooler and higher areas of the Northern Hemisphere. Dwarf mountain-pine grows on exposed mountain slopes from the Pyrenees of Spain to the Carpathian Mountains of Eastern Europe.
Origin, history, and uses: 

HISTORY Although pines date well back into the Early Cretaceous (130 million years ago), there are probably more species of pine alive today than at any time in history.

COOKING Recently, Mugo pine has been used to make pinecone syrup. Buds and young cones are harvested in the spring then left to dry. During this process, they gradually drip syrup, which boiled down before being combined with sugar to make pine syrup. 

SUMMER Rigid and slightly curved needles. Needles in fasicles of pairs. Margins serrate. Needles 1 to 2" long. Bright green color. AUTUMN No fall color (remains green).
Other information of interest: 
Turpentine obtained from the resin of pine trees has various medicinal purposes. It is used internally to treat kidney and bladder complaints and externally as a rub for treating rheumatic afflictions. It is also proved useful in addressing respiratory complaints such as coughs, colds, and influenza. Externally turpentine can also be used as a poultice for wounds, sores, burns, boils, etc. When distilled, the leaves and branches of pines yield an oil used in pharmaceutical balsamic preparations used in the treatment of upper respiratory tract infections, chronic bronchitis, catarrh and asthma.
Media and Arts


Look down, I’m here

by Anonymous


There when you need him

like a 100 million year old friend

huge roots stabilize

through cold, heat, and wind

small white speckles throughout

deep green hue

with segments of clay orange dry

woefully overlooked