Sciadopitys verticillata, commonly called Japanese 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. Best grown in moist, rich, slightly acidic, well-drained soils in full sun. Soils should not be allowed to dry out. Best in cool summer climates, and will appreciate some afternoon shade in hot summer climates. It should be sited in a location sheltered from winter winds.