The Single-leaved Nut Pine, Pinus monophylla, is one of the earliest tree plantings at the Garden. It was just under 3m at the beginning of the last century and was recorded recently at 11.8m, making it a champion tree. It far exceeds many specimens in the wild. Although the roots heaved out of the ground during a storm in 2000, our attractive, pyramidal specimen fortunately came to rest on one lower branch and continues to thrive. It is the only single-needled pine, and as a native of semi-desert in Nevada and California, it obviously enjoys the dry climate of Cambridge.
It regularly produces large, viable seeds which are known as pinyon nuts. They were a staple diet of the pre-Columbian indigenous peoples of California. A young tree planted in the New Pinetum in 1965 has established well and is now 6.3m high.