This past September, a major seasonal effort in the pruning of Monterey cypress (Hesperocyparis macrocarpa) trees took place, here at Cypress Lawn Arboretum! Please enjoy this video, showcasing the work and arboricultural intentions of CypressFest.
Our namesake native tree of the California coast — here in the cemeteries of Colma, there are hundreds of these phenomenally large plants. Scattered throughout more than 250 acres of Arboretum grounds, centurial specimen cypresses have long defined the landscape here, a heritage that we aim to preserve and cherish in the decades to come.
With the protection of this living legacy as a defining purpose in the tree care we provide, a recent project here at Cypress Lawn was organized in collaboration with the Bay Area Arborist Cooperative and other select Arboretum allies — CypressFest!
This ambitious undertaking is the largest tree care endeavor so far in the history of Cypress Lawn, with an expert team of 25 arboricultural professionals assembled, including several certified climbers, consulting arborists, and a crew of essential groundsmen to ensure the smooth and safe flow of work throughout this multifaceted process.
In addition to the standard tree care practice of deadwood removal, which helps many trees to efficiently seal wounds in portions of the branching system that are no longer alive, our primary purpose in caring for these gargantuan cypresses is endweight reduction. Selective thinning of live branches at the ends of these overextended growing systems will avert failures for many of our specimen cypresses, here in the windy coastal microclimate of Colma, California. This critical practice will hopefully extend the lifespan of our namesake trees, here at Cypress Lawn, for decades into the future.
Many thanks are owed to our primary collaborators and organizers of CypressFest, including Christopher Campbell of the Bay Area Arborist Co-op, pictured here atop a mighty Monterey cypress on the West Campus of the Arboretum.
Other key figures to thank for their support of CypressFest include: Roy Leggitt and Aaron Wang of the consulting group Tree Management Experts; certified arborists of the Merlin Arborist Group; contract climbers Lawrence Schultz and Byron Yeager; and all of the good people, including climbers and groundsmen, of the Bay Area Arborist Cooperative.
As original plantings of Cypress Lawn Memorial Park, the Monterey Cypress specimens recently pruned throughout the Arboretum are a direct connection to the heritage of our past, a legacy 130 years in the making.
The preservation of our most ancient wooden beings, throughout the botanical collection of Cypress Lawn Arboretum, is an ongoing process of care and reciprocity. With our trees standing and growing strong in the seasons to come, visitors of both the dead and the living may share a peaceful moment in the restive shade of a humble giant.
You are more than welcome to join us, and I hope you will soon, here at Cypress Lawn.