Japanese Black Pine
Japanese black pine, with its spreading and swaying branches, is a species of evergreen, coniferous trees native to the coastal and mountainous regions of South Korea and Japan. Being adaptable to a variety of soil conditions, these conifers are commonly used for seaside plantings and beach landscaping.
|Scientific Name||Pinus thunbergii|
|Other Names||Japanese pine (English), Kuromatsu (Japanese)|
|Size||Up to 40 m (131 ft) tall in its native range, less than 8 m (25 ft) in beach plantings|
|Leaves (Needles)||Stiff, pointed, 7-12 cm long, bright-green, occur in bundles of two, grayish-white covering at the base|
|Cones||Female: 4-7 cm long, fringed scales at the extremity with small points, mature after two years
Male: 1-2 cm long, occur in clusters of 12-20
|Bark||Gray branches in young trees; the trunk and larger branches are black and have fissures, which are quite deep in older trunks|
|Crown/Top||Pyramidal shape, irregular, open|
|Distribution/Range||Shikoku, Kyushu, S Hokkaido, Honshu (Japan), coastal areas of South Korea|
|Hardiness Zones||5 to 8|
|Growth Rate||Medium; under favorable conditions, may grow 2-3 feet per year|
|Growing Conditions||Winter Conditions: Grows well in areas with mild winters
Summer Conditions: Warm and humid; average temperature of 24°-29° C
Rain: Requires moderate rainfall; average annual precipitation is around 600-1500 mm
Sunlight: Tolerates both partial shade and exposure to full sun
Soil Requirements: Medium moist, well-drained, fertile; tolerates clayey, loamy, sandy, acidic, and alkaline soil; somewhat resistant to drought
|Diseases and Pests||Bursaphelenchus xylophilus (pinewood nematode), blue stain fungus, brown-spot needle blight; adelgids, bark beetles, pine weevils, sawfly larvae caterpillars|
|Flowering/Fruiting||Yellow, inconspicuous flowers occurring in spring|
|Seedling Development||Seeds germinate easily|
|Wildlife Value||Habitat for small animals and songbirds|
|Cultivars||Some common varieties including the shrubby, dwarf form Pinus thunbergii ‘Banshosho’ and Pinus thunbergii ‘Thunderhead’ (thunderhead Japanese black pine)|
|Uses||Specimen pine in horticulture since it is tolerant to salt and pollution; shaped, pruned, and styled as bonsai and Niwaki trees; the wood is used for railway sleepers, poles, general construction, flooring, fences, crates, pallets, and wood pulp|
|IUCN Conservation Status||Least Concern|
- The scientific epithet of this species of pine tree is named after the 18th-century Swedish physician Carl Peter Thunberg.
- These pines are quite a hardy tree, having the ability to withstand pruning.
- In Korea, the needles are sometimes used in making soft drinks and pastries.