Pinus densiflora 'Umbraculifera'
Common Name: Japanese red pine 
Type: Needled evergreen
Family: Pinaceae
Zone: 3 to 7
Height: 10.00 to 20.00 feet
Spread: 15.00 to 25.00 feet
Bloom Time: Non-flowering
Bloom Description: Non-flowering
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Leaf: Evergreen
Tolerate: Deer


Grow in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates some light afternoon shade, particularly in hot summer climates.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Pinus densiflora, commonly called Japanese red pine, is perhaps the most common tree growing in Japan. It will soar to 100’ in the wild, but in cultivation is more likely to top out at 40-60’ tall. In its early years, this is a medium growing pine (to 12” per year). It is noted for its irregular but frequently graceful form and its orange-red bark. Often multi-trunked at the base, this tree features a broad-rounded shape, horizontally spreading branching and a somewhat flattened mature crown. Trunks often lean. Bark matures to gray-fissured at the base. Bright green needles (to 3-5” long) appear in bundles of two. Oval to oblong cones (to 2” long) are often plentiful. Common name is in reference to the attractive orange-red bark that exfoliates with age. Needles may yellow in winter.

Genus name comes from the Latin name for pines.

Specific epithet means densely-flowered, which is odd being used for a non-flowering plant (a conifer). It probably refers to the species' abundant production of small cones.

‘Umbraculifera’ (also commonly called ‘Tanyosho’) is a slow-growing dwarf cultivar that is grown as either a small tree or shrub. As the cultivar name suggests, it is noted for its umbrella-like crown. It may reach 15’ tall after 30 years. The type of rootstock used may in large part determine the mature size of the plant. Some nurseries sell Pinus densiflora ‘Umbraculifera Nana’ as an even smaller dwarf cultivar that only grows to about 6’ tall. As with the species, ‘Umbraculifera’ is noted for its orange-red bark and abundant production of small seed cones. Often multi-trunked at the base, this plant features a broad-rounded shape, dense upright-spreading branching and an umbrella crown. Bright green needles (to 3-5” long) appear in bundles of two. Oval to oblong cones (to 2” long) are often plentiful. Needles may yellow in winter.


Healthy, well-maintained trees in their native environment usually have few major problems. Most pines can be difficult to grow well in the St. Louis area in large part because of soil and climate.

Garden Uses

Foundations, small areas around the home. Also used for bonsai.