Torrey Pine [Pinus torreyana Parry ex Carr. ssp. torreyana]

Torrey Pine [Pinus torreyana Parry ex Carr. ssp. torreyana]

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

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

Global Rank G1T1 State Rank S1.2

Distribution: San Diego County; Santa Rosa Island

Habitat: Closed Coniferous Forest along the coast near Del Mar is the mainland habitat of the Torrey Pine. This is a vestigial tree which survives at Torrey Pines State Park where fogs often create a much more mesic climate than elsewhere in coastal San Diego County. Loamy alluvial land of the Huerhuero complex, Terrace Escarpments, and to a lesser extent Corralitos loamy sand are mapped for the state park lands where this pine flourishes. Undoubtedly the moderate temperature regime based on close proximity to the ocean, and the local fogs and cloud cover which sometimes hug the coastline at Del Mar, enable the Torrey Pine to thrive; temperatures frequently are as much as 20 degrees warmer only a few miles farther inland during the summer months.

Known Sites: Healthy populations occur at both the southern and northern extensions of the Torrey Pines Preserve. Fire is an omnipresent threat as is beetle damage following drought years. Nearby peripheral populations outside of the preserve occur on private lands and are sometimes endangered by development. Vigorous stands are found north into Crest Canyon in Del Mar. This pine is widely planted in the region as an ornamental. Occasionally planted stands will generate seedlings such as on the northwestern slope of Carmel Mountain and near Oak Crest Park in Encinitas. Variety insularis is reported growing naturally on Santa Rosa Island with a sizeable forest on the south shore of Beechers Bay. A Data Base report notes a small stand in Box Canyon near the southeast anchorage for Santa Rosa Island.

Status: The San Diego County population of the Torrey Pine is somewhat declining due to beetle infestation and human induced fires. Generally, the cities of Del Mar and San Diego stringently protect these trees from residential developments. All native populations should be protected.

Copyright May 1994 Craig H. Reiser.

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