Pinus strobus / White Pine ‘Blue Shag’
This is one of those plants that stops visitors in their tracks, evoking exclamations of appreciation and the question: Is that a Mugo pine? Well, it looks like a Mugo at first but then gets much more interesting and natural in form. And its intensely blue-green foliage is prettier than that of Mugo, anyway.
‘Blue Shag’ is slow-growing, which is fine because you want it to stay compact. Another great variety is ‘Nana’, which becomes wider than tall.
White pines are indigenous from Canada to Georgia.
- “Blue Shag’ is slow-growing to 2-4 feet tall and wide.
- Tolerates dry, rocky sites, but not pollution or alkaline soil.
- Has cool-looking cones.
- Requires full sun to part shade.
- Hardy down to Zone 3.
- Requires a “medium” amount of moisture but won’t tolerate waterlogged soil.
- In late summer/early fall its older needles will brown and shredding, and that’s natural, nothing to worry about.
- May benefit from application of Hollytone (or similar organic fertilizer for acid-soil-loving plants) in late winter, since it’s intolerant of alkaline soils.