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Monterey Pines

Monterey Pine (Pinus radiata) is a familiar sight near the coasts of Cornwall and the rounded spreading outline of older trees adds much to the local landscape, standing above many other trees. The trees can be recognised by their large cones which are arranged in clusters of three to five and remain on the branches for many years. The needles are bright green, arranged in threes and are between 3 to 6 inches long.

Its native range is restricted to a few exposed rocky headlands and islands on the Pacific coast of California. Its salt tolerance, wind firmness and rapid growth have recommended it for planting in the Southwest. It is not frost hardy and growth rates decline with increasing elevation.

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Monterey Pines are enjoyed by many as a characteristic and now important part of the Cornish landscape. Consideration should be given to the suitability of planting Monterey Pines, because whilst they may be suitable as isolated trees or groups in large gardens and parks, they are less well suited to small domestic places or in the wider natural environment. They are effective at helping groups of native trees to establish, but too often they have been left to mature and suppress the slower growing trees.  

For further information about planting, establishment and more, please read the locally produced papers Monterey Pine and Monterey Pine UK.