Love the Beauty of Your City? Thank the Landscape Architects who Made it Happen

I recently read a great article by Delle Willett of the North Park News entitled Landscape Architects:  Artists with the Earth as a Canvas.  The article focused on three local women landscape architects who have made significant contributions to enhancing the aesthetics and functionality to the City of San Diego.

While reading about the history of female landscape architects, I couldn’t help be reflect on my own background and education within the fielof landscape architecture and landscape contracting.  As a college student, my path began at UC Santa Barbara and completed with a Bachelor of Science degree from California Polytechnic University, Pomona.

I wrote and article correlating my own academic history with the three landscape architects discussed in the newspaper article.  For men or women interested in the field of landscape architecture, design, planning, horticulture, arboriculture and landscape contracting, or anyone who struggled to find their own passion and career path in college, I think you’ll enjoy the read.

Landscape Architects Making Significant Contributions to City of San Diego

Landscape Architects: Artists with the Earth as a Canvas.



PTCA Field Day a Great Success

Wow, just when I thought the PTCA (Professional Tree Care Association) annual seminar was the bomb, the following field day was just as great. While the seminar was an indoor event focusing on a variety of topics presented by outstanding industry professionals and educators, the field day was spent outdoor at beautiful Balboa park in San Diego.

The day consisted of a number of workshops organized into several different tracks that allowed participants to choose from a palette of presentations that provided something for everybody. Tree climbers and field workers loved the tree climbing workshop and training by Mr. Martin Morales. His workshop included climbing and positioning for safe work in trees, also taught about knots, ropes and equipment inspection, while providing new tips and tricks. I am way to old for climbing, but enjoyed watching guys in the trees, had an opportunity to meet Martin during an incredible lunch (carne asada). We were looking at a rigging holding a tree logIMG_0042, he immediately pointed out flaws and worn equipment, I would never have noticed. Fortunately we have educated tree climbers who understand the importance of proper equipment, training and safety.  Another track included Tree Risk Assessment best management practices (BMP’s) workshop taught by Mr. Ron Matranga and Dr. R. Bruce Allison. Since I consult and provide tree risk assessment as part of my practice, it was a great opportunity to learn about  best management practices involved with the new TRAQ (tree risk assessment qualified) versus the previous TRACE (tree risk assessment certification exam) methodology. Dr. Allison demonstrated new sonic tomography techniques for non-destructive testing of the interior of tree trunks, new cutting edge technology that is already an advancement from just two years ago. Using probes and determining the time for sound waves to travel through tree trunks and how the sound wave moves at different velocities around interior trunk decay will assist arborists to use in advanced tree risk assessment. As Dr. Allison noted, hopefully in the next few years, the cost will come down and we will have a pocket sized device and an app to use to help us understand what is happening with interior tree decay.

Sound wave technology, the next big thing?

Sound wave technology, the next big thing?

How serious is the problem

How serious is the problem

We all know about new invasive insects and diseases affecting our trees, new invasive species are being detected at a rate on one every 60 days, Dr. John Kabashiima provided the sobering statistic it is now one every 45 days! The gold spotted oak borer has decimated tens of thousands of Coast Live Oak and Black Oaks throughout California.

Six orange color dots help identify this pest, although the adult is rarely seen

Six orange color dots help identify this pest, although the adult is rarely seen

This pest has been spread throughout the state, particularly San Diego county by people using the dead wood for fire wood, transporting it in their vehicles where they unwitting spread the insect throughout the county. Don’t move infected wood!

Stop using infected wood for fire wood and don't transport the wood, you are spreading the disease

Stop using infected wood for fire wood and don’t transport the wood, you are spreading the disease

Take a look at some of these nasty borers and other insects, yikes!Nasty Borers

For pest control advisors and applicators, there was a pesticide application for trees demonstration and a safety workshop and tree identification workshop and quiz available to test your knowledge. Field guys loved the chainsaw sharpening and troubleshooting workshop presented by Mr. Paul Lasiter and Mr. Joe Garcia. Another great aspect for everyone was presentation of many workshops in Spanish and English, a very inclusive aspect that helped all of us enjoy the day.

I learned a great deal of new information I never would have even considered without this great field day presentation. Have you ever considered how heavy a downed tree trunk is?  Well, there was a workshop on how to calculate the wood weight of felled trees, presented by Mr. Harvey Pedersen. Crane operators have to have a reasonable idea of how much a log or portion of a tree trunk weighs in order to safely lift it. Mr. Pederson presented wood weight calculations of various types of trees and an amazingly accurate method for estimating the weight of a log, which was then lifted by the crane which provided the true weight to compare against our estimated weights. How cool is that!

