Pinus ponderosa - Pseudotsuga menziesii Forest & Woodland Alliance
Ponderosa pine - Douglas fir forest and woodland

USDA Ecological Section Map

Summary Information

  • Primary Life FormTree
  • Elevation600-1800 m
  • State RarityS4
  • Global RarityG4
  • DistributionCAN: BC. USA: CA, OR, UT, WA (NatureServe)
  • Endemic to CaliforniaNo
  • Endemic to California Floristic Province and DesertsNo
  • Date Added1995/11/01

Characteristic Species

Pinus ponderosa and Pseudotsuga menziesii are co-dominant in the tree canopy with Abies concolor, Arbutus menziesii, Calocedrus decurrens, Pinus jeffreyi, Pinus lambertiana, Quercus chrysolepis, Quercus garryana and Quercus kelloggii.

Vegetation Layers

Trees < 75 m; canopy is continuous or intermittent. Shrub layer is sparse or intermittent. Herbaceous layer is sparse.

Membership Rules

  • Pseudotsuga menziesii and Pinus ponderosa both > 30% relative cover in the canopy (Bingham 1999).


Raised stream benches, terraces, slopes, and ridges of all aspects. Soils are deep and well drained. The USFWS Wetland Inventory (1996 national list) recognizes Pinus ponderosa and Pseudotsuga menziesii as FACU plants.

Other Habitat, Alliance and Community Groupings

MCV (1995) Douglas fir-ponderosa pine series
NVCS (2009) Pinus ponderosa-Pseudotsuga menziesii forest alliance, Pinus ponderosa-Pseudotsuga menziesii woodland alliance
Calveg Douglas-fir-Ponderosa pine, Mixed conifer-Pine
Holland Coast range mixed coniferous forest, Sierran mixed coniferous forest
Munz Yellow pine forest
WHR Sierran mixed conifer
CDFW CA Code 82.400.00

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 Upland Vancouverian mixed woodland and forest