The Japanese black pine is a distinct pine that stands out in the Pinus family. This densely foliated evergreen produces deep dark green needles that often are so dark they appear black. The Japanese black pine tree reaches mature heights up to 35 feet with a spread that can easily exceed its height. With a high drought tolerance and a medium growth rate, the Japanese black pine is easily cultivated.
Japanese Black Pine can reach the height of 40 m, but rarely achieves this size outside its natural range. The needles are in fascicles of two with a white sheath at the base, 7-12 cm long; female cones are 4-7 cm in length, scaled, with small points on the tips of the scales, taking two years to mature. Male cones are 1-2 cm long borne in clumps of 12-20 on the tips of the spring growth. Bark is gray on young trees and small branches, changing to black and plated on larger branches and the trunk; becoming quite thick on older trunks.