Carpinteria, California: World's Largest Torrey Pine

A historical marker advises that the Wardholme Torrey Pine, planted in 1888, has grown to be the world's tallest, 126 ft. with a 130 ft. branch spread.
Address:
Carpinteria Ave, Carpinteria, CA
Directions:
NE side of Carpinteria Ave near Walnut Ave.
Admission:
Free
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World's Largest Torrey Pine

The Wardholme Torrey Pine is considered the largest Torrey Pine in the world, noted on an adjacent historical marker. The tree was brought from Santa Rosa island when still a seedling and planted in Carpinteria in 1888 by Judge Thomas Ward near his home. Local legend indicates that in the 1880's there was a polite but heated competition between the city residents to see who could grow the most unique plants, and when Judge Ward received this tree as a gift from his friend Townshend Stith Brandegee, he proudly planted it directly in front of his home.

The tree now measures approximately 126 feet tall, 20' 5" circumference, 130' branch spread. When Florence Ward inherited the property she dutifully continued caring for the tree and saw that it received professional maintenance; it was Florence who first proposed the tree should become an official landmark and be protected. In 1968 the tree was recognized as the city's "1st Official Landmark."

There was a celebration in 1988 for the tree's 100-year anniversary. In 2005 there was a movement to save it from potential development of the lot by commercial and residential developers.

[Gina Taylor, 02/13/2011]

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