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TREES & plants

Japanese white pine

Needles of Japanese white pine.

Japanese white pine is a dense, slow-growing evergreen with a smaller stature which makes it an excellent specimen for small landscapes or space restrictions.

Botanical name: 
Pinus parviflora
All Common Names: 
Japanese white pine
Family (English): 
Family (Botanic): 
Tree or Plant Type: 
  • Tree
Native Locale: 
  • Non-native
Planting Site: 
  • Residential and parks
Landscape Uses: 
  • Specimen
  • Shade
Size Range: 
  • Large tree (more than 40 feet)
  • Medium tree (25-40 feet)
Mature Height: 
25-50 feet
Mature Width: 
25-50 feet
Light Exposure: 
  • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
Hardiness Zones: 
  • Zone 4
  • Zone 5
  • Zone 6
  • Zone 7
Soil Preference: 
  • Moist, well-drained soil
Acid Soils: 
  • Tolerant
Alkaline Soils: 
  • Moderately Tolerant
Salt Spray: 
  • Tolerant
Soil Salt: 
  • Intolerant
Drought Conditions: 
  • Moderately Tolerant
Poor Drainage: 
  • Intolerant
Planting Considerations: 
  • May be difficult to find in nurseries
  • Evergreen (foliage year-round)
Ornamental Interest: 
  • Edible fruit
Season of Interest: 
  • Early winter
  • Mid winter
  • Late winter
  • Early spring
  • Mid spring
  • Late spring
  • Early summer
  • Mid summer
  • Late summer
  • Early fall
  • Mid fall
  • Late fall
Flower Color & Fragrance: 
  • Inconspicuous
Shape or Form: 
  • Pyramidal
  • Spreading
Growth Rate: 
  • Slow
Transplants Well: 
  • Yes
More Information: 

Tree & Plant Care

Best in full sun, relatively tolerant of most soils as long as well-drained.
omewhat tolerant of salt.
Slow growing.

Disease, pests, and problems

Can suffer from insects and disease when stressed.
Susceptible to a number of diseases including Diplodia tip blight, needle casts, and pine wilt.
Susceptible to a number of pests including pine sawfly, pine needle scale and Zimmerman pine moth.

Native geographic location and habitat

Native to Japan

Bark color and texture 

Smooth, gray-green when young, older bark dark gray, and scaly.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture

Fine textured, 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 inches long, bluish-green needles are in bundles of 5.
Needle are stiff and twisted and appear brush-like tufts on strong horizontal branches.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size

Monoecious, small, yellow-green flowers in clusters in May.

Cones of Japanese white pine.Japanese white pine (Pinus parviflora)photo: John Hagstrom

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions

The 2 to 4 inch long cylindrical cones are thick, leathery, near terminal ends of branches.
Cones are abundant, even on young trees and persist for years on the tree.