Tempelhof Japanese White Pine

Tempelhof Japanese White Pine

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Tempelhof Japanese White Pine foliage

Tempelhof Japanese White Pine foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

* This is a “special order” plant – contact store for details

Height: 40 feet

Spread: 40 feet


Hardiness Zone: 4b

Other Names: Blue Compact


This variety’s apperance is compared to the standard blue form but has the reputation of being a stronger grower; a pyramidal pine with short five needled bundles that are much bluer than most varieties

Ornamental Features

Tempelhof Japanese White Pine has attractive steel blue foliage. The needles are highly ornamental and remain steel blue throughout the winter. Neither the flowers nor the fruit are ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Tempelhof Japanese White Pine is a dense evergreen tree with a strong central leader and a more or less rounded form. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other landscape plants with less refined foliage.

This is a relatively low maintenance tree. When pruning is necessary, it is recommended to only trim back the new growth of the current season, other than to remove any dieback. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Tempelhof Japanese White Pine is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Shade

Planting & Growing

Tempelhof Japanese White Pine will grow to be about 40 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 40 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 4 feet from the ground, and should not be planted underneath power lines. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live to a ripe old age of 100 years or more; think of this as a heritage tree for future generations!

This tree should only be grown in full sunlight. It prefers dry to average moisture levels with very well-drained soil, and will often die in standing water. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for xeriscaping or the moisture-conserving landscape. It is not particular as to soil type or pH, and is able to handle environmental salt. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.

* This is a “special order” plant – contact store for details

Pinus parviflora ‘Negishi’ / Negishi Japanese white pine

Pinus parviflora ‘Negishi’ is an upright dwarf selection of Japanese white pine with open branching holding short ascending branchlets and short, gray-green-Blue needles. After 10 years of growth, an unpruned specimen will measure 3 feet (1 m) tall and 2 feet (60 cm) wide, an annual growth rate of 3 to 4 inches (7.5 – 10 cm). Since this is a very popular subject for bonsai and Niwaki training, one rarely encounters unpruned trees in cultivation.

This cultivar is very likely to be an old cultivar long used and propagated in Japan. Its first mention in western horticulture literature was in publications by Bill Valvanis and Günter Horstmann nursery in the late 1970s. It’s first mention listed it with the provisional name of ‘Bonsai.’

However, in 1970, W.J. Spaaren nursery of Boskoop, The Netherlands imported a very different looking plant under the same name which had much Bluer, somewhat twisted foliage and a more robust growth habit. Spaaren introduced this plant with the provisional names of ‘Bonsai’ and ‘New Seedling.’

In the 1993 book, World Checklist of Conifers, Humphrey Welch and Gordon Haddow suggested that the smaller plant described by Valvanis should revert to its provisional name of ‘Bonsai,’ allowing the Dutch plant to use the name, ‘Negishi.’ This decision would need to sanctioned by the International Cultivar Registration Authority.

Japanese White Pine – Pinus parviflora ‘Glauca’

General: Native to Japan, Pinus parviflora is a slow growing evergreen that develops in a conical manner, with wide spreading branches. It will slowly grow to 25-50′ tall with age.

Leaves: Needles 1/2 – 3/4″ long by 1/16- 1/12″ wide tightly arranged along stem. Silvery grey in spring turning to a deep green with glaucous blue backing when mature. Two whitish stomatal bands divided by a thin green midrib line the underside. Notched or rounded at apex.

Cones: 1-4 in cones that can remain on trees for 6-7 years until opening up when ripe. Will produce many cones even in juvenile stages, which can weigh the branches down.

Bark: Smooth gray bark for most of its life. Begins to get platy in older age.

Attributes: Slow growing upright tree that can be planted in small quarters and can be easily controlled to not outgrow it’s setting. Has a beautiful bluish-green color and can make a prefect character or accent plant if pruned in an artistic manner. Also a good tree for coastal locations due to its salt tolerance.

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