Japanese Black Pine (Pinus thunbergii)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Japanese Black Pine
Give a thumbs up Black Pine

Botanical names:
Pinus thunbergii Accepted
Pinus thunbergiana Synonym

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
bark and trunk

Photo gallery:
Location: Rehoboth Beach, DelawareDate: 2009-09-17bark and trunk
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Location: Rehoboth Beach, DelawareDate: 2010-02-24several trees near the beach
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Location: Rehoboth Beach, DelawareDate: 2010-02-25planted in landscape berm about 2 miles from beach
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Location: Rehoboth Beach, DelawareDate: 2010-02-25needles and white buds
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Location: Rehoboth Beach, DelawareDate: 2012-09-14a planted group near the beach
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Location: Rehoboth Beach, DelawareDate: 2009-09-17trees planted above the beach
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Date: 2014-05-17Photo courtesy of: david55king
By admin
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Location: Rehoboth Beach, DelawareDate: 2010-02-26cone and needles
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Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Feb 23, 2019 4:26 PM

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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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Jacaranda Mimosifolia by GardenerInProgress14 Jan 17, 2020 1:42 PM 6
Dwarf Conifers by frankrichards16 Nov 23, 2018 6:48 PM 7
What kind of pine? by Bonehead Dec 6, 2017 10:42 PM 3
Salt tolerant plants by eclayne Feb 8, 2013 9:39 PM 130

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