Pinus parviflora (Glauca Group)
Common Name: Japanese white pine 
Type: Needled evergreen
Family: Pinaceae
Zone: 5 to 7
Height: 20.00 to 40.00 feet
Spread: 20.00 to 50.00 feet
Bloom Time: Non-flowering
Bloom Description: Non-flowering
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Leaf: Evergreen
Tolerate: Deer


Grow in medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerant of a variety of soil types, including poor soils, as long as the drainage is good. Plants prefer cool summer climates and dislike the heat and humidity of the deep South. Plants are generally tolerant of urban conditions.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Pinus parviflora, commonly called Japanese white pine, is native to Japan and Korea. It is an evergreen conifer that typically grows to 30-50’ tall in cultivation, but may reach 90’ tall in the wild. Trees have a dense pyramidal habit when young, but with age develop more spreading branching and a flatter top. Often-twisted, green needles (each to 3” long) in bundles of five appear in dense tufts primarily at the branch ends. Needles are white on the interior surfaces. Oval reddish-brown cones (2-3” long) appear solitary or in small clusters, remaining on the tree for up to seven years. Grayish black bark is smooth on young trees but fissures and develops small scales as the tree matures. Green-needled trees are uncommonly seen growing in the U.S., but glaucous-needled trees are popular in areas where they grow well.

Genus name comes from the Latin name for pines.

Specific epithet means with small flowers.

Glauca Group includes cultivars with glaucous or blue needles and are popular landscape plants. Green-needled versions of this tree, as found in its native habitat, are both uncommonly found and rarely sold in the U.S.


In its native habitat, healthy, well-maintained trees usually have few major problems. Although Japanese white pine may be grown in the St. Louis area, it probably will struggle because of soil, climate and disease susceptibility.