Tasmanian Cedars (Athrotaxis spp.)

Tasmanian cedars are attractive conifers, native to the temperate rainforests of west Tasmania. Even though these trees originate on the opposite side of the planet and inhabit very different ecosystems, they resemble a few North American natives. The Family Tree Although Athrotaxis species often bear common names including terms like “pine” or “cedar,” they are…


Monkey-Puzzle Trees (Araucaria araucana)

Monkey-puzzle trees are unusual-looking and long-lived conifers, with lifespans exceeding 1,000 years in some cases. With ancestors dating back to the Jurassic Period, it is easy to imagine long-necked dinosaurs munching happily on the tree’s strange foliage and large seeds. The species draws its common name from an offhand quote uttered by an owner of…


Cypress-Pines (Callitris spp.)

Cypress-pines are small- to medium-sized trees, although a few species reach heights in excess of 100 feet. Although they resemble junipers (Juniperus spp.) in general appearance and by virtue of possessing two different types of leaves, cypress-pines bear both needle-like and scaly leaves throughout their lives. Name and Classification The genus name of cypress-pines comes…


Low Impact Development at the Landowner Level

Urban runoff is the largest cause of ocean pollution in southern California. Our many roads and sidewalks whisk the polluted water from our highways and byways right into the ocean, via a network of storm water drains. These pollutants include not only the oils, phosphates and plastics littering local streets, but also the pesticides, herbicides…