Pinus thunbergii ‘Ogon’ (Golden Japanese Black Pine)

Growing this in full sun gives glorious golden summer needles and then a softer yellow in winter. Japanese in origin, it is hardy and easy, and can reach 3m in 15 years. Happy growing on any well drained soil, in any aspect, in either exposed or sheltered positions. reported also to be fairly salt tolerant.  Please contact us for stock availability and sizes.

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Growing this Pine in full sun ensures gloriously-golden summer needles, which soften into a mellow yellow which glows through the whole winter. Japanese in origin, it is both hardy and easy, and can reach 3m in 15 years.

Hummock-y mounds of zesty foam hug the ground in dollops when young. Very sweet at this stage and easy to fall in love with. We do. Their needles radiate from each stem perfectly and symmetrically like giant pipe-cleaners with rich green mature ones at the bottom and glorious citrus ones at the tips. Over time these will be borne on a taller and ever-more open and spreading form, with this Pinus variety growing quite rapidly into a very pretty small tree. What’s especially nice about them as they grow is that they frequently retain their lowest ground-hugging branches: these have a softly up-turned curvature which make them appear to float, touching the ground in the lightest manner like a lemon-tinted blob of meringue.

Essential in a Japanese inspired garden design, or indeed anything with a Mediterranean flourish to it. The so-dark-it’s-black bark makes it particularly striking (black goes with everything, darling) and planting a couple in a mixed group of coniferous all-sorts will be particularly impactful in winter.

‘Ogon’ means ‘Golden’ and was one of the first Japanese words I learned as a small boy, as it is a variety of Koi carp (Nishikigoi) which I was obsessed with. Having at the time no space for a majestic Koi pool and my finances as a seven-year-old being rather limited, I started growing plants instead. Do fulfil a small lads dream and plant an ‘Ogon’ or two to lean gracefully over your koi-filled lake. Thanks.

Happy growing on any well drained soil, in any aspect, in either an exposed or sheltered position. Reported also to be fairly salt tolerant.


N.B. When clipping several plants with the same tool, have a bucket containing a 5% bleach solution and swish your blades around for 30 seconds between plants to sterilise them. This will help avoid the chance of cross contamination of disease.

As with all woody plants, plant high, exposing as much of the taper at the base of the trunk as possible. Allowing soil to accumulate round the base of a tree can be fatal. Keep very well watered when first planted.


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