Landowner Fact Sheets

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sugar pine Pinus lambertiana

Sugar pine is the largest, in height and diameter, of all pine species. The wood of sugar pine is valued for its workability, dimensional stability, and satiny sheen after milling. Sugar pine needles are 2 to 4 inches long, and occur in bundles of 5.

range map Click to see more images. wood grain

Sugar pine is moderately shade tolerant and can be regenerated by the shelterwood method. Release from shade allows juvenile sugar pines to increase in diameter twice as quickly as its common associates.

Grows on a variety of sites at mid-elevations, typically in mixed stands.


Tall and straight evergreen conifer growing to 200 feet tall and 7 feet in diameter with an open crown and long horizontal branches.

Timber Value
Sugar pine is used for moldings, window and door frames, window sashes, doors, and speciality products such as piano keys and organ pipes.

Wildlife Value
Sugar pine provides cover and nesting for several species of wildlife.
Attracts Douglas squirrels, white-headed woodpeckers, owls

Insects and Diseases

Fun Facts
The largest of all pines, and has the longest cones. Attacked by white pine blister rust. Wounded trees of this species secrete a sugary exudate which gives rise to the common name. Sugar pine's large cones yield large edible seeds. David Douglas nearly lost his life while searching for sugar pine cones near Eugene, OR.

Latin Meaning
Pinus: Latin name for pine from Greek "pitus" / lambertiana: after Aylmer Lambert

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Landowner Factsheets © 2004 Virginia Tech Forestry Department, all rights reserved. Text, images, and programming by: Dr. Jeff Kirwan, Dr. John R. Seiler, John A. Peterson, Edward C. Jensen, Guy Phillips, or Andrew S. Meeks.