(First upload on September 17 2009. Last on January 2 2016) [ 日本語 | English ]

Pinus thunbergii Parlatore

Mount Usu / Sarobetsu post-mined peatland
From left: Crater basin in 1986 and 2006. Cottongrass / Daylily

Pinus L. (マツ)
Kuromatsu (クロマツ, 黒松), Japanese black pine
Omatsu (オマツ, 雄松) ↔ Mematsu (メマツ, 雌松)
Lifeform: evergreen tall tree, occasionally ≈ 40 m in height
Distribution: Japan except Hokkaido. The trees are originally transplanted in Hokkaido. Some of them are now naturally regenerated.
Habitat: transplanted near seacoasts for sabo (erosion control) → tolerant to salt
Succession: replaced by broad-leaved evergreen forest, e.g., Machilus thunbergii

Flora on Mount Usu

Utilization: aforestation for erosion control, gardening, bonsai, etc.
f. multicaulis Uyeki (タギョウクロマツ)
+ cultivars, such as thunderhead
Giant tree (巨木)

Pinus thunbergii in Japan


[1] a sapling near the Nishiyama craters at the foot of Mount Usu, September 9 2009. [2] at the forecourt of Usujiri Fisheries Station, Hokkaido University, on June 20 2014. [3] in Miyajima Island, Seto Inland Sea, Chugoku District, western Japan, on March 16 2014. [4] at Y-kun Crater in Kompira Craters of Mount Usu on July 14 2015.

Giant tree (巨木)

• Nine Pines at Daiganji Temple (大願寺の九本松)

300-year Pine at Hama-rikyu Gardens (浜離宮の300年の松)


300-Year Pine

The pine is named "300-year Pine" becuase it was planted in 1709, about 300 years ago, when the sixth shogun, Ienobu Tokugawa repaired the garden. Its majestic form, praising the great work, is reminiscent of the old days. It is one of the largest black pines in Tokyo.

Straw mat wrapping (菰巻)

KOMO-MAKI - a special attraction of winter -
When the weather turns cold, in order to winter, harmful insects at the branches of a tree will get down to the ground through the trunk.
In order to catch and remove them, we carry out komo-maki (straw mat wrapping), a work of wrapping komo (straw mat) around the tree trunk of a tree.
We use some straw ropes to tie up the komo wrapped around the trunk at two places, i.e., the upper and the lower part. The upper part is tied a bit loosely while the lower part is tied tightly. Becuase the insects will not go down to the ground but instead will stay at the straw mat to winter.
Before the spring comes and the insects start to move, we detach komo from the tree and then burn it up.
Komo is wrapped around the trunks at the end of October, around sõkõ (frost descent) solar term. Detachment is carried out from the beginning of February through the middle of the month, around risshun (start of spring) solar term.

(Hama-rikyu Gardens on November 13 2015)