Renowned for its mammoth cones, this evergreen tree grows to gargantuan heights in its native haunts in the western North American mountains. In cultivation it is typically of more modest size.
The long, blue-green needles of this pine occur in bundles of five on horizontal to slightly drooping branches. In spring, trees produce tiny male cones and enormous cylindrical female cones near the branch tips. The solitary or clustered female cones are sheathed with fleshy green scales that turn woody and yellow-brown as they mature. Two-year-old cones open their scales to release large edible winged seeds before falling thunderously from the tree.
Slow-growing and of slender conical habit when young, this pine eventually develops an open, oval crown and a stout trunk. Its reddish-brown to gray-brown bark becomes deeply fissured and platy with age. If wounded, the trunk exudes a sugary sap that was prized by American Indians.
This beautiful pine favors full sun and moist, well-drained, humus-rich soil. It dislikes excessive heat, cold, or wind. It makes a striking specimen for parks and other large properties, although the falling cones can present a hazard. Sugar pine is also highly susceptible to white pine blister rust. (source: learn2grow.com)
Genus - Pinus
Species - Lambertiana
Common name - Sugar Pine
Pre-Treatment - Required
Hardiness zones - 6 - 8
Height - 50'-100' / 15.2m - 30.5m
Spread - 25'-40' / 7.6m - 12.2m
Plant type - Large Tree
Vegetation type - Evergreen
Exposure - Full Sun
Growth rate - Medium
Soil PH - Acidic, Neutral
Soil type - Loam, Well Drained
Water requirements - Average Water
Landscape uses - Feature Plant
Germination rate - 88%
Leaf / Flower color - Green / --
|Germination||1. Place the seeds in a container with tepid water and soak them for 24 hours. Change the water and wait another 24 hours.|
2. Put the seeds in a small plastic bag and cover with damp sand. Place the bag holding the seeds in the refrigerator for one to two months to stratify the seeds, which is preserving seeds in layers of moisture-laden peat, soil or sand. Check the sand and water as needed to maintain moisture. Don't allow the seeds to get soaked.
3. Fill small pots with compost. Place one or two pine seeds on top of the compost in each pot, then cover the seeds with a thin layer of sand.
4. Water the sand and compost to add moisture, then place the pots in a warm, sunny location. As the seedlings emerge and grow, the soil needs to remain moist, not wet.
5. Repot the pine trees into medium-sized pots in the fall. Grow them in the pots for the following season until they are large and strong enough for transplanting into the landscape.