Pinus strobus / White Pine ‘Blue Shag’

Pinus strobus (dwarf 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.