Huangshan Pine Tree - Essence of Chinese Pine Tree
Oddly-shaped pine ranks the top among the four wonders of Huangshan Mountain (the other three are grotesque rocks, clouds sea, and hot spring). All the 72 peaks are dotted with pine trees. They are like a magical brush bringing colors to the mountain. Huhangshan pines are famous for their odd shapes. What will come across your mind when you think of a pine, is it usually upright? Huangshan pines will give you more options. During the Huangshan trip, you can not only see pines standing tall like a giant, but also some are like crouching black tiger, elegant harp, or vigorous dragon. No wonder the ancients say, "The beauty of Huangshan Mountain begins with pine."
Why is Huangshan Pine Oddly-Shaped
Huangshan Pine is a variant of Chinese pine tree formed by the unique landform and climate of Huangshan Mountain. The seeds of Huangshan Pine can be sent to the cracks of granite by the wind, where they germinate, take root and grow. Because of the lack of soil, the pine roots constantly secrete an organic acid, which can slowly dissolve the rocks and decompose mineral salts for their own use. So their roots usually go deep in the granite, sometimes are dozens times longer than their trunks. Only in this way can they keep standing still on the tilting rocks. Because of the rugged terrain and severe weather, some pines can not grow vertically, but to bend, even grow downward, and grow branches only on one side. In order to withstand storms and frost, Huangshan pines grow short and thick leaves, flat crowns, and tough trunks. All these difficulties have only made Huangshan pines more tenacious, beautiful and peculiar.
This is also why Chinese people love Huangshan pine so much. It is not just a kind of tree, but more of a spirit symbol. The mountain doesn’t give them much to grow, but in turn, they make the mountain more charming and alive. They show a spirit of self-reliance and dedication. It is indomitable of them to survive and flourish under such natural condition.
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8 Must See Huangshan Pine Trees
Huangshan Mountain has more pine trees than one can count. They are everywhere, like the natural guardians of the mountain. Here we just list 8 of them, such as Greeting pine, Farewell Pine, Black Tiger Pine. Some of them are named after the shape and some have special meanings. If you do pay a visit to Huangshan, don’t forget to have a closer look at these pine trees.
Greeting Pine (迎客松)
Location: Front Mountain, 300m from Yuping Cableway Up Station
The over 800-year-old Greeting Pine stands on the east side of Yuping Peak. It is about 10m tall. In the middle of the trunk, two 7.6m large lateral branches grow forward, just like a hospitable host is waving his arms to warmly welcome guests from home and abroad to visit Huangshan Mountain. It stands there firmly, courteous but not humble. The lovely Greeting Pine is a representative of all Huangshan pines, even the Anhui Province. The huge iron painting Greeting Pine on display in Anhui Hall of the Great Hall of the People in Beijing is created based on its image. Greeting Pine has now become a well-known symbol of the hospitality and peace-loving character of the Chinese nation.
Check 3 Days Yellow Mountain Essential Tour to meet Greeting Pine.
Farewell Pine (送客松)
Location: Front Mountain, about 50m away from the Greeting Pine
The original Farewell Pine is on the right side of Yuping Pavilion. It is 4.8 meters high and about 450 years old. It echoes with the Greeting Pine with its branches and leaves stretching on one side, just like seeing the visitors out. But in August, 2005, the Farewell Pine showed signs of withering. The specialists in Forestry Bureau did everything they can to save it. However, the nature law can not be defied. The original Farewell Pine came to the end of its life in December that year. After that, another pine tree was chosen to carry on the duty of the Farewell Pine. It is about 200 years old, young and healthy, and looks basically the same as the old one. This tree that’s in the prime of its life is the Farewell Pine we see today.
Black Tiger Pine (黑虎松)
Location: Back Mountain, on the way from White Goose Ridge Cable Station to Begin-to-believe Peak
You don’t need to look for Black Tiger Pine intentionally, because you will not miss it if you take the hiking route on the back mountain. The tree is 15 meters high and estimated to have grown for more than 700 years. Legend has it that one day an eminent monk passed by, suddenly, he caught a sight of a black tiger lying on the top of a pine tree. It gave him a good scare. But when he started looking around, the black tiger disappeared and the only thing he could find was an ancient pine with a thick blackish green crown. It turned out this tree was the “black tiger” he saw, so the pine is called Black Tiger Pine ever since and it still looks sturdy and vigorous.
