Native to Japan, the umbrella pine (Sciadopitys verticillata) is one of the oldest trees on earth. Fossil records indicate this species dates back literally millions of years. Scientists now believe that much of the fossil-rich Baltic amber was produced by members of the same family as the umbrella pine. This species is the only remaining member of its family and genus.In Japan, this tree is referred to as Koya-maki and is considered a sacred tree. Some believe that stroking its whorls will aid in conceiving healthy children. Because of its waterproof qualities and resistance to rot, the wood and bark of this tree have been used for making boats in Japan.