Pinus koraiensis

Korean Pine

Mature Size, Growth Longevity

Average mature size of 30-45' tall under cultivation, but may grow over 100' tall. Spreads to 20-35' wide at base at maturity. Shape is loosely pyramidal to a broad, irregularly pyramidal growth habit. Feathered from the ground with branches. Open habit. Slow growth rate, 6" per year average.

Native Range

Native to Manchuria, Korea, Russia, and mountainous areas on the main island of Japan. Introduced 1861.

Flower and Fruit Details

Monoecious flowers. Fruits in cones, sub-terminal, solitary or few-together, short-stalked, cylindrical-conical, with a blunt apex, 3.5-6" long, 2-2.25" wide. Lurid-brown and opening when mature, resinous, falling with the stalk.

Leaf and Bark Features

Evergreen. Needles are 2.5-4.5" long, borne in 5's, are a lovely bluish-green all season; actually dark green on outside; inner surfaces grayish. Bark is thin, gray or grayish brown, peeling off in irregular flakes, reddish brown beneath.

Culture and Care

Needs full sun, but extremely cold hardy and tremendously adaptable - tolerates clay or sand. Avoid wet, poorly-drained sites. Pollution tolerant. Zone (3)4-7. No serious disease or insect problems. Some parts of the country may have problems with some fungus diseases and pine sawflies.

Strengths, Weaknesses, Other Facts

Good wildlife value.4-season interest: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter. Not especially heat tolerant. This particular species is the primary (but not only) source for the commercial pine nut trade - a few other Pinus species produce nuts large enough to considered for human consumption and are also used.

Suggested Uses

Makes a fine specimen plant, or use in groupings or screens. Provides winter interest.

Taxa and Plants of this Species at BCA

  • Pinus koraiensis // Korean Pine ("straight species")


  • Pinus koraiensis 'Silver Ray' // Silver Ray Korean Pine
    Upright-columnar to pyramidal growth habit, with rich, blue-green to grayish-green needles with bright, silver-white bands on the reverse side.