Tahoe Arts and Mountain Culture
Tahoe Arts and Mountain Culture

Sugar Pine Foundation 10 Year Anniversary

Posted on October 30, 2015
Filed Under South Tahoe Events

Did you know… historically, the majestic Sugar Pines accounted for 25% of Tahoe’s mixed-conifer forests. Today, this glorious tree makes up less than 5% of our forest composition due to a non-native invasive fungus. But they’re coming back, thanks to the Sugar Pine Foundation and you who have been at it for 10 years now.

Did you also know that the Sugar Pines are the world’s largest species of pine? Looks like it from the size of John on the Nemesis.

September is the prime month to collect cones from our resistant seed trees.  Click here for dates and locations to help with the harvest in the Tahoe-Truckee area.

The Sugar Pine Foundation works endlessly to restore natural regeneration of sugar pines, western white pines and white bark pines in the Lake Tahoe Basin.  The Foundation engages and educates the community in forest stewardship through fun and informative events like interpretive hikes, plantings, and the annual cone collection in the fall.

3 Resistant Western White Pines Identified!

After many years of testing, the Forest Service has confirmed that we now have 3 resistant western white pines!  One at Kirkwood and two at Heavenly!

In the summer of 2004, John Pickett (that’s John, in the huge Sugar Pine in the photo above) noticed that most of the sugar pines in the Tahoe Basin were dying. After studying forest pathology at the University of Nevada, Reno he was working as a forest technician for the US Forest Service, and knew that a non-native invasive fungus called blister rust was devastating our precious Sugar Pines.  He had to do something about it.

The USFS had tried different strategies to eradicate the plague in the past until funding dried up. John felt passionate about the issue so he formed a little non-profit to identify resistant seed trees and to bring the Sugar Pine back.  Thanks John!

Sugar Pine Seedlings for sale!

Thanks to John, Maria, and the SPF crew, there are resistant sugar pine seedlings available for planting. Become part of the restoration effort and enjoy beautiful sugar pines smack dab on your land. Seedlings are $10 each. Some seed is also available at $1 per seed.

Place your order at

To learn more about the Foundation and how you can help, click here to visit their website or call contact Maria: or 650-814-9565.

Our native tree species that surround Lake Tahoe are as important as the air we breathe and the lake we paddle.  They define us as a community of stewards, and our priorities with nature. Thank you for helping to bring back the Sugar Pine!

We live in a special place. A place so beautiful it nurtures the soul and creative spirit. A place so breathtaking it inspires conservation. A mountain culture that masters the fine art of living. Welcome to this place we call home. Welcome to Lake Tahoe. Meet the local artists, individuals, businesses and events that define our unique mountain culture and embody Tahoe's creative and entrepreneurial spirit.
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