Sugar pines, western white pines and whitebark pines are three species of white pine that are very important in the Lake Tahoe Basin and other ecosystems.

Three very sticky, sappy sugar pine cones. 

A group of whitebark pines.

Trees hold the snowpack on high mountain ridges, 
which helps keep Tahoe's waters so clear and blue!


Sugar pines and western white pines provide excellent habitat and other benefits for wildlife.  Sugar pines, which are the largest pines in the world and feature the world’s longest cones, are particularly noted for their scenic beauty.

Snow Stabilization and Food Source

Whitebark pines provide critical snow stabilization on high ridges above timberline, which allows for better infiltration of the water into the soil and decreases high velocity runoff and sedimentation of the lake.  Whitebark seeds are also an invaluable food source for bears, small mammals and birds, such as the Clark’s nutcracker.