Thank you to everyone who joined us in October! Stay tuned for more Stanford partnerships soon. Click here to explore the Trees of Stanford website.


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Saturday, October 10th, 9am – 12:30pm

9:00am – Refreshments and mingling
9:15am – Panel Discussion with celebrated tree experts

11:00am –
Guided tree walks around the Stanford campus

Canopy and the Stanford Historical Society teamed up to explore the rich mosaic of Stanford trees on a journey through the past, present, and future.

The event began with a panel of renowned experts speaking about the diverse landscape, unique tree species, and rich arboreal heritage of the Stanford campus. Next, guests headed outside to explore one of four different areas on campus, embarking on tree walks led by panelists and other experts.

Location: Stanford Campus, Jordan Hall, Rm 40 – 450 Sera Mall, Stanford, CA 94305

About the Panelists:

Web - Herb Fong

Herb Fong has a Masters in Horticulture and a Masters in Business Administration. Fong managed the Stanford Grounds and Facilities (including Solid Waste, Recycling, Event Services and Custodial services) for over 36 years, shaping the physical landscape and maintenance operations of the campus in myriad ways. During his tenure, Fong established a re-vegetation program in the Stanford foothills and on campus, oversaw renovation of the Arizona Garden, established the Grounds Operations as a recognized Green Business, upgraded to modern weather station controlled irrigation systems, developed a comprehensive inventory of all campus landscape elements, implemented an innovative maintenance management system that serves as an example to other cities and campuses — and much more! Now retired, Fong currently volunteers as a yoga teacher for juvenile delinquents in detention facilities, and as a Canopy Education Leader, teaching school children about trees.

Web - Matt Ritter

Dr. Matt Ritter has a BS in microbiology and a Ph.D. in plant biology. He has authored numerous scientific papers and botanical treatments, including the second edition of the Jepson Manual, the Flora of North America Project, a natural history guide to San Luis Obispo plants, and a book on cultivated trees in California called A Californian’s Guide to the Trees Among Us. He is a botany professor in the Biology Department at Cal Poly, SLO, Director of the Cal Poly Plant Conservatory, Chair of the City of San Luis Obispo Tree Committee, and editor-in-chief of Madroño, the journal of the California Botanical Society. Ritter has worked with Stanford flora for over 10 years, studying the campus trees. His wife’s grandfather, Peter Allen, was the Stanford historian for many years.

Web - Dave Muffly

Dave Muffly is an ISA Certified Arborist with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University. He currently works as the Senior Arborist for Apple, overseeing the elaborate landscape plan for Apple’s new campus in Cupertino. Muffly previously worked as an independent consulting arborist and expert tree pruner. He was Canopy’s first Program Director in 1997-1998 and served on the Canopy Board for six years. As a volunteer with Canopy, Muffly designed the tree planting plans for the East Palo Alto Tree Initiative in 2006-2007. Muffly continues to be engaged as an expert resource with Canopy and volunteers his time to prune and care for hundreds of much-needed trees along the East Palo Alto soundwall. While at Stanford and for many years afterwards, Muffly was a resident of Magic, a non-profit intentional living community with a focus on community service and ecological living. Through his work with Magic, Muffly planted hundreds of oak trees in the Stanford Dish area. Muffly has been called a “tree whisperer” because of his deep knowledge of and passion for trees, especially his knowledge of the Quercus genus which includes the diverse palette of California native oak trees.

Web - Sairus Patel

Sairus Patel (moderator) has a BS in Computer Science from Stanford and is a long-time tree enthusiast. He recently embarked on updating and expanding the Trees of Stanford & Environs website, inspired by Ron Bracewell’s beloved book by the same title. Patel started learning the local trees from this book and at Canopy’s neighborhood tree walks. He went on to volunteer with Canopy and serve on their Board of Directors. Earlier this year, Patel was a guest lecturer and led tree tours for Stanford introductory seminar Party with Trees (BIO29N). He also teaches tree identification to Canopy’s Teen Urban Foresters, and sometimes leads Canopy tree walks. A passionate gardener and plant taxonomy enthusiast, Patel sits on the Board of Directors of Pacific Horticulture Society, where he proofs and researches the plant names for its quarterly magazine. Sairus works in font technology, and lives in College Terrace with his partner and their Melaleuca quinquenervia.

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Event co-hosted by Canopy and the Stanford Historical Society:

Stanford Historical Society

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