Tecate Cypress [Cupressus forbesii Jeps.]

Tecate Cypress [Cupressus forbesii Jeps.]

Listing CNPS List 1B R-E-D Code 3-2-2

State/Federal. Status -- /C2 CUPRESSACEAE cones Jan-Dec.

Global Rank G2 State Rank S2.1

Distribution: Orange County, San Diego County; Baja California, Mexico

Habitat: Closed Cone Coniferous Forest and Southern Mixed Chaparral are utilized by this distinctive tree. San Miguel-Exchequer soils are mapped for the cypress forests on Otay Mountain. The Tecate Cypress follows moist canyons and drainages downslope to relatively low elevations. It prefers north-facing slope aspects.

Known Sites: A widespread forest is developing on Otay Mountain following the most recent fire. Outlying trees on Otay Mountain occur well downslope into O'Neal Canyon. A small population is doing well on the north slope of Guatay Mountain. The Tecate Mountain population was dramatically reduced by the last fire, and unlike Otay has not responded well. Outlying populations are reported by Data Base on the north slope of a canyon 2 miles west southwest of Tecate Peak along a creek, as well as in Potrero Creek near Barrett School. Reported by Roberts for Orange County in the Santa Ana Mountains at Santa Ana Canyon, Gypsum Canyon, and Coal Canyon. Data Base records note populations on the south face of Sierra Peak along the main divide road between Sierra Peak and Skyline Drive, along Bedford Truck Tail, and west of Sierra Peak between Gypsum, Coal, and Fremont Canyons.

Twelve specimens from Baja California are found at the San Diego Natural History Museum's herbarium; south to Rancho el Cipres at 30 23' North where collected by Moran (SD 54829).

Status: The Tecate Cypress is stable in San Diego County and Orange County. Illegal alien campfires, and to a lesser extent, off-road vehicles, pose a fire danger in southern San Diego County. All populations should be protected.

Copyright May 1994 Craig H. Reiser.

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