Pinus thunbergii 'Monina' MAJESTIC BEAUTY

Common Name: Japanese black pine 
Type: Needled evergreen
Family: Pinaceae
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 20.00 to 60.00 feet
Spread: 15.00 to 35.00 feet
Bloom Time: Non-flowering
Bloom Description: Non-flowering
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Leaf: Evergreen
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Deer


Grow in fertile, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates some light afternoon shade and some drought. Salt tolerant.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Pinus thunbergii commonly known as Japanese black pine, is noted for its whitish terminal buds that provide interesting contrast with its dark green foliage. In optimum growing conditions, this tree will grow in a generally conical form to 100’ tall, spreading somewhat irregularly with age. In cultivation, it is more often seen in the 20-60’ tall range. Needles (to 4.5” long) in bundles of two are an attractive dark green. Young foliage candles are upright.

Genus name comes from the Latin name for pines.

Specific epithet honors Carl Peter Thunberg, 18-19th century Sweedish physician.

‘Monina', commonly sold under the trade name of MAJESTIC BEAUTY, is similar in form to the species, but slightly more compact. It is distinguished from species' trees by having (1) more uniform rich green needle color with an absence of chlorotic (yellow) needles due to its absorption of greater amounts of iron from the soil, and (2) absence of needle tip burn (necrosis) associated with smog. It was selected from a bed of seedlings of Pinus thunbergii at Monrovia Nursery, Azusa, California on May 1, 1976. U. S. Plant Patent PP05,078 was issued on August 2, 1983.


Healthy, well-maintained trees in optimum growing conditions have few major problems. Potential diseases include Diplodia tip blight, rusts, cankers, twig/needle blight and leaf cast. Potential insect pests include pinewood nematodes, caterpillars, miners, sawfly, scale, mealybugs, borers and weevils. These pines may struggle in the St. Louis area where environmental conditions do not favor most conifers.


Good specimen pine for the landscape. Bonsai.