Pinus thunbergii ‘Thunderhead’

compact Japanese black pine

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

Outstanding Qualities

This unique selection of Japanese black pine maintains all the wonderful characteristics of the wild conifer – wonderful irregular shape, dark forest green needles and drought tolerance – but in a much more compact form. In the wild this tree can reach over 100 feet, however, ‘Thunderhead’ will grow to about 10 feet tall in ten years and eventually mature to perhaps around 20 feet. The new spring shoots (new growth), or “candles” as they are called, shoot up from the center of the upright branches contrasting well against the deep green pine needles.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: conifer

Foliage Type: evergreen

Plant Height: 10 ft. 0 in. (3.05 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 10 ft. 0 in. (3.05 meters)

Plant Height-Mature: 20 ft. 0 in. (6.10 meters)

Plant Width-Mature: 20 ft. 0 in. (6.10 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 6 to 8

Flower Color: none

Sun/Light Exposure: full sun

Water Requirements: drought tolerant once established

Seasonal Interest: new growth in spring, year-round evergreen beauty

Wildlife Associations: birds

Culture Notes
Plant in a location with full sun on well-drained or sandy soil and, once established it is drought tolerant.