Japanese black pine has a striking, irregular form accented by its dark, lustrous green needles. This Asian native is very tolerant of salt spray and soil salt, but It may be difficult to find in nurseries.
This plant has some cultivated varieties. Go to list of cultivars.
All common names:
- Residential and parks
Tree or Plant Type:
- Evergreen (foliage year-round)
- Shade tree,
- Large tree (more than 40 feet),
- medium tree (25-40 feet),
- Small tree (15-25 feet)
- Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
- Zone 5 (Chicago),
- Zone 6,
- Zone 7,
- Zone 8
- Moist, well-drained soil,
- Sandy soil
- Dry sites,
- Alkaline soil,
- Road salt
- Marginally hardy,
- May be difficult to find in nurseries
Seasons of Interest:
- early winter,
- late winter,
- early spring,
- mid spring,
- late spring,
- early summer,
- late summer,
- early fall,
- mid fall,
- late fall
Flower Color & Fragrance:
Shape or Form:
Tree & Plant Care
Tolerant of heat and drought.
Disease, pests, and problems
Pine wilt and Zimmerman pine wilt are potential problems..
Native geographic location and habitat
Native to Japan and Korea.
Bark color and texture
The bark is dark gray and broken into rough plates.
Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture
Leaves are evergreen needles, 2 per bundle and 3 to 5 inches long. The needles are densely crowded and slightly twisted.
Flower arrangement, shape, and size
Male and female flowers in separate structures on the same tree (monoecious); inconspicuous.
Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions
Fruits are woody brown cones, 2 to 3 inches long.
Cultivars and their differences
Majestic Beauty® Japanese black pine (Pinus thunbergii 'Monina'): The full-sized cultivar (40 to 50 feet high) has a dense habit and very dark green needles.
Thunderhead Japanese black pine (Pinus thunbergii 'Thunderhead'): A dwarf cultivar that grows to about six feet high in ten years.