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Pinus thunbergii

Common Name: 
Japanese Black Pine


Branches and bark

Collection Number:
Entry Author: K. Rice
Description: Trunk often divided in the wide, dense, dome-shaped or flattened crown.
Needles: Acute, dark green, scabrous with minute marginal teeth, often twisted.
Cones: Short, conic-ovoid 1.5 - 2.75 inches long, buff to brown-gray.
Bark: Dark gray or purple-gray, scaly, longitudinally fissured.
Height: Upto 130 feet.
Conditions/Habitat/Kind of Forest: It is reportedly very common in lowlands within its range. Thanks to its wide popularity as an ornamental, it can be seen through much of the temperate zone.
Range: Japan: Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu; S Korea. It is the dominant pine from the coast to about 1000 m elevation.
USDA hardiness zone: 6
Ecological Interactions:Air pollution has caused needle chlorosis, reduced needle retention and a decline in community diversity in forests near Korean cities. Since the early 20th century, native populations have been decimated and may ultimately be eliminated by pine wilt disease. It is introduced to needles when they are grazed by longhorn beetles and effectively defoliates the trees. As the trees die and are invaded by blue stain fungi, the nematodes begin to feed on the fungi.
Conservation Status-US/ World Wide: Low risk of becoming endangered.
Uses (Human): Widely used as an ornamental, and requisite in Japanese gardens, where it provides structural and symbolic counterpoint to the red pine.


Harlow, W., Harrar, E.S., White, F.  (1979).  Textbook of Dendrology.  New York:  Mcgraw Hill.

Gymnosperm Database, University of Bonn

IUCN Redlist

This page was created by: K. Rice
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Last update 03/16/05