2. Monterey Pine

(Pinus radiata)

Other Common Names: Insignis Pine, Radiata Pine

Family: Pinaceae

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Earth has more than 100 pine species, and ten important ones grow west of Anderson Hall. A Monterey Pine stands on the north side of the C10 parking lot on the west side of Blodel and Anderson Halls. Foresters relish Monterey Pine's fast growth, attained even on poor soils. The tree bears 3- to 5-inch (7- to13-centimeter) needles in bundles of three and distinctive cones: roughly baseball-sized, woody-textured, knobby, staying closed and clinging tightly to the tree for decades. Fire allows the cones to expand and release their seeds. The bark is red-brown to blackish-brown and deeply furrowed. Severe winters turn Monterey pines brown, but do not usually kill them.

Though native only in a small part of California, this bright green pine is planted in vast portions of the planet for wood. In New Zealand, Monterey Pine is considered an invasive species where it has escaped plantation forests. The seeds of all pine species are edible and were used by Native American tribes as an important food source. Monterey Pine seeds were a valuable resource because the cones remain closed on the tree year round, and the seeds can be harvested during any season by placing the cones on or near a fire. Monterey Pine is effective for controlling erosion and stabilizing steep slopes because it is fast growing and has a wide spreading root system.

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