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.

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Light Water
Growth   Size

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

Regeneration methods
      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.

Important Problems Early Detection tips
blister rust yellow spots on needles; lesions on stems
mountain pine beetle pitch tubes; reddening of the foliage

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

questions, comments, and criticisms: email John.Peterson@vt.edu