Monterey Peninsula Pebble Beach

Famous Lone Cypress loses limb in last week’s storm

Pebble Beach turns 100 years old in 2019. The 250-years-old Lone Cypress on a granite rocky perch  above the Pacific Ocean of Carmel Bay has been the trademarked icon of Pebble Beach since its founding. Strong winds from a Pacific storm last weekend broke off one of the main limbs of the Lone Cypress.

Pebble Beach Lone Cypress

I happened to photograph the Lone Cypress on February 11, 2019 when the Pebble Beach Pro-Am golf tournament went into a Monday morning free-to-the-public finish after periodic storms during the week delayed the Sunday finish. That Monday was a beautiful day on the central coast.

February has been an exceptionally stormy month in coastal California around these parts. As usual, the days between storms tend to be gorgeously clear blue skies, although the temperatures around here have been abnormally cold in the low 40s and even dipping into the 30s on some mornings.

After watching Phil Mickelson putt the tournament winning shot on the 18th green of Pebble Beach Golf Links, I took advantage of the clear winter skies to photograph other Del Monte Forest sites around Pebble Beach 17 Mile Drive. I don’t go to Pebble Beach too often due to the normal $10 entry fee for cars to enter the gated private community on the Monterey Peninsula.

Lone Cypress
Phil Mickelson on 18th Pebble Beach moments before ATT 2019 championship winning putt.

Monterey Cypress trees are only native to the western points of Pebble Beach and Point Lobos State Reserve, the southerly point on the peninsula to the south of Pebble Beach seen in my photo above as the landform behind the flag on the 18th green.

Lone Cypress on its granite perch

Winds over 40 mph were recorded around the Monterey Peninsula during the following two Pacific storms to hit the region during the days between Monday and last weekend.

The Lone Cypress, standing on its granite home, perched above the Pacific Ocean, suffered a severe beating from the winds and lost a major limb.

Lone Cypress photo – Vern Fisher, Monterey Herald
Monterey cypress can live to be 300 years old.
Lone Cypress informational sign, 17 Mile Drive, Pebble Beach