Pinus lambertiana Forest & Woodland Alliance
Sugar pine forest and woodland

USDA Ecological Section Map

Summary Information

  • Primary Life FormTree
  • Elevation845-1465 m
  • State RarityS3
  • Global RarityG4
  • DistributionUSA: CA, NV?, OR? (USDA Plants)
  • Endemic to CaliforniaNo
  • Endemic to California Floristic Province and DesertsNo
  • Date Added2009/09/01

Characteristic Species

Pinus lambertiana is dominant or co-dominant in the tree canopy with Abies concolor, Calocedrus decurrens, Chrysolepis chrysophylla, Pinus attenuata, Pinus contorta ssp. murrayana, Pinus jeffreyi and Pseudotsuga menziesii.

Vegetation Layers

Trees < 70 m; canopy is open to intermittent. Shrub layer is intermittent to continuous. Herbaceous layer is sparse.

Membership Rules

  • Pinus lambertiana > 30% relative cover in the tree layer (Jimerson et al. 1995).


Steep to moderately steep upper slopes, ridge tops, Soils developed from sandstone, mafic, and ultramafic substrates, including serpentine.

Other Habitat, Alliance and Community Groupings

MCV (1995) None
NVCS (2009) Not treated
Calveg Sugar pine, Western white pine
Holland Ultramafic white pine forest
Munz Coniferous forest
WHR Subalpine forest
CDFW CA Code 87.206.00

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 Californian-Vancouverian Montane and Foothill Forest
Group Californian montane conifer forest