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Pinus densiflora 'Pendula' Weeping Japanese Red Pine1

Edward F. Gilman 2


Japanese red pine reaches a height and spread of 30 to 50 feet in the landscape, growing much taller in the woods. Needles are arranged in pairs and remain on the tree for about three years. A distinguishing feature of this tree is the often crooked or sweeping trunk that shows reddish-orange peeling bark. Because lower branches are held nearly horizontal on the trunk forming a picturesque silhouette in the landscape, it is used best as a specimen, not as a mass planting. Needles may turn yellowish during winter on some soils.

General Information

Scientific name: Pinus densiflora 'Pendula'
Pronunciation: PYE-nuss den-siff-FLOR-ruh
Common name(s): weeping Japanese red pine
Family: Pinaceae
Plant type: tree
USDA hardiness zones: 3B through 7A (Fig. 1)
Planting month for zone 7: year round
Origin: not native to North America
Uses: bonsai
Availability: grown in small quantities by a small number of nurseries

Figure 1. Shaded area represents potential planting range.
Figure 1.  Shaded area represents potential planting range.


Height: 6 to 10 feet
Spread: 10 to 15 feet
Plant habit: weeping; spreading
Plant density: dense
Growth rate: slow
Texture: fine


Leaf arrangement: spiral
Leaf type: simple
Leaf margin: entire
Leaf shape: needle-like (filiform)
Leaf venation: parallel
Leaf type and persistence: evergreen
Leaf blade length: 4 to 8 inches
Leaf color: green
Fall color: no fall color change
Fall characteristic: not showy


Flower color: yellow
Flower characteristic: inconspicuous and not showy


Fruit shape: oval
Fruit length: 1 to 3 inches
Fruit cover: dry or hard
Fruit color: tan
Fruit characteristic: persists on the plant

Trunk and Branches

Trunk/bark/branches: typically multi-trunked or clumping stems; no thorns
Current year stem/twig color: green
Current year stem/twig thickness: medium


Light requirement: plant grows in full sun
Soil tolerances: acidic; well-drained; sand; loam
Drought tolerance: moderate
Soil salt tolerances: poor
Plant spacing: not applicable


Roots: usually not a problem
Winter interest: plant has winter interest due to unusual form, nice persistent fruits, showy winter trunk, or winter flowers
Outstanding plant: plant has outstanding ornamental features and could be planted more
Invasive potential: not known to be invasive
Pest resistance: long-term health usually not affected by pests

Use and Management

The tree prefers a site with full sun and a well-drained, slightly acid soil. Clay soil is usually not suitable unless it is very well drained.

There a few cultivars: 'Alboterminata'—yellowish needle tips; 'Aurea'—yellow needles; 'Oculis-draconis'—dragon's eye pine—two yellow lines on needles; 'Umbraculifera' - Tanyosho pine—20 feet tall, multi-trunked.

Propagation is by seed.

Pests and Diseases

This tree is usually pest-free, with occasional scale, but the list of potential problems is long.

Some of its diseases are needle blight and rusts. Canker diseases may cause dieback of landscape pines. Keep trees healthy and prune out the infected branches.

Needle cast is common on small trees and plantation or forest trees. Infected needles yellow and fall off.


1. This document is FPS481, one of a series of the Environmental Horticulture Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date October 1999. Reviewed February 2014. Visit the EDIS website at
2. Edward F. Gilman, professor, Environmental Horticulture Department; UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.

Publication #FPS481

Date: 9/28/2015

      Organism ID


      • Gail Hansen de Chapman