Native to a limited region of the central California coast, this has become the most widely planted pine in the world due to rapid growth and other desirable characteristics for lumber production. In the U.S., Monterey pine is naturalized in much of coastal California and southern Oregon.
Culture for Monterey Pine
Adaptable to wide range of soil textures, but shallow soils often lead to whole tree failure of larger specimen. Performs best on acidic soil with moderate to high organic matter and soil moisture. Requires some summer irrigation, which in natural stands comes in the form of fog. Cones are serrotinous, only releasing seeds following fire.
Concerns about Monterey Pine
Susceptible to many insect and disease issues. Pitch canker (Fusarium) is the most common disease leading to branch or tip dieback. The red turpentine beetle (RTB) is the most common lethal insect pest. Also susceptible to root decay, western gall rust, pitch moth, tip borers, scales, aphids, and Phytophthora root disease. The most common failure pattern in this species is large branch failure, not adjacent to the attachment point. Trunk or whole tree failure is not common unless large trees are growing on shallow soils.
Management Practices for Monterey Pine
Treat lower stems preventatively against borer attack, specifically red turpentine beetle. Monitor for aphids, mites, scales, and other insect pests and treat as warranted. Potassium phosphite treatments and slow-release fertilization will help reduce the impact of pitch canker, although no fungicides have proven directly effective against this disease. Prune to avoid extended branches and reduce risk of breakage.