Umbrella Pine (Monkey Puzzle tree looking over it’s shoulder!)

That’s the umbrella pine, I say, and it’s not actually a pine at all.

Koyamaki Japanese Umbrella Pine - Sciadopitys verticillata - Quart Pot

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  • TAG : Umbrella pine at North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville
  • Japanese umbrella pines are hardy from zones 5 to 7, so are best suited for use in the cooler parts of Arkansas. Light shade from pine trees or afternoon shade is preferable, but they will grow in full sun so long as they remain well watered during summer droughts. They grow best in rich, fertile sites with an acidic soil pH.

    The umbrella pine is one of the “five trees of Kiso,” a selection of five species of coniferous forest giants made during the feudal period and used as plantings around shrines and important sites. One of these umbrella pines has been worshiped locally at the Jinguji Temple in Kyoto Prefecture since 1310.

  • Say thank you to my Japanese umbrella pine for holding up to 25 winters of uneasy snow loads and countless ice storms; not suffering winterburn in the spot I chose with no particular knowledge of the plant’s needs or the garden’s future direction; for settling in without so much as losing a needle (which apparently isn’t always the case I did some time ago). For looking handsome every single day of all those years.

    I knew nothing at all when I heaved the then-very-rare, chest-high young Sciadopitys verticillata out of the ground in the borough of Queens in New York City, and plopped it unceremoniously into a bushel basket for the trip several hours north. I picked a spot for it when there was nothing but one giant rhododendron alone in the middle of the yard behind the house, connected to nothing. I made the umbrella pine its companion, and hoped they would get along.

    > Plants > Trees > Pinus pinea (umbrella pine)

  • Francis Parkman (1823-1893) was an historian living in Boston who’s still remembered today for his lively, firsthand report of his trip on the Oregon Trail in 1846. Gardening was Parkman’s other passion, and it was he who first grew the Japanese umbrella pine outside of Japan. George Hall, a physician turned Oriental trader, sent Parkman a shipment of plants in 1861, including the first Japanese maples grown in this country.

Japanese Umbrella Pine Trees: Odd Relics From the Past

Umbrella pines need organically rich soil that manages moisture well. For most locations, this means working a thick layer of compost or rotted manure into the soil before planting. It isn’t enough to amend the soil in the planting hole because the roots need good soil as they spread into the surrounding area. Umbrella pines fail to thrive in or .