Content Detail

Japanese white pine is a dense, slow-growing evergreen with a smaller stature which makes it an excellent specimen for small landscapes and restricted spaces.

  • Family (English) Pine
  • Family (botanic) Pinaceae
  • Planting site Residential and parks
  • Tree or plant type Tree
  • Foliage Evergreen (foliage year-round)
  • Native locale Non-native
  • Size range Medium tree (25-40 feet), Large tree (more than 40 feet)
  • Mature height 25-50 feet
  • Mature width 25-50 feet
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 4, Zone 5 (Chicago), Zone 6, Zone 7
  • Soil preference Moist, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Alkaline soil, Clay soil, Occasional drought, Road salt
  • Season of interest early winter, midwinter, late winter, early spring, mid spring, late spring, early summer, midsummer, late summer, early fall, mid fall, late fall
  • Flower color and fragrance Inconspicuous
  • Shape or form Broad, Pyramidal
  • Growth rate Slow
  • Transplants well Yes
  • Planting considerations May be difficult to find in nurseries
  • Has cultivars Yes

Native geographic location and habitat:

It is native to Japan.

Bark color and texture:

Bark is smooth, gray-green when young, and gray and scaly when older.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture:

Needles are fine textured, 1 -1/2 to 2 -1/2 inches long, bluish-green in color and grow in bundles of 5. They are stiff and twisted and appear like brush-like tufts on strong horizontal branches.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size:

Monoecious, small, yellow-green flowers in clusters in May.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions:

The 2 to 4 inch long cylindrical cones are thick, leathery and located near terminal ends of branches. Cones are abundant, even on young trees and persist for years on the tree.

Plant care:

Japanese white pine is a slow grower that does best in full sun. It is relatively tolerant of most soils as long as they are well-drained. It is somewhat tolerant of salt.


List of pests, diseases, and tolerances:

Japanese white pine can suffer from insects and disease when stressed. Susceptible to a number of diseases including diplodia tip blight, needle casts, and pine wilt. Susceptible to a number of pests including pine sawfly, pine needle scale and Zimmerman pine moth.


Bergman Japanese White Pine (Pinus parviflora ‘Bergman’): 

A more compact cultivar at 15 to 20 feet high, with twisted blue-green needles.

Glauca Japanese White Pine (Pinus parviflora ‘Glauca’): 

A cultivar with blue needles.


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