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Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

Japanese black pine is an introduced evergreen. In its most favorable habitat, Japanese black pine can reach a height of 100 feet, but in beach plantings, it is usually less than 20 feet tall. Its spreading, loosely swaying branches are orange-yellow in color, and form an irregular silhouette. The blackish-gray bark is furrowed into irregular plates. Its evergreen foliage consists of bright green bundles of 2 stiff, sharp-pointed needles, 3-5 inches long. The large, grayish-white terminal buds are oblong, with fringed scales at the tips. After 4 or 5 years of age, nut-brown colored, short-stalked cones, 2-3 inches long, are produced. Fruiting and seed production are usually prolific. There are 34,000 seeds per pound.

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USDA NRCS Northeast Plant Materials Program

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Alternative names

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Distribution

National Distribution

United States

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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Beijing Shi, Hubei (Wuhan Shi, Yingshan Xian), Jiangsu (Nanjing Shi), Jiangxi, Liaoning, Shandong, Yunnan (Kunming Shi), Zhejiang [native to Japan, Korea]
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© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

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Distribution and adaptation

This pine is adaptable and will grow on a wide variety of soils under adverse conditions. Japanese black pine exhibits excellent drought tolerance but poor shade tolerance; it tolerates moderately well-drained soils. This pine is more salt-spray resistant than any of the native pines.

Japanese black pine is distributed primarily throughout the eastern United States. For a current distribution map, please consult the Plant Profile page for this species on the PLANTS Web site.

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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

Trees to 30 m tall; trunk to 2 m d.b.h. in native range; bark dull gray when young, aging gray-black, rough and thick, scaly and decidous; crown broadly conical or umbrellalike; 1st-year branchlets pale brown-yellow, glabrous; winter buds silvery white, cylindric-ellipsoid or cylindric, scales fringed at margin. Needles 2 per bundle, dull green, shiny, 6-12 cm × 0.5-2 mm, rigid, stomatal lines present on all surfaces, resin canals 6-11, median, base with persistent sheath, margin serrulate. Seed cones solitary or 2 or 3 together, shortly pedunculate, brown, conical-ovoid or ovoid, 4-6 × 3-4 cm, deciduous. Seed scales ovate-elliptic; apophyses slightly swollen, obviously cross keeled; umbo slightly concave, apex blunt. Seeds obovoid-ellipsoid, 5-7 × 2-3.5 mm; wing gray-brown, 1-1.1 cm. Pollination Apr-May, seed maturity Oct of 2nd year.
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Physical Description

Tree, Evergreen, Monoecious, Habit erect, Trees without or rarely having knees, Tree with bark rough or scaly, Young shoots 3-dimensional, Buds resinous, Leaves needle-like, Leaves alternate, Needle-like leaf margins finely serrulate (use magnification or slide your finger along the leaf), Leaf apex acute, Leaves > 5 cm long, Leaves < 10 cm long, Leaves not blue-green, Needle-like leaves triangular, Needle-like leaves twisted, Needle-like leaf habit erect, Needle-like leaves per fascicle mostly 2, Needle-like leaf sheath persistent, Twigs glabrous, Twigs viscid, Twigs not viscid, Twigs without peg-like projections or large fascicles after needles fall, Berry-like cones orange, Woody seed cones < 5 cm long, Woody seed cones > 5 cm long, Seed cones bearing a scarlike umbo, Umbo with missing or very weak prickle, Umbo with obvious prickle, Bracts of seed cone included, Seeds brown, Seeds black, Seeds winged, Seeds unequally winged, Seed wings prominent, Seed wings equal to or broader than body.
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Stephen C. Meyers

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Diagnostic Description

Synonym

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This pine grows at low to middle elevations (up to ca. 1,000 m above sea level) in the coastal hills and mountains of the islands of Japan and South Korea, where the climate is warm temperate (with little or no frost) and moist. These regions would have had a predominantly deciduous angiosperm forest cover, with conifers mixed in especially on poor, water-logged soils and on dry slopes and mountain ridges. Pinus thunbergii would have occupied these habitats as well as those in close proximity to the sea coast. Extensive cultivation has removed the natural vegetation in most areas, but as a pioneer species P. thunbergii has been able to hold its own; it has been much planted in afforestation schemes from where it could spread in adjacent uncultivated areas. Its tolerance of salty winds makes it a species that grows well on the sea coasts of Japan, both naturally and when planted; naturally its trunk becomes bent and the crown flattened under severe exposure.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Cultivated in cities, used for afforestation on mountain slopes; to 1400 m.
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Dispersal

