Variegata Studio
Consulting in Horticulture and Arboriculture
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Landscape Design Gardening Botanical Fieldwork
Horticultural & Aboricultural
Pileated woodpecker Flooded gum lerp

Pileated woodpecker Santa Rosa, CA; it’s great to retain snags for habitat value if there are no targets. Photo: Thomas Reynolds


Poor structure on this flooded gum (Eucalyptus rudis) has been worsened by years of drought and below-normal freezing temperatures.


Eucalyptus redgum lerp psyllid (Glycaspis brimblecombei) are the sticky white domes on leaves of this flooded gum; the chewed leaf edges are likely from tortoise beetle.

Arboricultural Consulting

Tree Inventory

  • Documents species, location, and size on a site plan; individually numbered for identification and reference
Tree Assessment
  • Review of inventoried trees: health and vigor, canopy spread, structural condition rating (defects noted), pruning recommendations
Tree Preservation and Compatible Landscaping
Specifications for tree preservation during construction: minimizing impacts from root cutting/pruning, heavy equipment operation, trenching, and installation of irrigation, lighting and plants

  • Many native tree species are especially sensitive to soil compaction, root damage, improper pruning cuts, and overwatering
  • Tree and plant species that are compatible combine beautifully, have similar water requirements, thrive in similar site conditions, and require less energy input
  • And if there are problems, we evaluate signs and symptoms to identify pests and diseases (biotic problems) or cultural/weather-related issues (abiotic problems)

Tree Selection

  • Many factors, such as site suitability, compatibility with architecture, level of maintenance required, and other aspects go into the selection of trees and plants for a site; trees can be a fine asset to a property—it is important to get it right
  • We can assist in tree selection by drawing on our experience in design and horticulture, and broad knowledge of landscape plants
  • We do not offer the following services:Risk assessment, Expert witness

Horticultural Consulting
Plant Selection

  • Expertise in evaluating proposed plant species’ tolerance and suitability to site conditions, and compatibility with existing trees


  • Guidelines are different for new, middle-aged, and mature landscapes—and each require a different type and level of care
  • Landscape and garden functions change over time; perhaps less lawn, fewer perennials, and more space for herbs and vegetables. Only one area of the garden may need renovation or perhaps a new overall master plan is needed
  • Mature and overly mature gardens often require a strategy of removal, enhanced pruning, adjustments to the original design intent, or a more environmentally friendly plan
cowpie fungus qualtiy trees oak moth

Velvet-top or cowpie fungus (Phaeolus schweinitzii) on Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii var. menzisiiii); Kenwood, CA


Quality trees begin with quality nursery stock; it’s especially important to check for girdling roots before purchase.


Adult California oak moth (Phyrganidia californica); larvae of oak moths can partially or almost completely defoliate trees