Couple Pine / Lianli Pine (连理松)
Location: Back Mountain, on the left side along the way from Black Tiger Pine to Begin-to-believe Peak
About 120m away from Black Tiger Pine, Couple Pine is easy to find. It is over 20 meters high. At about 2 meters above from the ground, the tree is divided into two trunks and they grow shoulder-to-shoulder at nearly the same size, just like a couple in love who will always be at each other’s side. Actually it’s Chinese name is quite beautiful. “Lianli (连理)” is always used in Chinese poems to describe an affectionate couple. So the couples traveling Huangshan Mountain will usually take a photo here, turning the tree a witness to their love and hoping their love will be as lasting as the Couple Pine.
Harp Pine (竖琴松)
Location: Back Mountain, about 160m from Couple Pine
Harp Pine is located on the north slope of Woyun Peak. It has a straight trunk and an umbrella-like crown. The long branches stretch out in one direction with distinct gradation thus all of them become the strings of a harp. Especially in winter when it snows, the green leaves covered by white snow, it will present a more vivid image. The pine is 8m tall and about 550 years old.
Unity Pine (团结松)
Location: Back Mountain, 370m from Beihai Hotel
Growing along the road from North Sea to West Sea in Huangshan Mountain, the Unity Pine is one pine tree growing five trunks. They stick together like five brothers are embracing each other. In China, people attach much importance to the spirit of solidarity. They think that the power of one is limited, but if people unite together, they can achieve much more, no matter in life or at work. Sometimes you just have to admire the work of nature. The Unite Pine coincides naturally with the solidarity spirit of Chinese people.
Umbrella Pine (雨伞松)
Location: Back Mountain, 50m away from Black Tiger Pine
The Umbrella Pine got its name from former Secretary-General of the United Nations Mr. Kofi Annan. On May 21, 2006, Mr. Annan and his wife paid a visit to Huangshan Mountain. During a hiking tour at the Huangshan West Sea Huiming Bridge Scenic Area, an umbrella-like pine tree caught Mr. Annan’s attention. Knowing that thousands of pine trees on Huangshan Mountain haven’t got a name yet, Annan asked if it was ok to call this pine Umbrella Pine. Therefore, the pine has a name since then. Just like the United Nations providing protection to the countries and people, Umbrella Pine is a symbol of protecting our living environment. Before leaving Huangshan, Mr. Annan wrote down “Umbrella Pine” in English and signed a signature on it.
Exploring Ocean Pine (探海松)
Location: Celestial Capital Peak (Front Mountain) / Begin-to-believe Peak (Back Mountain)
There are two Exploring Ocean Pines, one is on the top of the Celestial Capital Peak (closed from 2019 to 2023), the other on the top of Begin-to-believe peak, the latter is easier to find. The pine is only 3.5m tall, but it has a long side branch, tilting forward into the clouds sea, like a dragon is exploring something there. According to legend, an immortal was invited to a banquet on the mountain top. But when he passed here, he was so absorbed in the clouds surging through the numerous peaks and valleys that he totally forgot about the banquet. He thought to himself: this place is even more beautiful than heaven and no wine in the world is more intoxicating than the scenery itself, why not just stay here? So he turned himself into the robust Exploring Ocean Pine, stretching out and “drinking” the mist and clouds on the mountain day and night.
See More Huangshan Pines with China Discovery
Most of the pines are on the back mountain, especially in the area of Begin-to-believe Peak and Lion Peak. Among the 8 pine trees listed above, Greeting Pine and Farewell Pine are on the front mountain, and the other 6 are on the back mountain. If you plan to see more Huangshan pines in a leisure way, here is a 3 Days Huangshan Highlights Tour for your reference. You can start hiking from the back mountain, visit the Begin-to-believe Peak, Dispelling Cloud Pavilion and the 1840m Bright Summit. Then you can stay overnight on the mountain and visit the West Sea Grand Canyon the next day. But if you want to see all the pines mentioned above, the 3 Days Huangshan Classic Hiking Tour may be more suitable for you, because it covers both front mountain and back mountain.
How to Plan a Huangshan Tour
Apart from Huangshan Mountain, there are many other tourist attractions around Huangshan City. Since you need to get to Tunxi (about 1 hour’s drive from Huangshan Mountain) first if you want to have a Huangshan tour. You can pay a visit to the ancient villages around if you are interested in local lives and cultures. The UNESCO World Heritage Site Hongcun and Xidi would be a good choice. They not only have a long history, bust also boast picturesque scenery. As shown in the 4 Days Huangshan Tour with Hongcun & Xidi you can take a walk at the Tunxi Ancient Street first, then head to Huangshan Mountain after a night’s good rest. At last, relax yourself at the idyllic ancient villages. These routes are listed for your reference, if you still have questions, please feel free to contact us. We are also specialized in tailor-made tours according to your requirements, interests, budgets, travelling time, etc.
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