Evergreen conifer up to 40 m tall with a massive columnar trunk up to 2.5 m in diameter. Its rough, scaly bark is dark gray to blackish brown in color and is pierced by deep horizontal cracks that flake off small chips. In adult trees the larger branches are directed towards the ground, like an umbrella. The leaves are like needles, arranged in spirals and vary from light green to glaucous green with stomatal bands on all four sides. Its natural habitat is characterized by hot, dry summers and cold, wet winters. The most common style is the formal vertical (Chokkan).