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Landscape Horticulture/Urban Forestry

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Educational programs and research to support city and county parks, green space managers, street tree programs, commercial tree and landscape professionals, schools, and nonprofit environmental groups. Program emphasis in landscape water management, hazard tree assessment and management, pest management, and sustainable tree care.

Pest Management

Efforts are being made to minimize the use of pesticides in urban areas. The use of pest resistant varieties is a key element of this effort and a 10-year project is underway in Atherton evaluating new elm cultivars for resistance to Dutch Elm disease.

Water Management

Conservation is a highly important issue. Working with the CA Department of Water Resources, we developed a method of determining water needs of urban landscapes, and over 1,500 species of landscape plants have been assessed.

Tree Risk Management

Each year, structual failures in urban trees cause property damage and/or personal injury. Efforts have been made to identify key risk factors in standing trees in order to assess the potential for failure. (California Tree Failure Report Program)

Tree Root and Infrastructure Conflicts

Cities spend thousands of dollars each year repairing damage to sidewalks, curbs, and gutters caused by tree roots. In an effort to reduce the potential for infrastructure damage, an extensive effort has been made to collect and share information on strategies to reduce damage.


Igor Lacan, PhD., Urban Horticulture Advisor

Laurence R. Costello, PhD., Environmental Horticulture Advisor - Emeritus