Published: July 26th 2009July 26th 2009
PERHAPS WORLD'S MOST PHOTOGRAPHED TREE AT PEBBLE BEACH
Excerpted from my book OUR SUMMER IN CARMEL; Amazon.com
Carmel's unusual climatic conditions contribute to several other natural phenomena. One example is the Monterey Pine. This is the tree that Cabrillo discovered in 1542 after which he named Cabo de Pinos. This species of pine grows large, tall and straight, a shipwright’s dream-tree in the sailing days of the 16-17th centuries. It is the world’s fastest growing pine; some are known to grow ten feet in a year! Although this tree is found in many places in the world today, it is indigenous to only a few places in California, Monterey being the principle locale. It is understood that the pine flourishes here because the moisture from the summer fog nourishes it during what would otherwise be a drought season. It seldom rains in Carmel from June to September. If you want to get into serious trouble in Carmel, begin by messing around with the trees. Carmel has, for years, treasured its forests and, for a city of only 4,000, has a full-time warden just to look after the trees. You better talk to the warden before you even begin to think about removing a branch, much less a tree.
KEEP RIGHT! IN CARMEL,THE TREE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD HAS ALL THE RIGHTS.
Another tree found in abundance throughout the Monterey area is the live oak. Their twisted branches, oftentimes just skimming the ground, lend character to any landscape.
But the queen of all Carmel’s trees, one of the rarest species in the world, is the Monterey Cypress. Of the entire world’s surface, this tree is indigenous to a tiny few acres on Point Lobos and Cypress Point, each point thrusting itself out into the cool waters of Monterey Bay. You see a picture of perhaps the world's most photographed tree, the Lone Cypress, a symbol of the Pebble Beach Company.A lone sentinel, drawing its strength from the craggy, fog-shrouded often blustery, sea cliff. These rare trees have been the seed from which all the Monterey Cypress in the world originated. They thrive here because of the damp cool winds, passing over the fog-shrouded ocean, that deposit life-sustaining droplets of water on their boughs. Clinging to rocky crags, their branches reaching out almost beseechingly over the seaside cliffs, welcoming the enveloping fog, they thrive where other trees cannot, and cannot grow where other trees do.