A Sneezy Pine in High Bloom

Pollen cones (detail)
Pollen cones
Unidentified pine tree

If you’ve been sneezing while walking on the southside path along Spinnaker Way, the reason is probably the enthusiastic growth of these new pines, which so far have defied my efforts to identify.  A biologist friend says they may be Torrey pines (Pinus torreyana).  Park management planted them a few years ago to replace fallen Monterey Pines and Monterey Cypress trees that date from around the time the park first opened in the late 1980s. The candle-like uprights are pollen cones, not seed cones.  Thanks to the pollen cones, this type of pine is able to self-pollinate; it does not need a companion plant to reproduce.  These trees are in high bloom during late April – early May.

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