Nature in Yosemite
Sugar Pines of Yosemite West
One of the trees that can be found in abundance in Yosemite West and
throughout Yosemite National Park and the Sierras is the Sugar Pine (Pinus
lambertiana). The name comes from a resin that comes from the cut or burned
wood. One of the tallest of the pine trees, the Sugar Pine can grow to
heights of 175 to 200 feet. It is characterized by the large, elongated
cones which hang from the ends of the branches. Some specimens of the
Sugar Pine are known to be over 500 years old. The sandy soil in the area,
derived from decomposed granite is ideal for the growth of the Sugar Pine.
One of the biggest sugar pine measures 270 feet high with a trunk circumference
of 348 inches and a branch spread of 68 feet on all sides. This huge specimen,
recorded by the National Register of Big Trees in 1992 can be visited
in Yosemite National Park.