Korean Pine

Family: Pinaceae
Latin Name: Pinus koraiensis
Common Name(s): Korean pine

Deciduous or Evergreen: Evergreen
Native Range: Eastern Russia and China, Korea, Japan
USDA Hardiness Zone: 3-7
Mature Height: 30-50’
Mature Spread: 25-35’
Bloom Time: Non-flowering plant
Native to Minnesota: No
Shade Tolerant: No


Korean Pine is a popular ornamental species in cold climate landscapes. It is also one of most common species used to produce pine nuts. Korean pines are part of the white pine sub-group, and as such have needles clustered in groups of five. Needles are blue-green and grow to about four inches long. Cones are between three and seven inches long, and are purple when they emerge, eventually maturing to brown. The trees grow in a roughly pyramidal form, and the bark is flaky and grayish-brown, with a reddish-brown inner bark underneath.

The majority of pine nuts imported by the United States come from Korean pines. The nuts are actually seeds of Korean pine, held on the scales of the cones. Korean pine is not the only species used to produce pine nuts, but it is the most commonly used tree in Asia. There are also European (P. pinea) and American (pinyon pines) species. Korean pine is also used for construction and furniture.

As of 2017, this particular tree is the only individual of Korean pine on the University of Minnesota campus. It was planted on 31 May, 2001.


Korean pines are susceptible to the regular pests of pines, such as tip blight, rusts and rots. Pine needle scale can be a problem in some areas, and sawflies, moths and borers can cause problems.

Other Resources:

Missouri Botanical Garden

Edible Pine Nuts (New York Times)