Japanese White Pine, Pinus parviflora

Japanese White Pine (Pinus parviflora) is native to Japan and found growing in Kokkaido, Honshu, Kyushu, Shikaku; and South Korea, and Utsurio-To. The Japanese call it the Japanese five-needle pine.

The Japanese White Pine grows from sea level up to 8,202 feet, but grows best between 3,281 feet and 4,921 feet. Dwarfism sets in when the trees grow above sub-alpine levels. This pine grows on steep, rocky slopes and prefers well-drained soils and full sun although it does not like intense heat and high humidity.

This pine grows as tall as 82.02 feet and has trunk diameter of 39.37 inches. The trunk is straight, limbless, and could have two or more stems. The bark is smooth and gray when immature and matures to rough, dull gray bark. Deep grooves running up and down the bark create scales that peel off. The needles grow in bundles of five, slightly twisted and triangular, and measure between 1.18 and 2.3 inches long. Pollen cones grow in whorls of 20-30, red-brown in color, and measure 0.19 – 0.23 inches long. The seed cones measure 0.23 – 0.31 inches long and 1.18 – 1.24 inches wide. Seeds are dispersed by the Eurasian Nutcracker, and are blackish in color and measure 0.31 – 0.39 inches long, 0.23 – 0.27 inches wide. Wings are short measuring 0.11 – 0.27 inches long and 0.31 inches wide.

The Japanese White Pine is used as an ornamental bonsai in parks and gardens. This tree makes a good windbreak when planted in groups of two or three. This tree is also salt tolerant making it a good tree to plant in coastal areas.

Image Caption: Japanese White Pine (Pinus parviflora) needles. Credit: Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)