Pinus thunbergii

Japanese black pine (Pinus thunbergii )

The Japanese black pine (Pinus thunbergii ) is a coniferous tree from the kind of pines. Of course, it occurs in Japan and South Korea.


The Japanese black pine is an up to 30 -meter-high tree with broad, conical crown and projecting or something hanging branches. The trunk reaches a diameter at breast height of up to 2 meters. The bark is dark gray and torn into irregular plates. Young shoots are orange yellow and bare. The buds are oblong, 1.2 to 1.8 inches long, whitish, not resinous, with fringed scales and a short, non- attached tip.

The standing in pairs needles are upstanding and are 6 to 11 inches long and 1.5 to 2 millimeters thick. They are very stiff, sharply pointed, slightly rotated and have a finely serrated margin. Both sides are equipped with dark green and stomatal bands. They remain three years on the tree. The needle sheaths are 1.2 to 1.5 inches long and not fall off. The cones are oval to conical, 4-6 inches long and 3-4 inches thick, brown and short stalks. The cone scales are flat, almost rhombic and have a low cross bar. The seeds are 5 millimeters long and are winged. Pollination is from April to May, the seeds mature after two years in October.

Distribution and ecology

The natural range of the Japanese Black Pine is located south of 37 north latitude in coastal locations of Japan ( Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu ) and South Korea. Where it grows in species-poor forests and copses on moderately dry to moderately moist, acidic to neutral, sandy soils in sunny locations. It is heat- loving and usually frost hardy. They colonized dunes and salt spray also endures.

In the IUCN Red List, the Japanese black pine is run as a non- endangered ( " Lower Risk / least concern "). It is noted, however, that a re-evaluation of risks is required.

Systematics and history of research

The Japanese black pine (Pinus thunbergii ) is a species in the genus of pine (Pinus ). There she is assigned to the sub-section of Pinus section Pinus in the subgenus Pinus. The first description was in 1868 by Filippo Parlatore. A synonym of the species is Pinus thunbergiana Franco. The specific epithet thunbergii refers to the Swedish doctor, botanist and explorer Carl Peter Thunberg, who spent the time from 1775 to 1778 in Batavia and Japan.

The species forms with the Japanese red pine (Pinus densiflora ) natural hybrids.


The Japanese black pine is rarely used as a timber. It is hardy in Central Europe, but is not used because of the slow growth and because of their sensitivity to wet snow as a park and forest tree.