The Guild Report:  
Keeping Your Trees Healthy
October 2012 
In This Issue
Point of View
Types of Tree Pruning
Madrid's Monster Living Wall

Urban Trees
Point of View  
With Employee Owner
Tori Rodriquez 


"I'm the new contract administrator at Gardeners' Guild.  I've been here at a little over six months. Being surrounded by such great people has made it easy to transition to working again after being a new mom.  I'm glad to be a part of the GGI team!"
The above photo of Tori and her daughter was taken at the Gardeners' Guild 40th Anniversary Company picnic.    

Madrid Living Wall

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For the average homeowner, trees represent tens of thousands of dollars.  They also add to the health of our communities.  But, they are vulnerable due to a host of factors including development and pollution.  It is essential that they be examined and given a prescription for long-term care - an investment that will bring you excellent ROI.  Fall is the ideal time to do both planning/budgeting and scheduling tree pruning. 


All the best,
Suzanne Harris

Types of Tree Pruning



There are three primary reasons for tree pruning:  health, appearance and safety. 


Fall is the recommended time for pruning most trees.  Once leaves have fallen, it is easier to see cracks, deadwood and decayed or damaged limbs.  Pruning is vital to a strong tree structure.  Proper pruning encourages growth, increases flower and fruit production, improves plant health, repairs damage and helps add aesthetic appeal to your trees.   


Three Basic Types of Pruning* 


Crown Cleaning 

Removal of dead, diseased, obstructing, split and/or broken branches that are 2 inches in diameter or greater.  Limbs that are susceptible to failure from dense or heavy foliar masses should be thinned.


Crown Raising 

Includes the removal of lower tree branches to allow for safe movement of vehicles and pedestrian under the canopy of the tree.  Limbs above the sidewalk shall be no lower than 8 feet.  Limbs above the road shall be no lower than 18 feet.


Crown Reduction  

This includes reducing the overall mass by thinning out the top and sides or just removing individual limbs of the tree.  Reduction pruning is commonly associated with pruning away from buildings, structures or overhead utility wires.


*excerpts of this were reprinted from the US Forest Service 


Why Proper Tree Management is Vital 

If you are planning to sell your home, or want to ensure that your asset retains or increases in value, don't cut corners on tree care.  Healthy trees can increase the value of your property by as much as 20%.  Conversely - diseased and defective trees will substantially reduce the appeal of your home. 


The City of San Francisco standards brochure states some of the specific pitfalls of improper tree management:     

  • Aggravating existing problems and creating new structural defects
  • Aggravating insect or disease problems
  • Increasing the frequency of maintenance needs
  • Reducing tree lifespan

These are important reasons to not do this yourself and make sure you have a professional performing this service.    

A "Monster" of a Living Wall
I recently returned from a trip to Spain. 
While sightseeing in Madrid I happened on this "monster" of a living wall (see left photo).  Its size and beauty juxtaposed against the rust colored building and bright blue sky was breathtaking.  It is located in an area called the "Golden Triangle", a cultural district known for its museums; historical buildings and monuments.
This marvel was designed by French horticulturalist Patrick Blanc.  15,000 plants make up a pattern of colors and textures that beg to be touched.  The wall is one of many designed by Blanc.  He is most noted for his wall in Paris.

I didn't realize that Blanc is considered a modern innovator of the green wall and has helped to popularize it.  The inventor was a man named Stanley Hart White, a Professor at the University of Illinois.  It was patented in 1938!