Torreya californica in Mt. Tamalpais
and Samuel Taylor State Parks

November 2011

by Connie Barlow and Eric Ettlinger

• MT. TAMALPAIS STATE PARK: On a hike along the north side of Mt. Tamalpais with Michael Dowd and Terry Patton (November 2011), Connie was carefully watching for Torreya californica visible from the trail. She found just the one specimen pictured below. The stiff and incredibly sharp needled leaves are diagnostic of this evergreen conifer species in California.



• SAMUEL TAYLOR STATE PARK: email to Connie Barlow on November 17, 2020 by Eric Ettlinger :

Potential champion torreya:

"I wanted to let you know about a very large Torreya californica in Samuel P. Taylor State Park.

   It's 142 inches in circumference with a 40 foot crown spread.

I haven't gotten an accurate height, but I'm estimating it at 90 feet. That would give it 244 points, so still shy of the champion, and nothing like the 1993 champion.

I may see if I can find a laser rangefinder and clinometer to get a better measurement than my stick method. If it's 100 foot tall it would be the champion.

It's growing on an east-facing slope, at about 100' elevation. I'm not aware of any springs or road drainage that are providing abundant water. I'm no arborist, but it seems healthy.

The nutmeg doesn't have basal sprouts. There are redwoods growing just to the north of it. There are small Torreyas, I'd call them saplings, in the area. I'll look for cones next time I'm out there."


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