This species has been treated as a variety of Pinus tabuliformis in the Flora of China, Vol. 4 (1999) and is indeed similar in many characters to that species. Its leaves are not wider than 1 mm and its seed cones are smaller, with scales that have only slightly raised apophyses. It was also classified as a variety of P. massoniana, from which it differs in its much shorter leaves, its uninodal growth of shoots, smaller, nearly globose-ovoid seed cones, and relatively shorter seed wings.
In addition to the differences mentioned above recent genetic studies have confirmed its status as a distinct species that is only morphologically similar to P tabuliformis and more closely related to Pinus hwangshanensis (Liu et al. 2012a, 2012b).
This species is similar in its wood properties to P. tabuliformis, but it is less common and widespread, and as a consequence of this less important as a timber tree. Pinus henryi is apparently absent or very rare in cultivation; it was not introduced to Europe when the opportunity arose during the early decades of the 20th century.