Last updated: March 19, 2021
The Monterey cypress ( Hesperocyparis macrocarpa ), native to the Monterey peninsula on the north-central California coast, is a staple element on historic coastal ranches as windbreaks and decorative trees. The ranch complex has three units of cypress windbreaks- at the ranch house, the barn, and the bunkhouse.
Early in its history, the ranch house was practically surrounded by the trees. Photographs taken in 1903 show already-mature trees at the front of the house and young trees in a line along the north yard fence. Two trees had been planted directly in front of the house, one on each side of the entry porch. One remains and is estimated to have been planted around 1870 when the house was built.
A row of Monterey cypresses line a portion of the road between the horse barn and bunkhouse. Depicted in 1903 photographs as a young, straight row, many have died and/or been removed. These trees are approximately 105 years old. The NPS has replaced some of the dead trees with young Monterey cypresses.
The barn row of Monterey cypress trees continues on the west side of the bunkhouse, then turns east to surround the house on the north. All are mature trees, remnants of the original dense lines planted before 1900.
For more detailed historical information and citations, please refer to the Historic Resource Study: Island Legacies - A History of the Islands within Channel Islands National Park