Sugar pines and other white pines are plagued by a non-native invasive pathogen. White pine blister rust kills about 90% of sugar pines it infects. Scientists and restoration managers have agreed that the only effective restoration strategy is to identify seed trees resistant to the rust and plant their progeny.
This is exactly what the Sugar Pine Foundation does. And, you can help too.
All volunteers will learn about the importance of native species, fire ecology, and the need for proactive forest management, which also entails digging in the dirt and planting trees. Click here for all the details and special events.
You can also buy a seedling to plant in your own yard for $10 each.
The goal of the SPF is to help save Tahoe’s glorious sugar pines by planting blister rust-resistant seedlings throughout the Tahoe area.
“We like to involve local students and community members in our restoration work and teach them about forest health,” says Maria Mircheva, SPF Executive Director. “We aim to inspire them to become forest stewards.”
Since 2008, the Foundation has planted over 700 acres with over 42,000 sugar pines and other native trees to maintain Tahoe’s legacy of beautiful, healthy forests. We need your help to reach our goal of planting 50,000 sugar pines in 5 years!
The Sugar Pine Foundation is a local non-profit working to save the sugar pines and other white pines from the threat of a nonnative, incurable fungus called “white pine blister rust.” The SPF is working to maintain Tahoe’s legendary environmental health and scenic beauty by finding sugar pine trees that are resistant to the blister rust fungus, collecting their cones and planting their progeny.
Sugar pines are renowned for their enormous cones and uniquely beautiful, octopussy shape, but less well known is the fact that they are the largest species of pine in the world. Historically, sugar pines accounted for 25 percent of Tahoe’s mixed-conifer forest composition at lake level. Today, due to heavy selective logging during the Comstock era of the late-1800s and the more recent introduction of the blister rust fungus, sugar pines account for only 5 percent of the trees in Tahoe’s forests.