Entries by Christopher Altman

Pollarding in March?

That’s me, where I like to be, happy in a tree. Yeah, okay, it’s a little late to be pollarding. Normally we pollard in the winter, after the trees lose their leaves. That way you don’t have to look at the funny, leafless shoots all winter long.

A little comparison. . .

Trees Company pruned the tree on the left, not the one on the right. The people who own the tree on the right decided to hire the lowest bidder instead of Trees Company which charged more for its quality workmanship.. Both trees were the same species, same age, same size and pruned within a few […]

Ficus, Podocarpus

Today Fetter and I worked on a couple of Ficus microcarpa and a Podocarpus gracilior. Let’s start with the Ficus trees. The goal was to do light, natural flow pruning. We want these trees to grow big, but look natural. As you can see it doesn’t look like we did much at all. I like […]

Laurel, Eugenia

The priority was to prune the tall Eugenias away from the neighbor’s windows and make them shorter. The Laurel, meanwhile, had some dead branches and was messy. It needed some layering and some shape. Laurel? Prunus laurocerasus.What’s in a name?Prunus, means plum. It’s the same genus as the plum, apricot, cherry, and almond.Lauro means “laurel” […]

Big Ol’ Eugenia Hedge

Me an Fetter were trimming this big puppy for about 5 hours. We are starting a yearly maintenance schedule in order to try to restore this hedge after many years of topping. It was full of stubs and suckers. It was also much wider on the top than at thr bottom and had very little […]

Lophostemon confertus (formerly Tristania conferta)

The client wanted a major reduction. This poor tree had already been abused by a hack tree trimmer. They left many large stubs which had sprouted vertically making the tree extremely dense and unnatural looking. Normally one shouldn’t remove more than one third of the canopy when trimming a tree. This tree is an exception. […]

Big Corymbia ficifolia

Today we pruned a 50 foot tall Corymbia ficifolia. This tree, native to the far southern coast of Western Australia is in the Myrtaceae family as are Eucalyptus. Up until 1995 this tree was called a Eucalyptus ficifolia. It was one among 80 Eucalpytus to transfer to the new genus Corymbia. Corymbia…from Latin, corymbium, a […]

Hollywood Juniper

So the owner of this beautiful, old Juniperus chinensis (Hollywood Juniper, right) wanted it removed. My goal was to make it smaller and more sculptural so that the owner would want to keep it. It was a challenge. I would have liked to kept the height and taken a lot less out of it. But […]

I wish I had a “before” picture

Here we are on Laguna Honda, in SF. I pruned this tree several months ago. Unfortunately I never took a before picture. I guess I didn’t think that it was going to turn out so fabulous. Previously it was a massive blob that totally blocked the pathway, the canopy went right to the ground. The […]

Buried Root Crown

See this tree over here on the left. It’s a baby Incense Cedar that was planted on a gorgeous estate in San Rafael. But there’s a big problem with this picture. The tree has been planted too low. I can tell just by looking at the way the trunk goes straight into the ground. There […]