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.

February Tree of the Month

Tipuana tipu – tipu tree

This tree is a member of the Fabaceae family (pea family). It is found in Bolivia, Argentina and the southern region of Brazil.  The tipu tree is a moderately fast-growing tree, can reach a height of 60 feet with an equal spread which makes it a very good choice for a shade tree.  

In the winter the foliage is deciduous for a brief period. Its leaves are a vivid shade of green about 10 inches long, pinnately compound, with 11-12 leaflets.  The trunk is very attractive, reddish-brown in color with fissured bark.  

The flowers appear in early spring and last through the summer, they are a striking shade of yellow to apricot. When they drop off, the flowers form a dazzling gold carpet underneath the tree canopy. Some people may see this as a nuisance while others view it as an attribute.  Fruit resembling a bean pod with flat wings appear in the summer.  The pods twirl when cascading to the ground.Even though they are non-fragrant, the flowers manage to attract many bees and butterflies. Birds like to nest in the tree’s thick canopy. The tree is considered deer resistant.

The tipu tree is widely planted in the warmer regions of California, tolerates many soil conditions, but performs better in a well-drained soil and likes a sunny to partial sun location.  The tipu requires deep watering when young but once established, it is fairly drought tolerant.

The tipu tree needs ample room to grow. It can be planted as a street tree, in medians or in a park.  Its roots are aggressive and can cause damage to sidewalks. The tree is susceptible to aphids, psyllids and scale infestations.

Because of its large size, this tree is not suitable for under power lines.

When looking for a large tree that provides plenty of shade especially in a park, look no further than the tipu.

As a side note: In 2017 a tipu tree was nominated and listed as a Champion Tree on the California Big Tree Registry. This particular tree is growing in Goleta.  The tree measures 55 feet high, with a trunk circumference of 197 inches and a crown of 113 feet and received a total of 280.25 points.

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