Photo by Brian Vahey
Updated July 30, 2019
The 2019 reforestation work at the Arguello Key Historic Stand begins in Mid-August. Download the informational flyer >>
About Reforestation at the Arguello Key Historic Stand
The stand of Monterey cypress located along the Bay Area Ridge Trial and next to Presidio golf course was planted by the U.S. Army in the 1880s. It was part of a plan by Major William A. Jones to create a forest within the Presidio.
Since the trees were all planted within a very short period, this grove has a distinct visual quality and is considered one of the most beloved parts of the park. In 2001, it was designated as one of four Key Historic Forest Stands in the Presidio by the Office of the Secretary of the Interior.
Due to a lack of thinning by the Army when the stand was first planted, the trees have weakened. The Monterey cypress are now at the end of their natural lifespan, and the stand is failing. Many trees have fallen in recent years during the winter storms.
To restore the forest the Presidio Trust is gradually replacing this declining stand. Replanting is organized to replicate the unique character of the forest in this area. The map below indicates the phases of the reforestation plan.
Phased Reforestation Map
Phases of Reforestation
Phase 1 – 6 completed in 2002-2010
About 4 acres of forest along Arguello Blvd. were removed and replaced with 800 young Monterey cypress trees.
Phase 7 – August through December 2019
We’re removing 100 declining Monterey cypress in the central portion of the stand next to the Bay Area Ridge Trail. Many of these trees will be salvaged, milled and used as site furniture at the future
Presidio Tunnel Tops. Tree removal will take approximately four weeks and should be complete in mid-September. Work hours will be weekdays only from 8 am to 4 pm. The section of the Bay Area Ridge Trail that runs through the site will be closed during work hours but remain open during the evening and all day on weekends.
Please see map below of the work area, trail closure, and alternative route. As the rainy season begins in December, we’ll replant with 200 young Monterey cypress trees raised from seeds collected in the Presidio.
About Reforestation in the Presidio
Reforestation in the Presidio began in 2003. Since that time, more than 40 acres have been restored and 5,000 trees have been planted all around the park.
The Trust's reforestation has contributed to an uptick in bird diversity in the Presidio, a clear indication of a sustainable ecosystem. Dying trees also often get a second life in the park, repurposed as benches, fencing, and even artworks like
Wood Line, and
Tree Fall, viewed by thousands of Presidio visitors each year.
The Trust welcomes the public to get involved by participating in a
volunteer tree care program. From 2007 to 2019, approximately 2,195 volunteers contributed over 13,116 hours taking care of young trees.
For more information, please contact us at
Learn more about reforestation in the Presidio >>