Japan & South Korea
Japanese black pine (Pinus thunbergii) is an irregular needled evergreen that usually does not grow with a straight central leader, but instead matures into a flat-topped specimen with drooping branches. It is often a thick twisting structure rather than a straight trunk. During springtime, the Japanese Black Pine will produce small reddish flowers.
The tree has dark-green needles, 5 to 7 inches long, with upright new-growth candles that are a contrasting silky white. The brown cones are 1 to 3 inches long. In ideal locations, the pure species can grow to be quite a large tree, up to 20-36 feet tall, but many popular cultivars are dwarf varieties, some of which remain only 3 to 10 feet tall.
Japanese black pine is best planted in the spring as a container-grown or balled-and-burlap plant. It has a moderately fast growth rate, sometimes as much as 2 to 3 feet per year. Plantations offer shelter to birds, deer and small mammals. A variety of birds are attracted to the black pine to feed on the seeds.
Japanese black pine care is easy. Make sure you have an open site with at least six hours of direct sunlight daily The branches can spread as much as 25 feet (63.5 cm.), so give it lots of room.
The soil must be moist but well-drained. Sandy loam is ideal, Japanese black pine does not tolerate soggy soil and poor drainage.. Pine trees prefer acidic, but can also grow in slightly alkaline soil.
Water weekly in the absence of rain until the tree is established and growing on its own. Once established, the tree is drought tolerant.
Suitable for Container. Ideal specimen for bonsai. Japanese black pine trees tolerate sandy, salty soil and salt spray much better than native species. This makes it a valuable asset to coastal landscapes.