Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Japanese Red Pine
Pinus densiflora 'Umbraculifera'

Family: Pinaceae (py-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Pinus (PY-nus) (Info)
Species: densiflora (den-see-FLOR-uh) (Info)
Cultivar: Umbraculifera

2 vendors have this plant for sale.


20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

over 40 ft. (12 m)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Pale Yellow

Bloom Time:
Unknown - Tell us


Other details:
Flowers are fragrant
Provides winter interest

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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3 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive coriaceous On May 4, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

Also called Tanyosho pine, this is a slow-growing dwarf cultivar that's more shrub than tree, growing to perhaps 15' tall and wide in 30 years. Valued in Japanese gardens and bonsai, as well as in western style landscaping. Naturally multitrunked, it produces a broad umbrella shaped crown, but it's often sheared to be flat-topped or pruned to develop a graceful irregularity. In North American nurseries, it's usually top-grafted on a short single trunk.

The species is called red pine for the showy orangy-red bark of the younger branches. In Japan, it's a common forest tree reaching 100' in the wild.

There are many other cultivars of this species, some even more dwarf.

Neutral RosemaryK On May 3, 2014, RosemaryK from Lexington, MA (Zone 6a) wrote:

I believe this is to be the Tanyosho pine, familiar because of the many pictures of wind swept pines growing on mountainsides and near temples. Missouri Botanical Gardens reports in their Plants of Merit finder that there are dwarf cultivars for smaller gardens.

Positive NorthSC On Nov 25, 2012, NorthSC from North, SC (Zone 8a) wrote:

I'm growing one (grafted, 1 foot tall) in the ground in a partial shade in zone 8A/8B without problems.

I had two, but the second one died after I (temporarily) moved it from ground to a pot. They seem to like to be left alone once planted.

Positive slyperso1 On May 8, 2008, slyperso1 from Richland, MI (Zone 5b) wrote:

This cultivar of Japanese Red grows very slowly, Needles are arranged in pairs and remain on the tree for about three years.
A distinguishing feature of this tree is the upright, spreading branching habit which is uncommon in the Pine genus.
The bark is unusually striking showing reddish-orange as it exfoliates.
The form is compact and the tree stays small making it ideally suited for the residential yard. It can be used as a screen planted in mass or in a row, or alone as a specimen.
Needles may turn yellowish during winter
on some soils.

Origin: not native to North America
Uses: Bonsai; specimen; no proven urban tolerance

Crown: irregular outline or silhouette, oval, moderate density, medium growth rate, fine texture.

Fruit characteristics: does not attract wildlife; inconspicuous and not showy; fruit, twigs, or foliage cause significant litter; persistent on the tree

Trunk/bark/branches: routinely grown with, or trainable to be grown with, multiple trunks; grow mostly upright and will not droop; very showy trunk; no thorns, needs little pruning to develop a strong structure

Breakage: susceptible to breakage either at the crotch due to poor collar formation, or the wood itself is weak and tends to break

Soil tolerances: clay; loam; sand; acidic; well-drained, moderate drought tolerance, not tolerant to salt

Roots: surface roots are usually not a problem Winter interest: tree has winter interest due to unusual form, nice persistent fruits, showy winter trunk, or winter flowers

Outstanding tree: tree has outstanding ornamental features and could be planted more

Invasive potential: little, if any, potential at this time

Pest resistance: long-term health usually not affected by pests, but with occasional scale

The tree prefers a site with full sun and a well-drained, slightly acid soil. Heavy clay soil is not suitable. This cultivar must be grafted for propagation.

Some of its diseases are needle blight and rusts.
Canker diseases may cause dieback of landscape Pines.
Keep trees healthy and prune out the infected branches.
Needle cast is common on small trees and plantation or forest trees. Infected needles yellow and fall off.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Vincent, Alabama
Crestwood, Kentucky
Louisville, Kentucky
Dracut, Massachusetts
Roslindale, Massachusetts
Saint Louis, Missouri
Cincinnati, Ohio
Georgetown, Ohio
Portland, Oregon
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
North, South Carolina

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