Grow in moist, well-drained loams in full sun. Tolerant of a wide range of soils, including both sandy and clay soils. Avoid poorly-drained wet soils. These trees prefer cool summer climates. They generally dislike the heat and humidity of hot and humid summer locations such the St. Louis area. They are noted for having excellent tolerance for cold winter temperatures (winter hardy to USDA Zone 3). They are generally tolerant of urban conditions.
Pinus koraiensis, commonly called Korean pine, is native to Korea, Manchuria, eastern Russia and Japan. It is a member of the white pine group. It grows to 30-50' tall in cultivation, but may reach 100' or more in its native habitat. When young, this tree typically grows in a narrow pyramidal form with ascending branching. With age, it relaxes into a loose pyramidal shape with a rounded crown and branching that is almost horizontal. Branching on mature trees usually extends to the ground. Blue-green needles (to 4 1/2" long) appear in bundles of 5. Cones (3-6" long) mature to brown and contain large edible seeds (pine nuts to 3/4" long). Pine nuts from this species are widely distributed in commerce. Gray to gray-brown bark flakes to reveal a reddish-brown inner bark. Timber from this tree has a number of commercial uses including for furniture, bridges and construction.
Genus name comes from the Latin name for pines.
Specific epithet means of Korea.
In its native habitat, healthy, well-maintained trees usually have few major problems. This pine can be difficult to grow well in the St. Louis area because of soil and climate. It is susceptible to tip blight, rusts and rots. Pine needle scale can be a serious problem in some areas. Sawflies, moths and borers may appear.
Although uncommonly planted, Korean pine grows well in groups, as a screen or as a single specimen.