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.

November Tree of the Month

Pinus canariensis – Canary Island pine
Family: Pinaceae

The Canary Island pine is a member of the Pinaceae family and is native to Spain’s Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Morocco.

This is a large evergreen conifer. It is fast growing, and can reach a height of 80 plus feet with a spread of 25- 40 feet.

When young this tree looks very gawky, developing a conical crown as it gets older. Its branches are covered with blue-green soft needles that turn dark green with age. In the Canary Islands where this tree is from, the soft needles are used as packing material when shipping bananas.

The trunk of this tree is very attractive with a reddish-brown and fissured bark. The bark is very durable and as the tree grows older more layers of bark form, making the tree resistant to wildfires. The tree can also easily re-sprout after being burned. The Canary Island pine is valued for the quality of its wood which is used in construction and furniture-making.

The tree produces oval cones 5 to 7 inches long that are green at first and then turn glossy brown with age.  The cones take about 2 years to mature. After 2 years the cones open up, releasing pine nut seeds that are a good source of food for many small animals such as squirrels.

The Canary Island pine requires a parkway width of 10 feet, and the damage to sidewalks from its roots is moderate.  It performs better in a sunny location and requires very low maintenance It can tolerate almost any type of soil with good drainage, and is drought tolerant. Applying too much water can kill the tree. The Canary Island pine is susceptible to beetle borers and aphids but is resistant to Oak root fungus.  

The tree is an excellent choice for planting in yards, parks and as a street tree. Some cities, like Whittier and Beverly Hills, have streets that are completely lined with Canary Island pines.  When driving along Beverly Boulevard in Whittier which has about 200 Canary Island pines growing on it, you can’t help but be in awe of these tall and majestic trees.  

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