3-5% of sugar pines and western white pines are resistant to the white pine blister rust fungus. We have tested over 500 sugar pines and have identified 66 rust resistant "seed trees" in the Tahoe – Truckee region.
A mature sugar pine tree can produce 200 cones in a year, and each cone holds about 100 seeds! Every fall, we climb our seed trees and harvest thousands of their seeds to grow seedlings for restoration projects.
Since 2008, our partners and volunteers have planted over 30,000 rust resistant trees in and around the Tahoe Basin. In 30 years, these trees will be able to produce their own seeds and spread themselves by natural means throughout the forest. Just think of the ripple effects of planting one tree!
Educating the Next Generation
We work with schools throughout the Tahoe region to run Student Plantings that teach and empower kids to become good stewards of the forest.
The students learn about forest ecology and management, watershed science, local wildlife and gain orienteering skills. They love getting their hands dirty, planting trees and getting involved in real life problem solving.