Home Trees Japanese Umbrella Pines: A Unique and Beautiful Tree | Growing, Care, and More

Japanese Umbrella Pines: A Unique and Beautiful Tree | Growing, Care, and More

by Donna
3 minutes read

Japanese Umbrella Pines: A Unique and Beautiful Tree


Japanese umbrella pines, also known as koya-maki, are small, strikingly beautiful trees that are native to Japan. They are one of Japan’s five sacred trees and are associated with Buddhism. These rare and expensive trees are worth the effort to grow, despite their slow growth rate.


Japanese umbrella pines are unusual trees with a unique texture. Their shiny, dark green needles are 2 to 5 inches long and grow in whorls around the branches. The branches on young trees grow straight out, giving them a rigid appearance. As the tree ages, the branches become more pendulous and graceful. The ornamental reddish or orange bark sheds in long strips, adding to the exotic appeal.

Growth Requirements

Japanese umbrella pines are easy to grow and care for, but finding a good site is important. They can tolerate almost any exposure but do best with moderate or full sun. They also need well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter.


When planting a Japanese umbrella pine, choose a site that is sheltered from strong winds. Dig a hole that is twice as wide as the root ball and just as deep. Place the tree in the hole and backfill with soil, tamping down gently to remove any air pockets. Water the tree deeply and regularly until it is established.


Japanese umbrella pines need regular watering, especially during dry spells. Mulching around the tree will help to retain moisture and suppress weeds. Fertilize the tree once a year in the spring with a balanced fertilizer.

Pests and Diseases

Japanese umbrella pines are relatively pest- and disease-free. However, they can be susceptible to Verticillium wilt, a fungal disease that can cause the tree to wilt and die. If you suspect that your tree has Verticillium wilt, contact a certified arborist for diagnosis and treatment.


Japanese umbrella pines are prized ornamental trees. They are often used in landscaping for their unique appearance and texture. They can also be grown in containers.


Japanese umbrella pines are beautiful and unique trees that are worth the effort to grow. With proper care, they can thrive for many years and add beauty to your landscape.

Additional Information

  • Japanese umbrella pines are the only members of their family and genus.
  • The needles of Japanese umbrella pines are said to have medicinal properties.
  • Japanese umbrella pines are often used in traditional Japanese gardens.
  • The wood of Japanese umbrella pines is used to make furniture, carvings, and other objects.

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