Establishment

Japanese black pine typically grows on medium fertility, slightly acid, loamy to sandy soils. Establishment is by planting bare-root or container-grown plants 2-3 years old. On sand dunes, the use of container-grown plants is recommended. It may be established using bare-root two-year-old seedlings where soil and moisture conditions are good for plant establishment. It is desirable to dig a hole 2-3 times larger than the container, backfill with peat moss, then mix thoroughly with the sand. Place the roots in the hole and backfill around them. Water immediately. Japanese black pine is grown in nurseries from seed, using conventional propagation practices.

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Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Associations

Foodplant / parasite
aecium of Coleosporium asterum parasitises live Pinus thunbergii

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Pinus thunbergii

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Pinus thunbergii

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 2
Specimens with Barcodes: 22
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2013

Assessor/s
Farjon, A.

Reviewer/s
Thomas, P.

Contributor/s

Justification
This species is widespread and very common in Japan and coastal parts of South Korea and is therefore assessed as Least Concern.
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National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: GNR - Not Yet Ranked

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Status

Please consult the PLANTS Web site and your State Department of Natural Resources for this plant’s current status (e.g. threatened or endangered species, state noxious status, and wetland indicator values).

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Population

Population
The population is thought to be stable.

Population Trend
Stable
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Threats

Major Threats
Logging is a potential threat if done non-sustainably; this was perhaps the case in the past and locally. Urban development, particularly in coastal areas may also have reduced the area of occupancy in the past. Such losses do not appear to have led to an overall decline.
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Pests and potential problems

European pine shoot moth (Rhyacionia buolinana) frequently kills terminal growth of young trees, resulting in irregularly formed trees. Japanese black pine is also susceptible to red-pine scale (Matsucoccus resinosae).

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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
This species is present in many reserves and is widely used for afforestation within its native range.
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Some protection from strong winds the first and second years may improve survival. Average growth is 12-18 inches per year.

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Uses

Japanese black pine had been among the best species for planting along Northeastern seashores until about 1990. The species has suffered from insects and diseases and has fallen rapidly in esteem.

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Wikipedia

Pinus thunbergii

Pinus thunbergii (Syn: Pinus thunbergiana; English: Japanese Black Pine, Japanese Pine, Black Pine; Korean: 곰솔 ; Chinese: 黑松 ; Japanese: Kuromatsu; Kanji: 黒松) is a pine native to coastal areas of Japan: Kyūshū, Shikoku and Honshū, but not Hokkaidō ( Hokkaidō has a particular type of pine called Aikuromatsu) and South Korea.[1]

Description[edit]

Japanese Black Pine can reach the height of 40 m, but rarely achieves this size outside its natural range. The needles are in fascicles of two with a white sheath at the base, 7–12 cm long; female cones are 4–7 cm in length, scaled, with small points on the tips of the scales, taking two years to mature. Male cones are 1–2 cm long borne in clumps of 12-20 on the tips of the spring growth. Bark is gray on young trees and small branches, changing to black and plated on larger branches and the trunk; becoming quite thick on older trunks.

Ecology[edit]

In North America this tree is subject to widespread mortality by the native American Pinewood Nematode Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, spread by means of beetle vectors. Subsequently, blue stain fungus invades the plant, leading to a rapid decline and death. This nematode has also been introduced to Japan accidentally, leading to the species becoming endangered in its native area.

Uses[edit]

Because of its resistance to pollution and salt, it is a popular horticultural tree. In Japan it is widely used as a garden tree both trained as Niwaki and untrained growing as an overstory tree. The trunks and branches are trained from a young age to be elegant and interesting to view. It is one of the classic bonsai subjects, requiring great patience over many years to train properly.

Images[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ eFloras, 2009

References[edit]

  • eFloras, Missouri Botanical Garden & Harvard University Herbaria (FOC Vol. 4 Page 21), Pinus thunbergii, retrieved 2009 
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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Comments: Exotic to the U.S. (Alan Weakley, Nov/1994).

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