Monterey Pine Forest

There are only five native or natural occurring stands of Monterey Pines in existence today. The Covell Ranch is one of the largest and most pristine, privately owned native stands of Monterey Pines.


Thousands of years ago, these trees could be found along the California coast all the way from San Diego to well north of San Francisco.  Monterey pines are native, have been around for millennia but today the forest's size has decreased to only 15,000 acres left with just 2,500 acres remaining in Cambria. Though it is in retreat and possibly facing extinction, the forest provides habitat for countless species which eat pine seeds and acorns as well as berries, fungi, and insects.


The Monterey Pine trees are fast growing shallow rooted trees. The roots intertwine which helps stabilize the trees.

A mature Monterey pine can reach 100 feet in height and has bark that is deeply fissured. In native stands such as the Covell Ranch, trees live up to 100 years. Unfortunately, the shallow roots make them susceptible to toppling, so some do not reach that age.