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Curator's Report

SFBGSThe Tree Doctors

Bartlett truck that moved mountains of fresh chips to all parts of the garden
Bartlett truck that moved mountains of fresh chips to all parts of the Garden.

Monterey Cypress being pruned.
Monterey Cypress being pruned.

Ground crew processing a large section of a Eucalyptus globulus.
Ground crew processing a large section of a Eucalyptus globulus.



Bartlett Tree Experts has completed an over 5 month long project to prune, cable, thin, and remove trees from our collection. Supported by a generous donation by an anonymous donor, over 150 trees in the garden were ‘touched’ in some way by Bartlett, who brought over 100 years of expertise as arborists to the project. Of these 150 trees, only about 25 were actually removed and all of these were diseased, damaged, dead, or directly in the middle of one of the new proposed ADA accessible pathways. Each removal was posted for 30 days to give all of their admirers time to say their goodbyes.

Most of the Bartlett work was focused on the pruning and thinning of our aging tree canopy. Every section of the garden had some tree work to be done and each gardener was fully involved in protecting and moving sensitive plant material from under each of the trees. To say it was a joy to work with Bartlett is an understatement, Bartlett is now a part of our SFBG family. Their professionalism and expertise was only matched by their sincere passion for their work and the tenderness with which they handled our most prized possessions. Since the completion of the project, Bartlett has planted a tree in the Demonstration Garden to commemorate their 100-year anniversary. They have also returned several times to help with the inventory and information collection that will allow us to keep an accurate and current database of all of the tree work completed and all future work to be done.

The next phase of this project will be developing a succession planting plan to replace all of the removed trees and to evaluate appropriate and interesting replacements for some of our older but still healthier specimens. Our tree canopy is a dynamic, ever changing symbol of our past accomplishments and our future legacy.

All of us in the Plant Collections Department have enjoyed being a part of this amazing project that has helped our garden evolve into a more beautiful, safer, and most importantly a healthier environment for our collection of plants and the people who enjoy them.


Report from:
David Kruse
Associate Curator, San Francisco Botanical Garden

Back to November 2007 newsletter >>