Pinus Lambertiana (SUGAR PINE)

I was traveling into Chester, and in an area where the Pacific Trail crosses Hwy 36, I noticed these giant pine cones hanging on the ends of the Pinus Lambertiana (SUGAR PINE).  These large-scale pine cones can reach 22” in length.  When the light strikes the sugar resin, it looks like the pine cone are wearing bling. Shiny glistening diamonds on the pine cones was an amazing sight.

Sugar Pine trees have long graceful arms and soft fluffy needles.  The long pine cones on the very tips gave me the impression of a lady’s arm holding a lantern. So I was surprised to learn the tree held the title of “The King of Pines” as they can grow 100-160 feet tall!!.  To learn more about the pine tree I started to study the bark.  It has a reddish cinnamon color with deep vertical furrows   But the most surprising aspect of the tree is what you find under it –  jigsaw puzzle pieces of bark.  When the tree bark flakes off small flat pieces of bark shaped like puzzle pieces are stacked at the base of each tree along with those long sculpted pines cones.

Further into town on Highway 36, I stopped at the  Almanor Ranger District . It was a great source of information, maps and handouts
on Plumas National Forest. The ranger’s are very helpful, and I picked up some great nature books for my godson.
                                                 

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