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Pinus lambertiana Dougl.

Sugar Pine

Modern name

Pinus lambertiana Douglas

A tree 70 to sometimes well over 200 ft high, and with a trunk 3 to 8 ft in diameter; young shoots minutely downy; winter-buds 14 in. long, usually round or blunt at the apex, the scales closely flattened. Leaves in fives, falling the third year, 3 to 412 in. long, minutely toothed at the margins, bluish green, often spirally twisted; leaf-sheaths 12 to 58 in. long, soon falling completely away. Cones borne at the ends of the uppermost branches, 12 to 20 in. long, about 3 in. thick before expanding, the woody scales 2 to 212 in. long, with a broadly pointed apex. Seeds 12 to 34 in. long, nutty in flavour, the wing nearly twice as long.

Native of western N. America, in Oregon and California; introduced in 1827 by Douglas, who had also discovered it. It is probably the noblest of all pines. The popular name refers to a sugary exudation from the trunk. In this country it has rarely borne its remarkable cones. It is allied to, as well as a neighbour of, P. monticola, but besides the differences in cones, the buds are more rounded and the leaf is more sharply pointed in P. lambertiana. From P. strobus its uniformly downy shoots distinguish it. It likes a sheltered situation and a good loamy soil. Even then it grows but slowly, yet is handsome never­theless. Unfortunately, P. lambertiana is susceptible to the white pine blister-rust (see P. strobus), and all the old specimens in Britain are dead. A tree at Dropmore, Bucks, planted in 1843, measured 95 × 11 ft when it died in 1950.

From the Supplement (Vol. V)

specimens: Hawkstone Park, Shrops., a coning tree, 95 × 10 ft (1984); Tannadyce, Angus, 40 × 214 ft (1981).



Other species in the genus