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Pinus densiflora 'Pendula' Weeping Japanese Red Pine

Edward F. Gilman, Ryan W. Klein, and Gail Hansen


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.

Full Form - Pinus densiflora 'Pendula': Weeping Japanese Red Pine
Figure 1. Full Form - Pinus densiflora 'Pendula': Weeping Japanese red pine.
Credit: Edward F. Gilman, UF/IFAS


Leaf - Pinus densiflora 'Pendula': Weeping Japanese Red Pine
Figure 2. Leaf - Pinus densiflora 'Pendula': Weeping Japanese red pine.
Credit: Edward F. Gilman, UF/IFAS

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 (Figure 3)

Planting month for zone 7: year-round

Origin: not native to North America

Invasive potential: not known to be invasive

Uses: bonsai

Availability: grown in small quantities by a small number of nurseries

Shaded area represents potential planting range.
Figure 3. 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

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.

Publication #FPS481

Release Date:January 16, 2024

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Part of Shrubs Fact Sheets

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About this Publication

This document is FPS481, one of a series of the Department of Environmental Horticulture, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date October 1999. Revised October 2023. Visit the EDIS website at for the currently supported version of this publication.

About the Authors

Edward F. Gilman, professor emeritus; Ryan W. Klein, assistant professor, arboriculture; and Gail Hansen, professor, sustainable landscape design; Department of Environmental Horticulture, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.


  • Gail Hansen de Chapman
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