Torrey pine

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Pinus torreyana
Torrey pine[1]
Torrey Pine at Santa Rosa Island.jpg
A Torrey pine on the northeast coast of Santa Rosa Island, California
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pinophyta
Class: Pinopsida
Order: Pinales
Family: Pinaceae
Genus: Pinus
Subgenus: Pinus
Species: P. torreyana
Binomial name
Pinus torreyana
Parry ex Carr.
Pinus torreyana range map 2.png
Natural range of Pinus torreyana

The Torrey pine, Pinus torreyana, is the rarest pine species in the United States, an endangered species growing only in San Diego County and on one of the Channel Islands, endemic to the coastal sage and chaparral ecoregion in the U.S. state of California.[2][3]

Description[edit]

Torrey pine: female pine cones

Pinus torreyana 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 leaves ('needles') in 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.[2] The species name torreyana is named for John Torrey, an American botanist, after whom the coniferous genus Torreya is also named.[4]

Distribution[edit]

A wild Torrey pine grove, Santa Rosa Island, California.

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.[5] There is also a population of the variety Pinus torreyana var. insularis in two groves on Santa Rosa Island, a California Channel Island off the coast of Santa Barbara.[6][7] 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.[citation needed]

Habitat[edit]

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.

Conservation[edit]

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. Pinus squamata, a critically endangered species in southwest China, is considered the rarest pine currently with only around 20 trees remaining.

Uses[edit]

Food[edit]

The pine nuts were an important food for the Kumeyaay tribe of Native American people.

Cultivation[edit]

Endangered in the wild, Torrey pine is planted as an ornamental tree.[8] They are used in native plant and drought tolerant gardens and landscapes.[citation needed] 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)[8] to 45 meters (148 ft) in height.[9][10]

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.[11]

Forestry[edit]

Pinus torreyana has been considered as a plantation tree for forestry use in Australia, New Zealand and Kenya.[12]

Naming[edit]

In San Diego County it is considered a local icon, where it lends its name to Torrey Pines State Reserve, Torrey Pines State Beach, Torrey Pines Golf Course, Torrey Pines High School, and Torrey Pines Gliderport, as well as numerous local roads, businesses (e.g., Torrey Pines Bank,[13] Torrey Pines Property Management Company,[14] Torrey Pines Landscape Company[15]), and parks.

Terminology[edit]

strobili on a Torrey pine

Some unusual terms that are used to describe the Torrey pine are:

  • fascicle (botany) – a cluster of needles, which consists of a fixed number of needles for each pine species, which is five for the Torrey pine[16][17]
  • stratification (botany) – the process of subjecting seeds to cold in order to encourage germination, which is a recommended practice for Torrey pine seeds [18][19]
  • strobilus (plural: strobili) – a structure that functions as a flower but looks like a small cone, which for the Torrey pine looks like a yellow bud in a male strobilus and looks like a small red cone in a female strobilus[20][21]
  • witch's broom – an unusually dense cluster of needles, which looks somewhat like a bird's nest, which can be caused by disease or some other cause,[22][23] also called "gorilla's nest"[24]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Conifer Specialist Group (1998). Pinus torreyana var. torreyana. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. www.iucnredlist.org. Retrieved on 11 May 2006. Listed as Endangered (EN C2b)
  2. ^ a b "Pinus torreyana Parry ex Carrière". Ucjeps.berkeley.edu. Retrieved 2013-08-09. 
  3. ^ C. Michael Hogan PhD (September 11, 2008). "Torrey Pine (Pinus torreyana)". GlobalTwitcher.com. Retrieved 2013-08-09. 
  4. ^ Lisa (2010-09-22). "Tree Identification: Pinus torreyana - Torrey Pine". Lh2treeid.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2013-08-09. 
  5. ^ Moore, Gerry; Kershner, Bruce; Craig Tufts; Daniel Mathews; Gil Nelson; Spellenberg, Richard; Thieret, John W.; Terry Purinton; Block, Andrew (2008). National Wildlife Federation Field Guide to Trees of North America. New York: Sterling. p. 84. ISBN 1-4027-3875-7. 
  6. ^ "Pinus torreyana Parry ex Carrière subsp. insularis J. R. Haller". Ucjeps.berkeley.edu. Retrieved 2013-08-09. 
  7. ^ Christopher J. Earle. "Pinus torreyana (Torrey pine) description". The Gymnosperm Database. Retrieved 2014-05-04. 
  8. ^ a b Anne Krueger (February 6, 2007). "Residents say tree too big, too old for neighborhood". Union-Tribune Publishing Co. Retrieved 2014-05-31. Houses replaced avocado groves on the East County land that surrounds the Torrey pine. The tree, now 60 or 70 years old, towers 108 feet over Queen Avenue.
    ...
    Torrey pines are widely planted as an ornamental species, and can grow in temperate climates around the world.
     
  9. ^ "TORREY PINE HABITAT". Shipley Nature Center. Retrieved 31 May 2014. In cultivation, it is capable of growth up to 148 feet 
  10. ^ "Torrey Pine, Pinus torreyana". redOrbit. Conifers Reference Library. Retrieved 2014-05-31. The Torrey pine is planted as ornamental trees, with better soil and with controlled watering, it lends to being a fast growing tree to heights of 148 feet. This pine is drought tolerant as the tap roots can go as deep as 200 feet to find moisture. The tree is also shade tolerant. 
  11. ^ "How can I cut my tree down?". City of Del Mar. Retrieved 2014-05-11. 
  12. ^ McMaster, Gregory Scott (1980). Patterns of reproduction in Torrey pine (Pinus torreyana) (Thesis). San Diego, California: San Diego State University. 
  13. ^ "Torrey Pines Bank". 2010-12-17. Retrieved 2013-08-06. 
  14. ^ "Torrey Pines Property Management Company, San Diego Property Management, Apartments for Rent in San Diego, CA". Retrieved 2013-08-06. 
  15. ^ "San Diego Landscape Designers Contractors Torrey Pines Landscaping". Tplandscape.com. Retrieved 2013-08-06. 
  16. ^ Parry ex Carrière 1855. "Pinus torreyana (Torrey pine) description". Conifers.org. Retrieved 2013-08-06. 
  17. ^ "Chaparral and Riparian Plants". Sci.sdsu.edu. Retrieved 2013-08-06. 
  18. ^ "Pinus torreyana". Fs.fed.us. 1972-07-12. Retrieved 2013-08-06. 
  19. ^ Santiago (Jan 25, 2005). "germination of Torrey pines". Archived from the original on 2014-05-11. Retrieved 2013-08-09. 
  20. ^ "Natural Treasure: The One and Only Torrey Pine". Naturaltreasureucsd.blogspot.com. 2011-02-07. Retrieved 2013-08-06. 
  21. ^ "Life Cycle - torreypinedo2". Sites.google.com. 2011-07-22. Retrieved 2013-08-06. 
  22. ^ "Welcome to My Garden!: Torrey Pines State Reserve". Loresgardens.blogspot.com. 2008-08-17. Retrieved 2013-08-06. 
  23. ^ "Torrey Pine". Project Noah. Retrieved 2013-08-06. 
  24. ^ jiobrien. "Torrey Pine with witch's broom". Archived from the original on 2012-05-12. Retrieved 2014-05-04. The witch's broom or gorrila's nest is an abnormal area of growth on the tree of uncertain origin. 

External links[edit]