Japanese Black Pines are a highly attractive and unusual pine tree. They have an irregular form and horizontal branches, Japanese Black Pines are exceptionally tolerant to sandy soil and salt spray. iIt can reach 60 feet or more in height under ideal conditions. The dark grey, deeply grooved bark of the tree contrasts nicely with the deep green needles providing even more interest.
Japanese Black Pines or simply Black Pines are interesting, fast-growing pine trees. Its irregular growth habit adds character to the landscape.
Silvery white candles in spring and rich, dark green densely packed needles provide year round beauty. An ideal focal point or specimen for the Asian garden, whether sculpted into an artistic shape or left in its natural form.
20 to 25 feet
15 to 20 feet
2 to 3 feet year
How to Care for Japanese Black Pine
Never plant trees deeper than originally planted in the pot. Doing so can cause rotting of the stem and death to the tree. Japanese Black Pine Trees are very drought tolerant, however they grow very slow without adequate water. Staking young trees is recommended. When tying trees to stakes remember the tree will continue to grow. Loosely tie the Japanese Black Pine Trees with several twist ties to allow for growth. Check trees every three months and loosen as needed. If this is not done, the twist tie will grow into the tree causing injury. The one question that comes up often, “when is the best time to plant.”? For the most part, container trees can be planted year around, provided the ground isn’t frozen. Below Virginia many nurseries and Christmas tree growers field plant year around, weather permitting. When planting potted Japanese Black Pines, remember the only water source the tree has, is its small root ball, and all the water the tree uses must come from there until new roots can grow into the surrounding soil.
Frequently Asked questions
What is the Growth Rate for Japanese Black Pine Trees?
Japanese Black Pine Trees grows slower than its eastern cousins and once established gains more than 2 feet of height every year. However, the tree more commonly reaches mature heights of 20 to 25 feet with a spread of up to 15 feet. Japanese Black Pine Trees are a versatile tree that thrives in bright sunlight or light shade. In its natural environment, the tree grows in mountainous regions. Although the tree grows in nearly any moist, well-drained soil, it doesn't tolerate soggy, poorly drained areas. Japanese Black Pine Trees makes an effective focal point in any garden due to its interesting growth habit.
How do I water Japanese Black Pine Trees?
After back filling and lightly compacting the 50/50 mix of existing soil and compost give the Japanese Black Pine Trees a good deep watering. This is not to be rushed. most of the water you put on the plant at first will run away from the plant until the soil is soaked. A general rule of thumb is to count to 5 for every one gallon of pot size. For example a one gallon pot would be watered until you count to 5 a three gallon pot would be 15 and so on. Check the plant daily for the first week or so and then every other day there after. Water using the counting method for the first few weeks. More plants die from being over-watered rather than under-watered.
How do I mulch Japanese Black Pine Trees?
We highly recommend that you mulch your Japanese Black Pine Trees with either a ground hardwood mulch or a ground cypress mulch depending on your local availability. Any type of mulch will do but cypress or hardwood mulch will be of a higher quality and provide better nutrition overall as they breakdown. Mulching helps to keep weeds away which will compete with your new investment for water and nutrients. A 2 to 3 inch layer of mulch is sufficient but remember to take care not to cover any part of the stem of the plant with mulch. Its better to leave a one inch gap of space between the mulch and the stem or trunk of the plant. as the tree begins to mature you'll find it will start to produce its own mulch in the form of fallen needles or "Pine Straw". In September and October, this pine “sheds “all of its needles that grew out the previous year. This is normal and is actually a sign of a healthy white pine. These needles make excellent mulch and can be either left in place or raked up and used to mulch other acid loving plants.
How do I fertilize Japanese Black Pine Trees?
We recommend when planting your Japanese Black Pine Trees to use Bio-tone starter fertilizer by Espoma. We have tried many so called “starter fertilizers” over the years and have come to rely on Bio-tone exclusively for our own use. Simply mix the recommended amount of Bio-tone into the back-fill soil and water in generously when back-filled. Bio-tone® Starter Plus is an all-natural plant food that is combined with a stronger concentration of our beneficial bacteria along with both endo and ecto mycorrhizae. Basically the “good” fungus in Bio-tone colonizes on the growing roots of your newly planted plant and does not allow disease causing fungus to attack the new roots. It has also shown promise in stimulating the growth of the new roots which means quicker establishment for you plant. After establishment and during the following years we recommend Holly-tone used at the recommended rates. It is also organic and slow release which will feed your trees the proper amount of nutrients over a period of time rather than all at once which can burn the root tips and actually have the opposite effect of slowing down plant growth. It also will help to maintain the acid level in the soil that Japanese Black Pine Trees need to thrive.
How do I prune Japanese Black Pine Trees?
Japanese Black Pine Trees take on a tall, broad-based, pyramidal shape if left un-pruned. However, a young tree can be trained and its growth restrained if pruning is done on a regular basis. Japanese Black Pine Trees does best when grown with a single leader and extra main stems should be removed at planting. The tree's overall growth can be controlled by pruning its side branches annually, cutting back each branch back by about one-third, and by topping the tree slightly during each pruning session. Japanese Black Pines also respond well to light pruning or shearing later in the growing season, at any time between spring and early-to-mid summer. However, avoid pruning a tree in late summer or fall, since pruning stimulates new growth, which is tender and easily damaged by dropping temperatures in fall and winter.