Help Locate and Identify Torrey Pines in Ocean Beach and Point Loma

by on October 26, 2016 · 16 comments

in Culture, Environment, History, Ocean Beach, Organizing

torrey pine longbranch js-edThere is a group in Ocean Beach that is working to locate and identify Torrey Pines in OB and throughout the Peninsula.

Friends of Peninsula Trees are nominating Torreys for an Historical Heritage Tree designation – which gives them added protection if granted.

80 years ago, locals planted Torrey Pines all over OB and the Point.

Now – today – this group of neighbors and residents have mobilized to save what’s left of these significant trees. They were galvanized to form some kind of organization when the city chopped down a third Torrey Pine on Saratoga Avenue over a 5-month period.

They have already nominated 8 Torreys for this distinction and are looking for others.

If you know of one or think you know of one – let them know. Contact Friends of the Peninsula Trees or via the OB Rag email ( and we will forward the location and contact info to them immediately.


{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

retired botanist October 26, 2016 at 2:09 pm

Thanks OB Rag for keeping Torrey pines on the radar! Save Peninsula Trees has created a flyer with more information about Torrey pines, and we will distribute these at the upcoming community meetings. We are also looking for people who might be interested in serving, once a month, on the City’s Community Forest Advisory Board–there are several vacancies- help us ensure the City takes good care of our urban trees! :-)


Tessa October 26, 2016 at 3:25 pm

Good work!
Maybe each tree, once identified, should receive a “human” name –


Ivory L Brooks October 30, 2016 at 1:14 pm

I Love That Idea Tessa ! :)


PL Local October 26, 2016 at 5:27 pm

Easy way to tell if it is a Torrey Pine, 5 needles to a pod. All other Pines trees have 3 needles to a pod.


LNMaggard October 28, 2016 at 8:48 am

I’d just look up


Byron Wear October 30, 2016 at 3:39 am

How about organizing Torrey Pine tree plantings? Sunset Cliffs Natural Park, Robb Field, Dusty Rhodes, Cleator Park???


nostalgic October 30, 2016 at 9:14 am

There is already a program in place to plant Torrey Pines in Sunset Cliffs Natural Park, managed by the Sunset Cliffs Natural Park Council, a City of San Diego Parks & Rec advisory committee.


OB John October 31, 2016 at 7:15 am

I’m quite sure former Councilmember Byron Wear is fully aware of that effort, which begs the question– what does he know about the future of EXISTING Torreys in OB? And is the City just getting started in its OB Torrey Pine eradication plan ? Sure looks that way!


Byron Wear October 31, 2016 at 8:15 am

The future of Torrey Pines in OB will be based on 1. Following a transparent process of saving or extending the life of current Torrey Pines and begin implantation of planting another 100-200 Torrey Pines in appropriate locations throughout our community. Having served as the OB Councilmember for two terms I worked to move the sidewalk and extend the life of the Saratoga Torrey Punes by installing metal plates to avoid removing roots. I also saved the palms on Santa Barbara and funded the tree plantings on Voltaire, Abbott and funded a few phases of the OB entryway. Knowing that the existing Torrey Pines can not live forever why not begin planting now for the future? Sign me up.


OB John October 31, 2016 at 4:48 pm

Transparency was definitely not part of process with the last 100 year old Torrey Pine that was chopped down by a private firm who’s own arborist sentenced Esperanza to death while Atlas profitted. Why should anyone believe there will be any transparency in the future and who is determining what transparency looks like ? What is “tranparent” to one certainly may not be to others.

Planting trees is a grand idea but it is mutually exclusive from chopping down OB heritage Torrey Pines, the rarest of all pine trees! Planting 1000 Torreys in Cleator Park or Sunset Cliffs Park would not replace one single majestic OB Torrey.

Looks as though there are fights ahead folks, dividing up the community based on BWs clear shot over the bow here in tbe OB RAG.


Byron Wear October 31, 2016 at 5:59 pm

OB John,

Of course we want to do everything possible to save our grand Heritage Torrey Pines. No argument about that.

The issue is that many of the Torreys in OB are approaching their life cycle and will either fall over or will need to come down…one year, 5 years, 10 years is not too far away. I did what I could do 15 years ago and spent $50,000 to move the sidewalk. I also helped plant 13 Torrey Pines at Sunset Cliffs in 2013. But more are needed as many do not survive. And yes, they need water!

So what I am focusing today on is the next generation of Torrey Pines for OB…

Are we prepared to leave a legacy or argue about the past?

I am ready to go to work and plant more Torrey Pines now. Are you?

Who wants to help develop a plan, get the effort funded and plant them?


OB John October 31, 2016 at 8:28 pm

Byron Wear,
Since you persist in promoting mutually exclusive subjects in your comments here, please allow me what some would think the same:

I’d like to discuss what appears to be mutually exclusive topics but seem related to me at least mainly the gentrification of OB and how the felling of OBs heritage Torreys fits into any such redevelopment plan by folks who simply do not reside in OB.

It’s no secret that OB property speculation OB is rising fast. Perhaps these Torreys are seen as a blight to do away with by same speculators. These wouldn’t be mutually exclusive situations such as the one you have proposed : planting trees in parks located outside OB as a mitigation of chopping down apparently healthy Torrey Pines.

Sure looks like a duck!


Byron Weae October 31, 2016 at 9:15 pm

OB John. Actually planting Torrey Pines in the heart of OB would be great redevelopment or not. Our OB Rec Center and adjacent park, OB Elementary School, OB Library, Dusty Rhodes Park, Robb Field, Cleator Park and other spots as well as Sunset Cliffs. I have no control of “gentrification” issues but due to the value of land in the coastal zone, OB rents and prices will continueb to rise in excess of other properties.


nostalgic October 31, 2016 at 4:01 pm

I have heard that all Torrey Pines in the SD area are vulnerable to the current drought; they not only need to be identified but a plan in place to provide the amount of water they need to survive. Perhaps this is the point of view of the city, which is to cut them down before they die and fall over. Not being a tree naturalist, is this something occurring, for example, in Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve? Maybe saving a tree means watering it correctly.


Gail Powell October 31, 2016 at 7:35 pm

I would refrain from identifying Torrey Pines trees in the area, if they are young or not fully rooted. People who work at restoring natural vegetation at Famosa Slough have told me that these valuable trees are targeted by thieves who will then shamelessly steal them. I love the Torrey Pine trees as much as every one else and hope they never fall into the wrong hands.


Linda July 12, 2018 at 10:48 am

Don’t know if this site is still active. I know you are looking for TPs in OB/PL, but I think there is a Torrey Pine in South Park, at the school on Ash St.


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