The Problem

All white pines throughout North America are dying from a non-native, incurable fungus called white pine blister rust (Cronartium ribicola).  Over 95% of trees the fungus infects die!  The disease has reached epidemic proportions in the Tahoe region and the natural rate of regeneration of white pines cannot keep up with blister rust die-off.

A magnificent western white pine.

Our Solution

Thanks to the diversity of nature, about 3-5% of sugar pines and western white pines possess a natural genetic resistance to the blister rust fungus.  At the Sugar Pine Foundation, we find these resistant trees, collect their cones and plant their progeny!  We are gently speeding up the process of natural selection by planting over 15,000 resistant seedlings in and around the Tahoe Basin every year.