Podocarpus macrophyllus

Japanese Yew Pine is an uncommon conifer in our gardens. Its surprisingly hardy and in time forms a handsome, densely clad, deep green tree. Moderately fast growing in youth- to 1′-2′ per year in time its 4″ thin needles are arranged closely around horizontal stems. In summer small green matchstick shaped flowers transform into blue berries in autumn. This adds to the over all sophisticated, very Japanese flavor of this tree. To 20′ tall and 7′ wide in 12 years. Develops gnarled, rustic, deep gray shredding trunks. Excellent performance in urban environs. Laughs at the worst heat and accepts regular irrigation in summer happily which encourages speedier growth. A natural for Asian inspired gardens. Avoid blasting subfreezing wind- not a tree for very cold gardens but is undamaged down to about 5ºF. It has recovered from much lower. Excellent container subject- its roots take YEARS to fill a pot and it takes less than perfect care but maintains good looks. Tolerates quite a bit of shade and was often employed in the mid-20th Century as a closely clipped espalier on shady walls. Very popular in the South, Zone 7 and warmer.  Moderate deer resistance.  Takes any amount of pruning which increases density. Drought adapted when established.

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Podocarpus macrophyllus ‘Maki’

Shrubby Japanese Yew Pine is a dwarf form of what can become a large tree. The deep green needles are much shorter in length and held more densely along the stem. In our climate it is a slow growing conifer of wonderful texture rarely exceeding 7′ and usually just 3′ wide or less. In summer little pointed green flowers protrude from between the needles and turn into round blue fruits by autumn. Extremely drought tolerant shrub for tight spots. Takes very well to pruning. Excellent in containers for year round good looks. Tolerates regular irrigation as well and is not fussy about soil. It thrives in high heat and summer is when most of the growth takes place. An old fashioned plant that we’d like to give a new lease on life. Very pretty focal point in authentic Japanese gardens. This true dwarf form can be difficult to obtain in the trade. This is the true form. Adapted to the hottest reflected heat of walls- parking lot islands. Average water to none, when established. Prune in early spring if required.

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Plant type:  |  Sun exposure: ,
Biome: , ,  |  USDA Hardiness zone: Zn7b 10º to 5ºF
Foliage color:  |  Foliage season: