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MONTEREY CYPRESS

Hesperocyparis macrocarpa

Cupressaceae

These Monterey cypresses are located near the Pierce Point Ranch, Tomales Point, Point Reyes National Seashore.  On a recent visit I noticed the sign providing information about the history of the area and restoration of the aging windbreak cypresses. Some sources once speculated that the tree could live to 2000 years, but that notion has been discredited, and the upper age limit is now estimated to be around 300 years. 

Monterey cypress occurs naturally in two central California locations, now protected, Point Lobos State Reserve and Del Monte Forest. However it is widely planted throughout coastal California and north to Washington, as well as for hedges and windbreaks worldwide.

Monterey cypress thrives in foggy, windy situations, and prefers cool, humid summers. The trunk and large branches become buttressed from the wind, hence are often thicker on one side. Likewise, the wind-pruned tree becomes flat-topped, rarely growing more than 75 feet.

This beautiful tree, and many others like it, graces the lagoon at Aquatic Park in Berkeley, California

PORT ORFORD-CEDAR