Tree Expeditions: Finding a Diamond in the Rough
An important part of what we do that makes us distinct from other landscape architects is the attention we give to finding just the right tree or shrub for each space we design. Every winter (and in other seasons too, but winter gives us the best sense of a tree’s branch structure), we put on our boots and travel around the country to identify and ‘tag’ the perfect trees for our designs.
Our quest for finding specimen trees that are large, healthy and have a sense of character takes us to some unusual places. Abandoned nurseries yield incredible finds if you know what to look for. This is a photo of one of my favorite discoveries.
Overgrown and slated for demolition, we couldn’t tell if this crabapple had the right structure for the residential courtyard we had in mind so we decided to take a closer look.
We pruned it on site to reveal its ‘bones’ and…
Now our once-forgotten tree is the centerpiece of an intimate courtyard garden. This is the walled garden in its first year – by incorporating mature trees into the garden, we were able to add character and history to this brand new space.