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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Pinus patula - Mexican Weeping Pine

There was a quote about a pettable tree earlier but this one is beyond pettable. The Mexican Weeping Pine tree is so soft when young it is one you just want to have in your yard so you can rub up against it. I cant remember the first one I saw, may have been this one below at Kew Gardens but I fell in love with them and still feel the same.



Most commonly seen in our area as a small to medium evergreen tree with a rounded crown, growing to maybe 35' by 30 wide. Primary lateral branches are low and tend to be ascending with the secondary and smaller being weepy. 

The oldest/largest one I have encountered can be seen from Green Valley Road just east of the Kralj Dr. intersection. (Hard to photograph).  This one below (actually 2 in the picture) is over the hill.



Leaves are in clusters of 3-4 (5) long 6-9", and slender, light green to yellowish green. They tend to be in two rows on either side of the stem which arches slightly at the tip. Lasting only 2-3 years on the stems. Stems have a whitish bloom when young.



Medium aged trunks are beautiful. Reddish brown with some yellow, slightly flaking off in bits. 



Cones are a yellowish-chestnut brown color, 2-4" long, elongated egg-shaped with a short stalk holding on the stem. Growing in clusters, rarely alone. Scale tips are pretty smooth without a distinct raised area or prickle.



Misidentification
Any other weeping pine. Look for 3-4 needles, a reddish bark and smaller cones. Many other weeping pines are white pines with 5 needles.

Location
Watsonville, Not exactly sure where its home is, only looked at it from Green Valley but it looks like it could be in the back of the Trinity School on Lawrence or just in a vacant lot along Kralj.

Capitola
502 El Salto Ave. not in great shape but large.

Santa Cruz (Pleasure Point)
339 Anchorage is a nice larger one

Aptos
386 Baltusrol Dr.


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