Flora of Scotts Creek Watershed
Pinus radiata - Monterey Pine
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Family Name: Pinaceae
Common Name: Monterey Pine
Origin: Native to California
Notes and Rarity Levels (if applicable, see "About This Project" for explainations of rankings): Rank: G1 / S1.1, CNPS List 1B
Habitat: Closed-cone-pine forests, oak woodlands. Site characteristics: dry sandy loam soils, coastal climate, summer fog. Below 1300 ft. Considered rare in California, 3 distinct populations: Ano Nuevo to Swanton, Monterey to Carmel, and Pico Creek to Cambria.
Life Form and Duration: Perennial Tree, 15-38 m
Comments on overall growth: Trunks single, erect, somewhat crooked, irregular branching pattern. Mature crown irregular, round-topped.
Bark and Stem Description: Mature bark has deep groves separating narrow dark brown to blackened ridges.
Foliage Type: Evergreen
Foliage Description: Needles, generally 3 per bundle, persistent sheath at base, 6-15 cm, dark green, slender.
Fruit Type: Seed cone
Fruit Description: Asymmetrical, broad egg shaped but with base end flattened on one side where attached to branch. 7.5-14 cm long. Cones are persistent, not dropping off the branch, semi-serotinous (scales of cone remaining closed after cone is mature, opens 2nd year to release seeds). Scales are larger on upper end of base with swollen knobs, rest of scales are flatter. Scale tips have minute spines/prickles pointing towards the cone base. Fresh cones are a light tan color on the outer knobby portion, inner portions of the scales are a brown/rosy color.
Plant Use: "Used worldwide, especially in the southern hemisphere, as a timber species."
Common Associates: Pseudotsuga menziesii, Sequoia sempervirens, Cupressus macrocarpa, Cupressus goveniana, Pinus attenuata, Pinus muricata, Quercus agrifolia
Other Comments: "A few of the Monterey Pine at Swanton are crosses with Knobcone Pine showing characteristics of both. Pinus radiata has become one of the most heavily planted timber trees in the world due to its rapid growth and excellent characteristics for pulping and lumber. Californias Monterey Pine stands are only native stands in the world and as such they hold all of the genetic variability for the species. It is important to preserve the native stands because that is where genetic variability is generated. If a disaster, such as the disease pine pitch canker, were to occur in areas of the world in which Pinus radiata is the principle timber source and the species was wiped out, it would be necessary to return to the native populations and research individuals for different genetics and possible resistance to repopulate those stands. "