Glauca Group represents blue-needled selections of the Japanese white pine. Each blue needle has a white stripe. (Richie Steffen)

Glauca Group represents blue-needled selections of the Japanese white pine. Each blue needle has a white stripe. (Richie Steffen)

Great Plant Pick: Pinus parviflora, blue-needled Japanese white pine

Glauca Group represents blue-needled selections of the Japanese white pine. Each blue needle has a white stripe.

What: The name Pinus parviflora Glauca Group represents blue-needled selections of the lovely Japanese white pine. Each of their blue needles has a white stripe. These slow-growing evergreen trees form a dense pyramid when they are young and gradually develop wide-spreading branches and a flat-topped shape with maturity. The combination of handsome foliage and attractive overall shape make blue-needled Japanese white pines outstanding garden trees.

Where: Japanese white pine grows best in full sun to light or open shade. It prefers well-drained or sandy soil, but will tolerate clay if the drainage is adequate.

Size: The pyramidal conifer will grow to be 50 feet tall with a 30-foot spread when mature.

Care: Once established, it is completely drought tolerant. The roots are tolerant of restricted zones, making it great for patio planters and large containers. Little pruning is needed to maintain its twisted habit — solely remove dead, broken or poorly formed limbs. New growth can be broken in half or pinched out to create a denser more compact tree.

— Richie Steffen, Great Plant Picks

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