Northwest Conifers


Sugar Pine – Pinus lambertiana

Needles: Sugar Pine has 5 needles per bundle. You can distinguish it from western white pine by looking at the white coloring on the needles. Sugar Pine has this white bloom on all 3 sides, Western White Pine on just 2 sides.


Cones: Sugar pine cones are longer than any other pine, up to 20 inches. 


Bark: The bark is gray to brown and breaks into furrows between scaly plates on large trees. The plates often resemble the shape, but not the color of ponderosa pine.


Where it grows: Sugar pine grows in the middle and southern Cascades of Oregon, the Siskiyous, and throughout the mountains of California, at elevations above 1000 feet. It grows as far north as the southern edge of the Mount Hood National Forest.


USGS Distribution Map

Uses: It has uses similar to western white pine and ponderosa pine. 

Names: Sugar pine is named after the sweet resin that comes from wounds to the tree. David Douglas named it lambertiana after British botanist Aylmer Bourke Lambert.


© 2012 Ken Denniston