A Photo Blog Series Showcasing the Diversity of Global Plantings of the Monterey Cypress
By Cypress Lawn Arboretum Director Josh Gevertz
The Monterey cypress (Hesperocyparis macrocarpa), our namesake species at Cypress Lawn Arboretum, is a coastal Californian tree with a unique natural — and cultural — history.
While truly native only to a small pocket of the Monterey peninsula within two ancient groves at Pebble Beach and Point Lobos, this tree has been carried by seed and by sea to the farthest corners of the globe — with a bit of help from humankind. This process, over the last two centuries, has allowed for the Monterey cypress to find a healthy, happy adopted homeland in countries as far away as New Zealand and the broader Australasia, in addition to an expansion of its range north and south along the Golden State coast. Arborists and foresters may refer to this certain kind of non-native growth of trees as naturalization, where naturalized cypresses have established a deeply rooted presence in the landscape in places near and far beyond their original home.
It should be noted that, in the particular instance of the Monterey cypress in Australasia, that the naturalized trees are not considered invasive, as they do not readily displace or disturb the dominant native vegetation. For more information on the distinction between naturalized and invasive plants, click here or here.
The following photographs seek to showcase the Monterey cypresses I have seen in “natural” settings on my own travels, both internationally and in coastal California. Also included here are images of true native cypress trees from Point Lobos on the Monterey peninsula.
POINT LOBOS – NATIVE
THE SEA RANCH
PIGEON BAY – CANTERBURY
TE ANGA – WAIKATO
TONGAPORUTU – TARANAKI
TASMAN BAY – TASMAN
ALL DAY BAY – OTAGO
BRIGHTON BEACH – OTAGO