Pinus balfouriana Woodland Alliance
Foxtail pine woodland

USDA Ecological Section Map

Summary Information

  • Primary Life FormTree
  • Elevation2100-3700 m
  • State RarityS3
  • Global RarityG3
  • DistributionUSA: CA (NatureServe) (FEIS)
  • Endemic to CaliforniaYes
  • Endemic to California Floristic Province and DesertsYes
  • Date Added1995/11/01

Characteristic Species

Pinus balfouriana is dominant or co-dominant in the tree canopy with Abies concolor, Abies magnifica, Abies ×shastensis, Pinus albicaulis, Pinus contorta ssp. murrayana, Pinus flexilis, Pinus monticola and Tsuga mertensiana.

Vegetation Layers

Trees < 20 m; canopy is intermittent or open. Shrub layer is sparse and infrequent. Herbaceous layer is sparse or grassy.

Membership Rules

  • Pinus balfouriana > 25% tree cover in the tree canopy (NatureServe 2007).


Most extensive on upper slopes, crests, ridges, summits, and upper slopes to forest line. Soils are loose, well drained, and often rocky, including glacial till.

Other Habitat, Alliance and Community Groupings

MCV (1995) Foxtail pine series
NVCS (2009) Pinus balfouriana woodland alliance
Calveg Foxtail pine
Holland Foxtail pine forest
Munz Subalpine forest
WHR Subalpine conifer
CDFW CA Code 87.150.00

National Vegetation Classification Hierarchy

Formation Class Mesomorphic Tree Vegetation (Forest and Woodland)
Formation Subclass Temperate Forest
Formation Cool Temperate Forest
Division Western North America Cool Temperate Forest
Macro Group Rocky Mountain Subalpine and High Montane Conifer Forest
Group Western Cordilleran xeric subalpine coniferous forest and woodland