Google Street View shows you what was recently there
Earlier this week I found the stump and a few leftover branches of a tree in the Panhandle, near Oak Street just east of Stanyan. Google Street view (screen grab above) shows that this was an Italian Stone Pine (pinus pinea) a tree originating in the Mediterranean region.
I count 21 rings
The form of a typical juvenile Stone Pine is described as a "bushy globe" and this tree fit that description. The rings in the stump indicated that it wasn't very old. Some older Stone Pines are found at other parks in San Francisco (the best known being at Washington Square Park), but overall, Stone Pines are not that common in San Francisco, and I believe this one was the only Stone Pine in the Panhandle. McClintock's 1964 booklet does not list any Stone Pines in the Panhandle. The loss of this tree suggests some interesting questions: Should we consider replanting a Stone Pine, given that it's relatively uncommon and has some precedent in the Panhandle? Or would it be better to look farther back in our history and put a higher priority on planting trees that were present but are no longer in the Panhandle?