What and Where Is Lone Cypress?

The solitary cypress clings to the wave-washed rock overlooking the Monterey Peninsula.
The solitary cypress clings to the wave-washed rock overlooking the Monterey Peninsula.

The Lone Cypress is a tree from a cypress species, commonly referred to as Monterey cypress. The tree could be about 250 years old, and for the last 65 years, cables have held it in place. The Lone Cypress is significant to the Pebble Beach as a live trademark. Every televised golf tournament shows the Lone Cypress. The tree is among the most photographed in North America.

Location and Description

The Lone Cypress stands on a hillside in Pebble Beach, California. The rock, where the tree stands, is off the 17-Mile Drive. The location of the tree falls between two famous golf courses, the 99-year-old public Pebble Beach Golf Links and the 90-year-old private Cyprus Point Golf Course. Apart from the Lone Cypress, other scenic attractions along the 17-Mile Drive include Bird Rock and Del Monte Forest, which holds Monterey cypress trees. Strong winds of between 60 and 70 miles per hour, as well as the rock on which the Lone Cypress grows, have prevented proper growth of the tree. The Lone Cypress has a height of 25 feet, whereas other Monterey cypress trees are as tall as 80 feet. With the roots spread limited, the tree’s canopy size does not extend much. The Lone Cypress receives phosphorus and potash which strengthen the roots.

Monterey Cypress Species

The Monterey cypress species is indigenous to and occurs naturally in two places on Earth, at Point Lobos and Cypress Point in Pebble Beach. The trees are medium sized and can grow up to 133 feet tall. The trunk of the Monterey cypress can reach over 8 feet in diameter and is flat-topped due to strong winds. The leaves are bright green, and when crushed, they emit a lemony aroma. Away from the native areas, cultivation of the trees occurs in the regions which have similar climates to the coast of California. In Europe, the Monterey cypress is in Great Britain, Italy, Portugal, France, Sicily, Greece, and Ireland. South Africa also cultivates the trees in Africa.

Trademark Status

Businesses in the 1980s began an appreciation of trademarks not just for recognition but also for their financial value. The Pebble Beach Company registered the Lone Cypress tree images among its trademarks, with the tree’s first use being in 1919. There are no restrictions on taking photos of the Lone Cypress, although commercial and promotional purposes are not allowed. The company has had challenges in maintaining the tree as a trademark. In 1984, arsonists set the Lone Cypress on fire, but the fire department intervened after a call from Mrs. Frances Larkey, a lady who lived close to the tree.

Best Time To Visit

To visit the Lone Cypress, one has to take the 17-Mile Drive. Fall or spring is the best time to visit since the skies are much clearer. People living in the area should call The Inn at Spanish Bay before going up the 17-Mile Drive. Pebble Beach webcams also have more information for those interested. The worst time to visit is during big golf tournaments in Pebble Beach, such as the US Open Golf Tournament and the Pebble Beach Pro-Am, since it would be difficult to access it and get accommodation.


More in Travel