Add a completely new kind of evergreen to your landscape and enjoy the compliments you receive from family, friends and neighbors. So named for its umbrella-like whorls of evergreen needles, this Asian import is a somewhat slow-growing tree that performs well in full sun with little care or maintenance. Well-drained soil will give it a good foundation for growth and removal of dead or broken branches will help it maintain its nice shape. The unique needle whorls make a wonderfully unexpected addition to cut-flower arrangements, too. Grows 25-30' tall over many years; makes a great privacy screen at maturity. Sciadopitys verticillata Evergreen shrubs and trees are some of the most versatile plants you can add to the landscape. Not only do they keep their much-needed green color throughout the gray, barren days of winter, they make marvelous backdrops to the vivid bright colors of the spring and summer blooms to come. These wonderful cultivars come in a variety of shapes and sizes, each one ideal for a specific space or use. Smaller shrubs or dwarfed trees can be used in a foundation planting or as a border anchor. Taller trees make excellent privacy screens or as a way to jazz up boring fence lines. Any way you choose to use evergreens in your landscape, they are sure to add color, interest and beauty to the entire area.
Planting InstructionsDig a hole twice the size of the pot the plant is in. Score a vertical mark on each of the four sides of the root ball. Firm soil around the roots and water thoroughly.
Foliage TypeThin, evergreen needles
Soil RequirementWell-drained soil.
PruningPruning is not necessary, except to remove a dead or broken branch.
Unique CharactersticsJapanese umbrella tree gets its common name from the umbrella-like whorls of needles that grow at the ends of the branchlets and branches. Each whorl contains 20-30 soft, flattened, dark green needles (to 5" long) that radiate outward in a manner somewhat resembling the ribs of an open umbrella. In its native habitat in Japan, this evergreen conifer may grow to 90' tall. In cultivation in the U. S., however, it typically matures to 25-30' tall over many years. It is a very slow grower, usually attaining a height of no more than 4-5' in the first 10 years. Japanese umbrella tree exhibits a dense, narrow, conical to pyramidal habit in youth, but tends to open up with age. Oval, erect fruiting cones (to 4" long) emerge green in the first year and ripen to brown in the second year. Attractive reddish brown exfoliating bark is usually well-hidden by the dense foliage. The needles that appear in showy whorls (verticillata meaning whorled) conduct photosynthesis for the tree, but are technically not leaves. The true leaves hug the branches and are small, scale-like and non-showy. A number of cultivars, including dwarf, semi-dwarf and pendulous varieties, are available in commerce. Although once included in the bald cypress family (Taxodiaceae) which is now merged into the cypress family (Cupressaceae), Japanese umbrella tree is now generally considered to be in its own family (Sciadopityaceae).