Big Buckeye in Back

Georgia called me to say, in her charming New York accent, that her tree needed some care. She lives with her family on the top of Duncan Street, above Noe Valley. The street is pretty bare except for a few, young trees planted in the last few years by the Friends of the Urban Forest ( What a surprise! In her back yard was this giant California Buckeye, Aesculus californica. As you can see from the picture, it takes up the entire back yard.

Well, Georgia wanted me to raise the canopy so that she could walk under the tree. I suggested that we remove the Bay Tree on the right since it is a distraction. But the Bay Tree started growing at the same time she was pregnant with her daughter. She wanted to keep it for sentimental reasons. That’s the most wonderful reason to love a tree. So instead we decided just to give it a trim.

The main reason why Georgia called me was to remove the lower branches that over hung the neighbors property in the back. They nicely complained about the leaves in the their yard. The neighbor to the left, however, was a different story. She instructed me not to listen to her at all. “If she wants anything she can come talk to me herself!” As you can see from the above picture, Lefty took a big chunk out of the tree.

Fortunately we were able to restore the tree’s natural dome.

Fun Fact: the California Buckeye loses its leaved in the summer, not the fall. This is a survival technique so that the tree can make it though the dry season. Without all the leaves the tree can withstand summer drought. Georgia says that usually by now all the leaves are gone. But since we’ve had such a rainy spring the tree still has all of its leaves. If you look closely you can see some of the leaves beginning to change color.