The Q&A Archives: Japanese Black Pine

Question: I would like to purchase a Japanese Black Pine tree I recently saw at a local garden center. They only had one approx. 5' tall. I am looking for an evergreen for a small backyard, approx. 40'w x 20'd. I was told this tree would not get more than about 15' tall and not much wider than it's current size, approx 4'w. Your information says they grow to 40'-50' tall and 15-25'w. Can they be pruned to stay small and will this cause any problems? Is this a difficult tree to maintain and is this a tree suitable for TN? Thank you.

Answer: Japanese Black pine will become huge, even if you try to whack it back periodically. I don't think it's a good match for the size of your yard. If you like the pine tree look, you might consider growing a Mugo pine. These slow growing trees are bushy and dense and top out at 15-20'. You can prune them to keep them in shape. Best wishes with your landscape!

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