Saturday, March 5, 2011

Pinus lambertiana - Sugar Pine

Pinus lambertiana: Pinus is the Latin name for pine; lambertiana, named for the British botanist Aylmer Bourke Lambert, who is best known for his work A description of the genus Pinus.

Native to the Sierra Nevada and southern Cascade Ranges at 3,000-5,000' elevation. Occurs naturally among other pines, firs and incense cedars, which usually predominate. Not readily adaptable to cultivation.

Growth rate initially slow, faster with age to 200' tall or more with a 50' spread, pyramidal in youth with slender horizontal branching and distinctively loose foliage. Older trees often developing a sizable trunk with broad sweeping limbs giving a somewhat tiered effect and long cones hanging like ornaments from branch tips. One of the tallest pines.

Needles are dark bluish green, 2 to 3 1/2" long, 5-fascicled, with a whitish tinge, persisting 2-3 years, tufted at ends of slender branchlets.

Cones are the largest of all pines at 10-20" long (!), cylindrical, 3-4" in diameter, light brown, with shiny tipped scales with a darker inner surface and sometimes a glop of pitchy sap, ripening in late sumer of the second year and shedding dark brown to blackish 1/2" flattened seeds with a 3/4-1" long rounded wing in fall.

P. lambertiana has thicker cone scales, more horizontal cone scales compared P. monticola's thinner, descending scales with a light colored tip that contrasts with the darker inner cone scale.

Bark is thin, smooth, and grayish becoming grayish brown, deeply furrowed with long irregular plates along the ridges.

1 comment:

  1. that info was very helpful for a page i am doing on sugar pines