General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Tree
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Water Preferences: Mesic
Dry Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Moderately acid (5.6 – 6.0)
Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 5b -26.1 °C (-15 °F) to -23.3 °C (-10 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 8b
Plant Height: 20 to 40 feet (6-12m)
Plant Spread: 15 to 25 feet (4.6-7.6m)
Leaves: Evergreen
Fruit: Other: conical brown cone about 1.5 to 3 inches long
Suitable Locations: Beach Front
Uses: Provides winter interest
Resistances: Drought tolerant
Salt tolerant
Propagation: Seeds: Self fertile
Pollinators: Wind
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil
Conservation status: Least Concern (LC)

Conservation status:
Conservation status: Least Concern
Common names
  • Japanese Black Pine
  • Black Pine
Botanical names
  • Accepted: Pinus thunbergii
  • Synonym: Pinus thunbergiana

This plant is tagged in:

  • Posted by jathton (Oklahoma City, OK - Zone 7a) on Aug 10, 2020 8:28 PM concerning plant:
    Oklahoman gardeners have had a long standing attraction to pine trees... even though they cannot be thought of as native to the state. Oklahoma State University has been trying for decades to "naturalize" pines in large plantings just west of Stillwater... with little success to the best of my knowledge. The Oklahoma City Memorial [to the Murrah Building bombing] is planted with beautiful and successful Ponderosa Pines. The entrance to the Civic Center Music Hall was flanked, for 60 years plus with two beautiful specimens of Tanyosho Pine. A residence at NW 19th and Pennsylvania was, for many years, the home of the only Lacebark Pine in Oklahoma. Scotch Pines and Austrian Pines have for decades been popular additions to residential and commercial landscapes. The Bosnian Redcone Pine and Vanderwolf's Columnar Limber Pine have been successfully planted for several decades. Mugho Pines and Dwarf Scotch Pines have almost become ubiquitous landscape plants.
    But the pine that really caught everyone's attention and has increasingly become the pine "most planted" in our gardens is the Japanese Black Pine.
    It has an irregular, asymmetrical growth habit that seems perfectly suited to the windswept Great Plains. It has lustrous green needles that hold their color in winter months better than the needles of most pines. Under favorable conditions it can grow quite rapidly... and, so far, it seems less susceptible to problems than many other pine species.
    Dr. Carl Whitcomb [Know It & Grow It 3] calls it, "An outstanding rapidly growing pine." It transplants easily and tolerates a wide range of soil types and moisture levels. It rivals Austrian Pine in its adaptability to growing conditions.
    One caveat: herbicide vapors WILL cause a slow decline in the health of this pine. This has become a serious problem nation-wide in recent years.
  • Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Feb 23, 2019 4:26 PM concerning plant:
    I've only seen this species, from Japan of course, around Rehoboth Beach in southern Delaware, where it is commonly planted. It is similar to the Black Pine (Pinus nigra) of Europe, but the needles are shorter, the cones smaller, and the tree is usually wider growing. The stout, dark needles are about 2.5 to 4.5 inches long, very stiff and painful to touch. The terminal buds on the end branches are silver-white or gray and not resinous. The conical cones are about 1.5 to 3 inches long and the scales each have a minute prickle. This pine grows about 1.5 feet/year, like many species of pine. It is extremely salt tolerant, able to exude the sodium and chloride ions. Dr. Michael A. Dirr reported in his huge landscape plant manual that at the University of Georgia in Atlanta, the Japanese Black Pine suffered a lot from branch die back or total death, probably from Diploidia Tip Blight, a fungus disease that also often damages or kills the Austrian Black Pine in eastern North America. He mentions how this pine only lives about 10 years around his campus in the hills of northern Georgia. It could also be the Pinewood Nematode, a microscopic roundworm that is spread by Sawyer Pine Bark Beetles. The Pinewood Nematode from eastern North America made its way to East Asia in the early 1900's from wooden shipping material and has been causing damage and death to Asian pine species. Japan has been hit the hardest with Black & Red Japanese Pines being killed off, and China and beyond has it too. So far, Japanese Black Pines are doing well in the Delmarva Peninsula near the shore areas as at Rehoboth Beach. It is a beautiful conifer and makes a great bonzai plant and does best near ocean shores.

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