SCIENTIFIC NAME: Pinus densiflora “Umbraculifera”
This tree in Colorado This is a rare and unusual tree and is especially good for small spaces and oriental gardens. It is native to Japan and is a dwarf-form cultivar of the Japanese Red Pine. Other names are Umbrella Pine and Tabletop Pine. There are a number of trees in the Denver area that are 13 to 18 feet tall. The spread is greater than the height (25’). It is often multi-trunked and has moderate drought tolerance.
Hardiness Zones 3B to 7. Soil pH can range from very acidic to alkaline but slightly acidic soils are preferable. Soil textures can also vary but should be well drained. Full sun is also desired though some shade is tolerated.
Growth rate Very slow growing but a little faster in youth. A normal height would be 12’ with a 20’ spread. It can be trimmed to have shrub like characteristics. Reaches 5-8’ in ten years.
Foliage Needles are moderately dense in bundles of two and grow to be 3-4” with a slight twist. Bright green in color, they almost look like plastic. They are soft to the touch, similar to white pine.
Buds The buds give a semi-ornamental appeal. The new “candles” have a rusty color.
Cones Tan in color and oval in shape, about 2” long and 1” wide. A heavy bearer and persist for 2-3 years.
Bark Develops a beautiful orange to reddish brown bark that peels into thin strips. This is one of its unique characteristics.
Insects and diseases Little to none.
Best advice This is an unusual, outstanding, and beautiful tree that should be planted more. It can be a trained to be a single trunk, mulit-trunk, or a shrub. It has attractive foliage and an unusual bark. It is a good accent tree, popular for bonsai, and can be grown in compact spaces.
Online: Urban Forest Ecosystem Institute, Oregon State Univ. USDA-FS