When to prune mugo pine


I have a large mugo pine in the front yard that is starting to grow out and over the sidewalk. I need to prune it back so it doesn’t impede on pedestrian traffic. So I pruned the ends a bit this past spring and I’ve noticed that it back- budded quite a lot. My question is when can I cut it back to the new budded areas? Now or spring? Do I also need to let the new buds get a bit more mature before I prune or is their current size fine (see the photo). Love your thoughts.


Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners.

Mugo pines should be pruned in the spring. when new growth is forming, this is because Mugo pines do not produce new buds on old growth. This means that any branch that you prune in the fall will not show new growth in the spring. In the spring Mugos produce new growth in the form of “candles” on the branch tips. At this time, these candles can be cut in half, resulting in a bushier, more compact shrub. Removal of  any dead branches as well as those that have become damaged can be done at anytime. This website gives the proper care instructions for your mugo pine.

You might be interested in the following Youtube video: How to Prune Mugo Pines Part 1 – YouTubewww.youtube.com › watch