I've always been intrigued by the Canary Island pines along the elevated BART tracks in Albany, California. 

These trees are native to the Canary Islands west of Africa at about the latitude of Morocco. They are planted extensively in Berkeley, and I've seen them throughout California, thriving in hot, dry locations and always with thick, lush foliage.


Pinus canariensis


Seed cones are four to nine inches long, and the ends of the scales are slightly flattened. Chris Earle suggests that the handsome cones are among the best for use as Christmas ornaments. See Gymnosperm Database

A unique feature of Canary Island pine is that the pollen cones are produced in massive amounts below new needles.

Canary Island pines are tall, to 80 feet, and narrow, and have the unusual feature of sprouting on the trunk (epicormic sprouting). Needles occur in threes, are slender, drooping, and long, nine to twelve inches. Bark is reddish, in irregular plates, and not highly furrowed.

Arborist Blair Glenn states that the pollen deposits can definitely be a nuisance in urban areas. He notes as well that the "rock hard cones" can actually damage cars.