Big cherry tree in a little garden. In the upper left corner, the client discarded old soil mix from their indoor plants. The cherry's roots changed course 270 degrees and headed straight for the tasty soil mix, girdling half the base of the trunk.  The fine  roots were spread in the mix like two greedy hands, raking it in.  Top of the tree lost its leaves in August. We removed the soil mix and cut the girdling roots with wood chisels.

White Oak in Bronx

There is a white oak in a park in the Bronx. Were it in England, people would be making pilgrimages to it. As it is, kids were climbing inside and setting it on fire. They had tried to block the entry with wood, but the kids had just broken in again. They asked us to come up with a solution.

We built a wall, but we built it inside the stem, so that the tree could continue to grow and to occlude the large hollow normally. On the surface, we placed a skim coat of concrete, and a very fine decorative artist color matched the oak bark and make shallow incisions to mimic the pattern of fissures in the bark.

It has protected the tree for three years now.


A client in New Jersey had seen a picture in a book of a double allee of standard European hornbeams.

She had planted a similar allee but had not been able to do the form pruning to make all of the trees identical in size and form. She called us.

We set up an elaborate system of lines to mark the overall shape and dimensions of the allees, along with a mobile square line set to mark the form for each tree. It took more than half a day just to get the lines in place.

Two days later, we had completed the formal allee. With a few adjustments, it was now ready for her gardener to prune, following the lines we laid out.