About Reforestation at the Park Boulevard Key Historic Stand
The stand of Monterey cypress located west of San Francisco National Cemetery and next to Park Boulevard 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, between 2016 and 2022, the Presidio Trust is gradually replacing this declining stand in six phases. Replanting is organized to replicate the unique character of the forest in this area. The map below indicates the phases of the reforestation plan. Declining trees in the stand will gradually be replaced by 900 young Monterey cypress trees that were raised from seeds collected in the Presidio.
Phased Reforestation Map
Phases of Reforestation
Phase 1 – completed in 2016
About 40 declining trees in the southeastern area of the stand were removed and replaced with 200 young Monterey cypress trees.
Phase 2 – completed in 2017
About 35 declining trees in the central area of the stand were removed and replaced with 125 young Monterey cypress trees.
Phase 3 – completed in 2018
About 50 declining cypress mainly in the central area of the stand were removed and replaced with 125 young Monterey cypress trees.
Phase 4 – completed in 2019
About 70 declining cypress in the northeast portion of the stand adjacent to Park Boulevard/Park Trail were removed. and the area was replanted with 200 young Monterey cypress trees raised from seeds collected in the Presidio.
Phases 5 and 6 – 2022
These are the final phases of this project that will remove and restore approximately 120 rapidly declining Monterey Cypress trees on roughly 2 acres just west of the previous four reforestation phases. Approximately 175 Monterey Cypress trees will be planted with a diversified native plant understory to increase the biodiversity of the site. The removals will begin mid-August.
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
Andy Goldsworthy's Spire,
Wood Line, and
Tree Fall, viewed by thousands of Presidio visitors each year.
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