Torreya californica in Mariposa County, CA

by Stephen A. Garland, July 2012

    "I have more than a casual interest in California Torreya and have noted where they were abundant in my area.

Here in Mariposa County, Torreyas may be found commonly in the central part of Devil Gulch, accessed from the Windlass Ridge Trail on north-facing slopes. I find them in near-shade, and also from Upper Nutmeg Creek down to the confluence of the South Fork Merced River. There are also some small stands on both sides of Granite Ridge, to the south-facing slope into Devil Gulch, as well as to the north-slope facing the South Fork of the Merced River.

It appears that most of the shaded deep-canyon areas surrounding Granite Ridge (and to the east, Devil Gulch) support large stands of the Torreya. I have encountered them from about 6,700 feet to 1,800 feet in this area.

The distribution is more widespread than I had initially thought. The trails and area in general are not commonly visited, because the main attraction in this region is Yosemite Park.

I found your information on propagation very interesting. I decided to plant some Torreya seeds I have, to supplement the Torreya I planted as a seedling back in 1991."

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