39. Japanese Red Pine

(Pinus densiflora)

Family: Pinaceae


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By the shallow stairs at Balmer Hall's east corner is a Japanese Red Pine. The trunk's reddish-orange color and peeling bark give away its identity. The needles are slender, soft, yellow-green and borne in bundles of two, along with cones that suggest those of Scots pine. To the Japanese, it is feminine, while the Japanese black pine is masculine. Like this specimen, it often is multi-trunked and broad, not a robust upright grower like many pines. Thus it is well suited for use in garden design. In Japan it is a used for timber production and as an ornamental. Japanese Red Pine is one of the more medicinally useful pines. It is used internally and externally to treat a wide variety of conditions. Aka matsu is its Japanese name. It was first introduced in the United States in 1854.

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