Unique Pine Tree

By Charlie Nardozzi

Evergreen trees fill many roles in the landscape. They block unsightly views, provide a dark backdrop to colorful flowering shrubs and perennials, and create habitat for birds and wildlife. It's a bonus when an evergreen has unique characteristics in its own right.

The Japanese umbrella pine (Sciadopitys verticillata) is worthy of being grown as a specimen tree for its unique umbrella-shaped whorls of needles. With a dense pyramid shape, this slow-growing, elegant pine is considered sacred in Japan. It grows to a height of 30 to 60 feet.

The variety 'Wintergreen' has won the prestigious Cary Award for 2006, which is given each year to trees with exceptional hardiness, uniqueness, and ability to extend the New England growing season. 'Wintergreen' is known for keeping its lustrous green needle color throughout the winter. Like all Japanese umbrella pines, 'Wintergreen' is hardy in USDA zones 4 to 8, and grows best on acidic soils in full sun.

For more information on this unique pine, go to: Cary Awards.

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