Pasadena Beautiful Foundation works with the city to plant trees in parks, in streets and around neighborhoods as well as on Arbor Day. 

Pasadena Beautiful was founded in 1960 to plant street trees
to enhance the beauty of Pasadena. One of our primary goals continues to be the selection, purchase and planting of street trees. Following the City’s Master Street Tree guidelines, a very dedicated Pasadena Beautiful volunteer, Emina Darakjy hand selects each tree for a specific site. Supervised planting and maintenance by trained professionals ensure a healthy tree canopy for our city.

The beautiful green tree canopies in Pasadena are in small part
an example of our efforts over the last 60 years making it a
special place to live, work and raise a family.

A PBF member represents the organization on the Urban Forestry Advisory Committee (UFAC) board and attends their monthly meeting to advocate for the future care and protection of our urban forest because we want to protect and preserve.

September Tree of the Month

Arbutus ‘Marina’ – Strawberry Tree
Family: Ericaceae
Origin: A hybrid that was introduced to the Nursery Trade in 1984 by the Saratoga Horticultural Foundation.

The Arbutus ‘Marina’ is a very handsome evergreen tree with a broad canopy and dense foliage, native to the Mediterranean and some parts of Ireland. The growth rate is moderate, the tree can reach a height of 50 feet with a width of about 40 feet. The leaves are elliptic in shape, dark green, glossy with serrated edges. The tree has an amazing looking trunk with a reddish to cinnamon colored bark that peals away in layers in late summer exposing a smooth lighter colored bark underneath.

The flowers hang down in clusters (resembling the Lily of the Valley) in various shades of pink and attract bees, hummingbirds and butterflies. The tree tends to have both the flowers and mature fruit on it at the same time. The fruit can take up to 2 years to mature and looks like small rounded warty globes. They start green in color, turning yellow, orange and finally bright red at which point it becomes edible without much of a flavor though.

The tree does well in a 3-foot parkway, is drought tolerant once established, performs better in full sun, and can benefit from occasional pruning to shape it. It is not recommended for underneath power lines. The tree is resistant to Armillaria but susceptible to Anthractose, Scales and Thrips. The tree can be planted both as a standard or multi trunk form, this is a truly gorgeous tree but not very suitable as a street tree because the dropping of the ripe fruit on sidewalks is messy and slippery.

The tree in the photo can be seen where Thurgood Marshall and North Euclid streets meet behind the Pasadena City Hall.

Article and photos by Emina Darakjy

Tree Request Information for Homeowners:

Typically, when the city is ready to start their planting cycle, they will leave a note to inform the homeowner that they are about to get a tree which is usually a 15-gallon tree. If you prefer a larger tree than the one provided by the city, please inform the city of your preference. The city will then contact Pasadena Beautiful about the homeowner’s request for the upgrade, and PBF will instead provide a 24 in. box size tree. 

Please note that the planting site has to be approved and the curb marked by the city after the dead tree is removed and the stump is ground prior to planting a new tree.

Alternatively, as the homeowner, if you want to pay for a larger tree, please email us at [email protected] and include your address and contact information where you can be reached. The cost is $500 and includes the tree, delivery, stakes, ties, trunk guard, slow-release fertilizer, soil amendments, mulch and labor.

Street tree requests should be directed to the 311 call center or (626) 744-3846

Any questions or inquiries regarding urban forest, please call or email:
Michael King
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (626) 744-3846