Pinus sabiniana Douglas ex Douglas
California foothill pine, Digger pine
Pinaceae (Pine Family)
USDA Symbol: pisa2
Digger pine is an open, airy conifer with a divided trunk and a sparsely leaved crown. It grows to 45 ft. in 15 years and can attain 75 ft. in 200 yrs. The ridged and scaly bark is dark brown, often tinged purple. The foliage is gray-green and lacy. Tree with crooked, forking trunk and branches; open, very thin, irregular, broad, or rounded crown; and very large, heavy cones.
The soft, lightweight wood of this common and widespread pine is not durable; the crooked, forking trunks also make the wood impractical to use except as fuel. The former common name refers to the Digger Indians (a pioneer term grouping all California Indian tribes together, based on their practice of digging for foods such as bulbs and roots).
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Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Shape: Linear
Size Class: 36-72 ft.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr
DistributionUSA: CA , OR
Native Distribution: Hills bordering Central Valley & inner Coast Ranges, CA
Native Habitat: Dry slopes & ridges below 4500 ft.
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Soil Description: Dry soils.
Conditions Comments: Digger pine is very drought tolerant. Its open structure gives light shade and if the bottom branches are pruned off, it is gardenable underneath.
PropagationDescription: Propagate by seed.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes
Find Seed or Plants
View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara, CA
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Pinus sabiniana in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Pinus sabiniana in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Pinus sabiniana
MetadataRecord Modified: 2007-01-01
Research By: TWC Staff