Conifers Garden - Online Conifer Nursery


Pinus krempfii

Pinus krempfii
  •  - Click to enlarge
  •  - Click to enlarge
  •  - Click to enlarge

Scientific name: Pinus krempfii  P. Lecomte  1921

Synonyms: Ducampopinus krempfii (Lecomte) A.Chev., Pinus krempfii var. poilanei Lecomte

Common names: Krempf's pine (English), Thong La Det, Thong La Giep (Vietnamese)



Tree to 20(-30) m tall, with trunk to 0.5 m in diameter. Bark reddish brown, shallowly furrowed between low vertical ridges. Crown open and irregular, the branches densely to sparsely clothed with foliage near the tip of each year’s increment and bare near its base. Twigs hairless. Buds about 5 mm long, not resinous. Needles in bundles of two, each needle 3-7(-14) cm long, 1.5-4(-7) mm wide, flat and straight to curved like a scythe, the pair separating like scissor blades, lasting 2-6 years or more, shiny dark green. Individual needles with lines of stomates only on the inner face, or sometimes with a few stomates near the tip of the outer face, an undivided midvein, 4-10 small resin canals along the whole width next to the epidermis of the inner face, and sometimes with two resin canals near the midvein next to the epidermis of the outer face. Sheath about 2-2.5 cm long, very soon shed. Pollen cones 5-9 mm long, light brown. Seed cones (5-)7-9 cm long, egg-shaped, with 40-60 seed scales, reddish brown, opening widely to release the seeds and then falling, on a slender stalk 2-3 cm long. Seed scales paddle-shaped. thickened at the exposed tip, with a diamond-shaped umbo on the outer face bearing a persistent, fragile prickle. Seed body 3-5 mm long, with an easily detached wing 6-7.5 mm long.

The species name honors M. Krempf, who collected the type specimen in 1921.

Highlands of central Vietnam in Khanh Hoa and Lam Dong provinces. Scattered in the canopy of dense evergreen broad-leaved forests on deep, moist soils; 1,200-2,000 m.


Conservation Status

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable

Pinus krempfii is a localized endemic with a restricted habitat at higher altitudes in the border areas of Dac Lac, Lam Dong, Khanh Hoa and Ninh Thuan Provinces. Although its estimated extent of occurrence is within the threshold for Endangered and its area of occupancy is also likely to be less than 500 km2, there are more than five locations known and the subpopulations are not currently considered severely fragmented. It therefore does not qualify for listing as Endangered under criterion B. There has been a decline in the extent of occurrence of more than 30% over the last three generations (150 years) as a result of deforestation and conversion of forest to other uses. It is known from less than 10 locations and there is some evidence of a continuing decline in the quality of habitat in some parts of its range due to the effects of habitat fragmentation, illegal logging and infrastructure development. On this basis it is assessed as Vulnerable under criteria A2c and B1ab(iii).

May be locally dominant along ridgelines, often as groups of emergent very large trees. Pinus krempfii occurs at altitudes between 1,200–2,000 m in closed canopy forests dominated by evergreen members of the Fagaceae and Lauraceae. It may be locally dominant, often occurring on the tops and upper slopes of flattened ridges in moist soils with well-developed humus layers. It is often associated with Fokienia hodginsii or Pinus dalatensis (Nguyen et al. 2004). Pinus krempfii is unusual amongst the pines as it is able to persist under an evergreen canopy and compete with angiosperms tress (Brodribb and Feild 2008). Tree ring analyses have indicated that it may reach ages in excess of 1,000 years (B. Buckley, Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory, unpubl. data., 2009). A generation length is estimated to be at least 50 years.

The most serious long term threat to Pinus krempfii is habitat fragmentation resulting from infrastructure developments, an increasing incidence of fires throughout the region, the conversion of lower altitude forests to fire-prone Pinus kesiya forests and encroachment into protected areas for coffee production. The recent construction of a new national highway through the protected areas where this species occurs has disturbed some stands and the easier access to previously inaccessible areas is also likely to lead to a decrease in the quality of habitat as a result of increased illegal logging that usually targets associated species such as Fokienia hodginsii. Illegal logging aimed at Pinus krempfii in Chu Yang Sin has recently been reported. (Birdlife International 2010).

The timber from this species is thought to have similar qualities to that of Pinus kesiya but its rarity has meant that it has not been heavily exploited in the past. Its current legal protection forbids the commercial exploitation. However, there have been reports of illegal logging in Chu Yang Sin National Park in the northern parts of its range (Birdlife International 2010).

The majority of stands are within protected areas such as BiDoup Nui-Ba National Park. In Viet Nam exploitation of this species is prohibited under appendix IIa of Decree No. 3212006lnd-Cp of March 30, 2006, on Management of Endangered, Precious and Rare Forest Plants and Animals.



  • Farjon, A. (2010). A Handbook of the World's Conifers. Koninklijke Brill, Leiden.
  • Eckenwalder, J.E. (2009) Conifers of the World: The Complete Reference. Timber Press, Portland.
  • IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. Cambridge, UK /Gland, Switzerland

Copyright © Aljos Farjon, James E. Eckenwalder, IUCN, Conifers Garden. All rights reserved.

This field is required.