Originating in Japan, the Korean Peninsula, northeastern China and the extreme southeast of Russia, this pine has become a popular ornamental tree and has several cultivars. In the winter it becomes yellowish. The height is 20 – 35 m. The Korean red pine prefers full sun on well-drained, slightly acidic soil.
Pinus densiflora , is a tall, broadly conical to rounded tree, becoming flat topped, with reddish-brown, flaky bark in the upper crown, grey and fissured near the base. Stiff, bright green needles, about 10cm long, are borne in pairs and the cones are yellow-brown, around 4cm long. The leaves are needle-like, 8 – 12 cm long, with two per fascicle. The cones are 4 – 7 cm long. It is closely related to Scots pine, differing in the longer, slenderer leaves which are mid green without the glaucous-blue tone of Scots pine.
In Japan it is known as akamatsu (literally "red pine") and mematsu. It is widely cultivated in Japan both for timber production and as an ornamental tree, and plays an important part in the classic Japanese garden. Numerous species exist, including the variegated semi-dwarf Oculus draconis, the pendulous, the often contorted ‘Pendula’ and the multi-trunked 'Umbraculifera'. Since being frequently cultivated for the west it was named the "Japanese red pine" in English..
This is a popular tree for bonsai, and is also grown as an ornamental tree in parks and gardens.
Red pine, illustrating the candles and fine needle clusters examples of young, purchasable nursery stock
Examples of red pine in the early stages of training
Fully developed red pines at exhibition standard, illustrating the large varieties of style.
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