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Japanese Black Pine

Batul Nafisa Baxamusa Feb 6, 2019
Japanese black pine tree is a popular garden tree with dark green needles and silvery buds. If you are planning to include this tree in your garden, then given further is some important information regarding the same.
The Japanese black pine tree is a specimen tree that is grown in Japanese gardens. These trees have large needles that grow about 3 to 4 inches in length. These needles are dark green in color and survive for over 3 to 4 years.
The tree is medium-sized and has a pyramidal shape that is quite irregular. It has very unique buds that are about ½ to ¾ inches in length. These buds have a characteristic silver color.

Tree Care

The tree is used for landscape gardening and be used for shoreline planting, wind breaking, and even as an accent tree. It can tolerate high salt content in soil and is resistant to both saline soil and salt spray. The tree grows in full sun and survives acidic soil pH of 5 to 6.5. It grows best in soil rich in mineral content, moisture, and well-drained.
These plants can adapt to different soils like beach sand. Therefore, it can grow very well along the beaches of New York and the sandy soil and saltwater sprays of California dessert. The hardy tree is grown in Zone 5. With proper watering, the tree can grow about four feet per year.


The tree can tolerate heat, wind, and even drought conditions. After the establishment period, the tree is readily adaptable to different soil moisture levels. The tree may be injured in case the temperatures drop below -10° F. There are quite a few diseases that may cause considerable damage to the plant.

The tree is pest resistant, but can be affected by root or root collar problems. They are caused by nematodes like root knot and stunt nematodes. The problems are often seen when too much mulch or soil gets accumulated against the lower trunk. This moisture in the mulch damages the trunk and may also lead to fungal infections like Leptographium.
These problems are seen in severe winters after drought years. The trees become weak and the dying branches are attacked by weak pathogens like Cenangium ferruginosum.
The weak trees are also attacked by turpentine beetles that feed in the inner bark and cambium. This causes the flow of nutrients and water in the tree to stop. These beetles are carriers of blue stain fungus that blocks the flow of water.
The needles die after an infection of Lophodermium, Mycosphaerella, Ploiderma, and Rhizosphaeria. These fungal agents cause yellowing and dropping of the interior needles.
Another disease that affects the Japanese black pine is the infection of pinewood nematodes. These pinewood nematodes kill the tree and are transmitted by pine sawyer beetle. Other parasites that infect the tree include sawflies, Nantucket pine tip moth, European pine moth, Zimmerman pine moth, shoot moth, etc.


Pruning is carried out during early growth season. You need to begin pinching in spring end after the buds have matured. You need to pinch out the weak buds first and then after about a week, pinch out the undesirable strong buds.
This will help in blossoming of only the strongest and biggest buds. You can leave the lateral needles while pruning, removing only the top and bottom branch needles. You can propagate the tree by sowing seeds in the sand in early April. It can be propagated even through grafting and cuttings.


This is the perfect tree for your bonsai hobby and the bonsai can be grown by different techniques. You need to prune the tree during spring and it does not require fertilizers. You can add some fertilizer, however, during early fall.
This hardy tree has the ability to grow in any soil condition and is the ideal tree for Western gardens.