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Common Name:

Japanese Black Pine

Scientific Name:

Pinus thunbergiana

Family Name:



Japanese Black Pine develops into a picturesque more open conifer than many of the adapted pines for Texas landscapes. Japanese Black Pine is a favorite for oriental gardens and stays more in scale with small urban lots. This handsome pine can be used in most regions of Texas with proper care.

Plant Habit or Use:

Upright conifer, tree, small tree, medium tree



Flower Color:

Not ornamental

Blooming Period:


Fruit Characteristics:

2 inch ovate woody cone


typically 20 ft to 40 ft in Texas, to 100 ft in Japan


20 ft to 30 ft

Earth–Kind® Index:

  • Heat Tolerance: High Heat Tolerance
  • Water Requirements: Low Water Use
  • Soil Requirements: Low Soil Requirements
  • Pest Tolerance: High Pest Resistance
  • Fertility Requirements: Low Fertility Requirements
Explanation of the Earth–Kind® Index breakdown

Firewise Index

Explanation of the Firewise Index numerical value

USDA Hardiness Zones:

6, 7, 8

Regions that intersect these hardiness zones:
Region A - Panhandle and High Plains Region B - North and Central Texas Region C - Northeast and East Texas Region D - West Texas Region E - Upper Rio Grande Region F - Hill Country and Central Coast Region G - Southeast Texas
Click image for enlarged map of USDA Hardiness Zones

Additional Comments:

One of the better adapted pines to alkaline soils, but requires good drainage. Slower grower and more irregular in growth habit than the larger Pinus taeda, Pinus elliottii, or Pinus nigra.
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A Special Note about Cool Season Annuals

Cool season annuals typically are planted in the fall or early winter and flower in early spring under moderate temperatures. This group of plant materials includes: pansies, snapdragons, violas, dianthus, flowering cabbage/kale, etc. Because cool season annuals flower in the spring when conditions are mild, most have limited heat tolerance.

As a result cool season annuals do not receive a high Earth–Kind® index despite their outstanding landscape qualities.