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Trees of North America- A guide to field identification-a Golden Field
Guide from St. Martin's Press © 2002 By C. Frank Brockman p.22

USDA, NRCS. 2011. The PLANTS Database (<http://plants.usda.gov/>,
22 August 2011). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC
27401-4901 USA.

Habeck R.J. 1992. Pinus lambertiana. In: Fire Effects Information
System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service,
Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer).
Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/ [2011, August 22].

The Encyclopedia of North American Trees by Sam Benvie. Firefly
Books Ltd., 2000 Buffalo, NY © 2000 Sam Benvie p.171, 172
Map courtesy USDA PLANTS Database
State List: CA, NV, OR

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Sugar Pine, Pinus lambertiana Douglas
Largest pine cones in the world
The Sugar Pine is a large pine, surpassed only by the Ponderosa Pine, native to the western United States.  Typically, it reaches heights between 175-200 feet but can grow as tall as 240. Equally impressive for a pine, the trunk diameter is between 3-5 feet.  It is a rapidly growing tree, attaining 40 feet in just 20 years. The growing season encompasses spring, summer and fall.  Pinus lambertiana is also a long lived tree, rivaled only by Giant Sequoia, and commonly lives 400-500 years. Sugar pine cones are the largest in the world, measuring between 10-26 inches in length.  They are slender, conical, and brown.  Two years after appearing, the spineless cones release small (1-2 cm), brown, obovoid seeds characterized by a broad wing approximately 2-3 cm long. The large straight trunk, or bole, has whorls of horizontal branches that support a narrowly conical crown.  Young twigs have reddish brown hairs and become smooth and orange with age.  Bark of immature trees is smooth and green-gray.  When mature, it is purplish-brown and deeply furrowed into long, sometimes scaly plates.  Borne in bundles of 5, the needles are deep
Photo citation: © 1995 Saint Mary's College of California
green on the outer surface and bluish white on the inside.  They are twisted, stout, about 4 inches long and have fine white lines running the length.  Sugar Pine needles persist (stay on the tree) for 2-3 years.  Brown flowers bloom in the spring. 

    Preferred sites of the Sugar Pine have medium to coarse textured, moist, well-draining acidic soils.  It has a tendency to establish on east and north facing slopes and can be found at elevations ranging from sea level to 10,000 feet.  Annual rainfall amounts need to be between 25-90 inches, and it requires temperatures above -28
°F with 150 frost free days. This native species also requires cold stratification for 60-90 days and may be propagated by bare root, container, cuttings, and seeding. 

Several diseases and pest attack Sugar Pines, most notable is White Pine Blister Rust (Cronartium ribicola), to which Pinus lambertiana is highly susceptible in the seedling stage.  Other destructive agents include Melampsora rust, Phytophthora megasperma, a root rot, and needles cast caused by Lophodermella arcuata.  In the insect and bug world, two pests associate with Sugar pines are the Mountain Pine Beetle and the Sugar Pine Cone beetle, the latter causing destruction to immature cones.  The bark is fire resistant and helps make Sugar Pines very resistant to low to moderate severity fires.
Uses include harvesting the edible seeds, lumber, pulpwood and veneer.  Native American used to repair canoes and fasten feathers to arrowheads to shafts with the pitch.  Also, the bark exudes a sweet sugary sap when wounded that can be chewed as a gum.

Species is protected in Nevada as a cactus, yucca or Christmas tree.
Photo citation: © 1995 Saint Mary's College of California
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