Definitions

Japanese Black Pine

Japanese Black Pine

The Japanese Black Pine (Pinus thunbergii) is a pine native to coastal areas of Japan (Kyūshū, Shikoku and Honshū, but not Hokkaidō) and South Korea. It can reach the height of 40 m, but rarely achieves this size outside its natural range. The needles are paired, about 7-12 cm long, and the cones are 4-7 cm in length.

Because of its resistance to pollution and salt, it is a popular horticultural tree. It is one of the classic bonsai subjects, requiring great patience over many years to train properly. 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.

The Japanese Black Pine is also known as the Japanese Pine, Black Pine, and (in Japanese) Kuromatsu (黒松). Some texts also list it under the superfluous scientific name Pinus thunbergiana.

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