Madrone Tree

This is a wiki-style page about the Madrone. If you know anything about any of the topics listed below, please feel welcome to write about it so others can learn from you.

General Information

The scientific name for common Pacific Coast Madrones is "Arbutus menziesii." The tree is common in a number of parts of North America, and especially California's Pacific Coast. The Madrone can be seen in many parks and preserves in northern California and the Bay Area. It is less common in southern California. The tree is also popular among gardeners.

Madrones are usually staples of local wildlife because they provide homes for many birds to nest and grow berries, which are popular meals for many birds and other animals.

The Madrone is very common in San Francisco.

Madrones tend to have light brown and nearly orange bark. When old bark gives way to new bark, the appearance can sometimes be of a green color. The Madrone tree can grow as tall as 25-30 meters in height and up to 8 meters in width when it has good conditions for growth. In less than perfect conditions the tree can grow as tall as 10-15 meters.

Large Madrones can appear somewhat like Oak Trees because of their height and how their banches sprawn wide in every direction. A good distinguishing feature of the Madrones are their leaves. Unlike Oak, Madrone leaves are oval in shape.
The leaves become brown during Fall.


Madrone trees tend to grow in sunny areas, and thrive in west-facing locations. On the Pacific Coast, perfect locations for Madrones are ones with surrounding creeks that supply plenty of water. On the Pacific Coast, the Madrones thrive due to the extra fog that comes in from the Pacific Ocean. It is especially important during the summer dry season when some creeks dry up.





Despite being well-prepared for dry seasons, Madrones are sensitive to changes in its nutrient supplies. As northern California sees more development and climate change, the Madrones will have a tougher time keeping up, and their numbers will decline throughout California. This is something currently being addressed by conservationists working to preserve the tree and California's natural habitat.





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