Wardholme Torrey Pine – Carpinteria, California - Atlas Obscura

Carpinteria, California

Wardholme Torrey Pine

At 130 years old and 126 feet tall, it is the largest known example of the rare Torrey pine tree. 

It started as a seedling in 1888, planted by local Carpinteria resident Judge Thomas Ward as part of a contest to see who could grow the largest Torrey pine tree. The Wardholme Torrey Pine now stands a proud 126 feet tall, with a 130 feet branch spread and a more than 20-foot circumference, making it the largest known example of its kind.

The Torrey pine is a rare tree, only found in San Diego County and certain parts of the southern California coast. In 1968 the towering Wardholme tree was designated as the First Official Landmark of Carpinteria, a quaint beachside community located a few miles south of Santa Barbara. The celebrity tree later marked its 100th birthday in 1988 with a local celebration. 

In 2005, the Wardholme found itself literally on the chopping block to make room for residential and commercial development. Thankfully, resident petitions saved the record-setting giant.

Know Before You Go

Located in a vacant lot off of Carpinteria Avenue in downtown Carpinteria between Maple and Walnut Avenues.