Pine, Sugar (Pinus lambertiana)

Pine, Sugar is a domestic softwood


Sugar pine (Pinus lambertiana), the world’s largest species of pine, is sometimes called California sugar pine. Most sugar pine lumber grows in California and southwestern Oregon.


The heartwood of sugar pine is buff or light brown, sometimes tinged with red. The sapwood is creamy white. The wood is straight grained, fairly uniform in texture, and easy to work with tools. It has very low shrinkage, is readily dried without warping or checking, and is dimensionally stable. Sugar pine is lightweight, moderately low in strength, moderately soft, low in shock resistance, and low in stiffness.

Primary Uses

Sugar pine is used almost exclusively for lumber products. The largest volume is used for boxes and crates, sashes, doors, frames, blinds, general millwork, building construction, and foundry patterns. Like eastern white pine (Pinus strobus), sugar pine is suitable for use in nearly every part of a house because of the ease with which it can be cut, its dimensional stability, and its good nailing properties.

*Much of the base wood information presented here is made available by the USDA FPL FS. If you are interested in a much more technical description of wood properties, I encourage you to visit the source.