Pinus thunbergii (syn. Pinus thunbergiana) Pinaceae
Japanese Black Pine PI-nus thun-ber-jee-A-na
- Conifer, evergreen tree, 20-80 ft (6-24 m), irregular but more or less pyramidal in youth, with age spreading and often with pendulous branches. Black-gray, furrowed into irregular scales. Needles in pairs, dark green, twisted more or less spreading, 6-11 cm long, fine pointed, rigid, stomatic
lines on each surface, bundle sheath 13 mm long, thread-like segments,
persistent. Terminal buds ovoid-cylindrical, apex-pointed, 1.2-2
cm long, not resinous, gray or silvery white. Cones subterminal,
symmetrical, ovoid to conical, 4-6 cm long, 3-4.5 cm wide.
- Sun. Prefers fertile, moist, well-drained soil, but grows on sandy soils; salt and drought tolerant. Can be grown almost down to the ocean shore, used for reclaiming sand dunes.
- Hardy to USDA Zone (5)6 Native to Japan. One of the "most picturesque trees in Japan and it occurs in parklike groves, particularly on the Island Sea"....on "flat, sandy beaches, black pine grows on rocky cliffs where it's vulnerable by salt spray"....it grow to 130 feet tall on optimum conditions but under more rigorous circumstances, it seldom exceeds 40 feet.....on "poor sites it develops an irregular crown with short twisted branches"...the "contorted character is, of course, also the basis for black pine becoming a major bonsai subject." (John L. Creech, Asian conifers, NMPro, Sept. 2002, p. 59-62).
- There are several named cultivars, variegated, compact (e.g., 'Thunderhead') and dwarf forms.
- thunbergii: after Carl Peter Thunberg (1743-1828), Dutch physician and botanist from Univ. Uppsala who traveled in E. Asia and introduced may plants from Japan.
- Oregon State Univ. campus: southwest of Crop Science. (Often the trees on the campus have numerous yellow and stunted needles, the cause is unknown.)