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Torrey Pine
Pinus torreyana
  
About Torrey Pine (Pinus torreyana) 9 Nurseries Carry This Plant The Torrey pine, Pinus torreyana, is the rarest pine species in the United States, an endangered species growing along the coast of San Diego County and on two of the Channel Islands. It is a broad, open-crowned pine tree growing to 8 - 17 meters (26 - 56 ft) tall in the wild, with 25 - 30 centimeters (9.8 - 11.8 in) long gray-green needles groups of five. The cones are stout and heavy, typically 8 - 15 cm (3.1 - 5.9 in) long and broad, and contain large, hard-shelled, but edible, pine nuts. The species name torreyana is named for John Torrey, an American botanist, after whom the coniferous genus Torreya is also named. The "wild" native population of Pinus torreyana is restricted to about 3000 trees growing in a narrow strip along the Southern California coast in San Diego, and on Santa Rosa and San Miguel Islands. The presence of Torrey pines along the semi-arid coast of San Diego and Santa Rosa Island (rainfall less than 15 inches per year) is probably a relic population of a much more extensive Ice Age distribution. Coastal fog during spring and summer along the San Diego and Santa Rosa Island coast provides just enough moisture to supplement the fairly low winter rainfall, allowing for survival of the species in the wild habitat zone.

In its native habitat, Pinus torreyana is found in the Coastal sage scrub plant community, growing slowly in dry sandy soil. The root system is extensive. A tiny seedling may quickly send a taproot down 60 centimeters (24 in) seeking moisture and nutrients. A mature tree may have roots extending 75 meters (246 ft). Exposed trees battered by coastal winds are often twisted into beautiful sculptural shapes resembling large bonsai, and rarely exceed 12 m (39 ft) tall.
Pinus torreyana was one of the rarest pine species in the world in the early 20th century, with only around 100 trees surviving. However, with conservation the wild population has grown to about 3,000 trees in present times.

Endangered in the wild, Torrey pine is planted as an ornamental tree, and is used in native plant and drought tolerant gardens and landscapes. The Torrey pine is protected by a city tree ordinance in Del Mar, near the native habitat, and construction projects and citizens require a permit for its removal. Under cultivation, on richer soils with higher rainfall or supplemental irrigation, the Torrey pine is capable of fast growth to a large size, with tall and straight trees from 33 metres (108 ft) - 45 meters (148 ft) in height.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Plant Type
Tree

Size
Size
25 - 150 ft tall
25 - 50 ft wide

Form
Form
Mounding, Pyramidal, Rounded, Spreading, Upright Columnar

Growth Rate
Growth Rate
Fast, Moderate, Slow

Dormancy
Dormancy
Evergreen

Fragrance
Fragrance
Fragrant - Pleasant

Flower Color
Flower Color
Red, Yellow

Wildlife Supported
 
Butterflies (White Pine), Birds (especially Scrub Jays), small mammals

 
Butterflies & moths hosted ( 1 confirmed , 20 likely * ) SHOW ALL

Landscaping Information
Sun
Sun
Full Sun

Moisture
Moisture
Very Low

Summer Irrigation
Summer Irrigation
Max 1x / month once established

Nurseries
Nurseries

Ease of Care
Ease of Care
Moderately Easy

Cold Tolerance
Cold Tolerance
Tolerates cold to -5 - 5° F

Soil Drainage
Soil Drainage
Fast, Medium

Soil Description
Soil Description
Sandy soils, sandstone. Soil PH: 8 - 10

Common uses
Common uses
Bank Stabilization, Bird Gardens

Companion Plants
Companion Plants
Toyon, White Coast Ceanothus, Del Mar Manzanita, Lemondade Sumac

Maintenance
Maintenance
Prune in winter when wood boring insects are less active.

Propagation
Propagation?
For propagating by seed: 1-3 mos. stratification ( USDA Forest Service 1974).

Natural Setting
Site Type
Site Type
Sandy bluffs, sandstone cliffs

Climate
Climate
Annual Precipitation: 9.8" - 22.6", Summer Precipitation: 0.15" - 0.36", Coldest Month: 49.1" - 56.2", Hottest Month: 62.7" - 78.6", Humidity: 0.94" - 23.37", Elevation: 10" - 1535"

Alternative Names
Common Names: De Mar Pine, Soledad Pine


Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora


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