Pinus parviflora var. pentaphylla Goyomatsu (Japanese white pine)
ORIGIN AND SPREAD: China, Korea, Japan
CHARACTERISTICS: very slow growth, green-blue needles, rough, platy, grey bark; produces new spring shoots, called “candles”, in March/April, replaces the old needles in October.
CARE:loves well-ventilated places in full sun, both in Mediterranean and mountain areas; well-drained, neutral pH soil, water stagnation must be avoided; water only when the soil is completely dry; treat once with a slow release fertilizer in spring; provide a preventive anti-fungal treatment in winter as well as a mineral oil insecticide treatment.
PRUNING: pinch off the candles in April (or before they open into needles) to an even length of about 0.5-1cm; in October prune back late shoots which might appear; in October/November it is advised to remove the old yellow needles by hand.