Entries by Christopher Altman

Small Ficus tree

Before After After Ficus trees (Ficus macrocarpa) are very common street trees in San Francisco. Many large specimins magnificently line 24st in the Mission District. They are in every neighborhood. Unfortunately they are pavement busters and are known for dropping limbs. This tree collapsed on itself in San Francisco last year. http://sfist.com/2010/06/08/tree_down_at_fourth_and_brannan.php I have heard […]

More light please

Here we had a common situation. The neighbor’s large tree, a Eugenia, was overshadowing the area that my clients want to fill with plants. The goal was to cut it back, but make it look natural. The clients were clear that they did not want it to look butchered. That’s understandable. BEFORE AFTER

Big, Black Acacia

The Acacia melanoxylon originates from Australia, but I have seen it naturalized all over California and all over Chile (both Mediterranean climates). It’s a large, evergreen tree with yellow, pea-sized, puff ball flowers. In San Francisco they bloom in late winter and make a huge mess. I’ve heard some people say the acacia’s heavy pollen […]

Young Melaluca

It was a beautiful day in Bernal Heights.  Our client, Karen, wanted us to prune this wonderful Melaluca.       Our goal was to give it a nice natural shape, create natural layers, and to lighten it up a little without taking away the nice screening.  It took me about 2 hours to prune […]

Balance Issues

Rock N Rose Landscapers asked me to fix their client’s crazy, off-balance tree. The mayten tree (Maytenus boraria, from Chile) tolerates heavy pruning.   The more you prune, the more they grow.   In San Francisco, I see this tree get drastically reduced in size just to bounce right back a year later.  So I […]

Water Sprouts

These vertical shoots are called water sprouts. They are fast growing branches that can often overtake the leader. Usually they appear in a tree that has been over pruned or is under stress. It is a good idea to find out the probable cause and remedy the situation. You should remove water sprouts before they […]

Young Tree Training

This plum tree needs some young tree training. It was planted by Friends of the Urban Forest several years ago. They usually take care of trees for three years after planting. This includes stake and tie adjustments and some pruning. After three years it is the owner’s responsibility to maintain the tree. The owner of […]