How much do those logs weight?

How much do those logs weight?

Just want to thank all of those involved in the PTCA Seminar and Field Day for a truly memorable event, a special thanks to our friend Dave Shaw

Dave kept us all entertained, what a great guy!

Dave kept us all entertained, what a great guy!


who once again served as the master of ceremony and kept us all entertained. Keep up the great work, looking forward to next years seminar and field day.

Learn more about the PTCA at

PTCA Arbor Essence

No, this is not a perfume, rather it is the title for this years PTCA Seminar and Field Day.  PTCA, known as the Professional Tree Care Association of San Diego, is a premier industry association for professionals within the tree care industry.  The association contains a wide diversity of professionals, including representatives from outstanding tree care and tree service companies, ISA (International Society of Arboriculture) certified arborists, utility arborists, board certified master arborist, ASCA (American Association of Consulting Arborists) RSA’s (Registered Consulting Arborist), and industry professionals from utility companies, San Diego Zoo, golf courses, private industries, landscape contractors, landscape architects, educators and more.

A common thread shared by all of these different professionals and educators is our love of TREES and desire to further improve our understanding of the field of arboriculture!  It is a comforting feeling sitting is a room with hundreds of people sharing our knowledge and experiences with trees, learning new information, meeting old and making new friends.

Each year, the PTCA sponsors the annual Seminar and Field Day.  The first day (today) featured an incredible diversity of speakers and topics, there is something for everyone.  Here is a sampling of todays speakers:

Ms. Leah Rottke, professor at Cuyamaca College spoke about what to plant now for upcoming changes brought about by climate change in Southern California, Ms. Pat Nolan, County Pathologist for San Diego County of Department of Agriculture spoke about invasive diseases  moving into the Urban Forest.  In the morning session, Dr. Tom Scott, Ph.D., Department of Earth Sciences, UC Riverside discussed Management of Oak trees in San Diego County followed by an afternoon discussion about the Gold Spotted Oak Borer research (GSOB) and update.  Mr. Ron Matranga, Board Certified Master Arborist from Atlas Tree Service provided an overview of the ISA Traq (Tree Risk Assessment Qualified) program and Mr.Randall Stamen, Esq., from Riverside, California delivered a sobering lecture about Arboriculture and the law, including tree risk assessment and case studies.  Mr. Brian Bishop of Bishops Tree Service discussed improving the efficiency of tree crews and Dr. John Kabashima, Ph.D., UC County Extension, Orange County gave an entertaining lecture about effective sampling for diagnoses of insect and disease problems.  All of that in ONE day!

Really looking forward to tomorrow, the field day featuring workshops in tree risk assessment and BMP (best management practices), insects and diseases of shade tree diagnoses, pesticide applications for tree demonstrations, safety and tree identification, electrical safety, wood weight calculations, improving efficiency and maximizing safety.  There will be a tree climbing workshop provided in Spanish and English.

If you are a tree, landscape, horticulture, educator, consultant, or expert witness and have not yet attended a PTCA field day, you are missing out on a premier educational and entertaining event.  Members of the ISA, ASCA and urban forest councils, city and jurisdictional representatives, recreational and utility companies all come together in a common bond of learning, teaching and sharing, not to mention fantastic networking opportunities.  Hope to see you at the next PTCA Seminar and Field Day!

Learn more about the PTCA at

Is Global Warming Affecting Redwood Trees in California?

I read a very interesting article in the L.A. Times concerning possible affects of global warming on both the Giant and Coastal Redwood tree populations in California. There might actually be some good news associated with global warming, recent scientific studies have documented growth spurts in both the coastal redwoods and giant sequoias.

Since the 1970’s, taking corings from trees more than 1,000 years old, scientists claim certain coastal redwoods have experienced the fastest growth ever. “The forests are not experiencing detrimental impacts from climate change” stated Emily Burns, science director at the Save the Redwoods League.

A variety of factors besides climate change could explain the increased growth rates said professor Stephen Sillett of Humboldt State, one of many researchers. Scientists established 16 research plots in old growth redwood and sequoia forests throughout their respective ranges. They took pencil width corings from 78 redwoods, studied the tree rings and developed a chronology dating back year 328. They also took corings from sequoias, analyzed the rings and dated the trees back to 474!

The data revealed redwood trunk growth in recent decades has “shattered” all records. The global warming records and effects on regional precipitation are less clear, indicating highly variable precipitation but overall no significant decline in the recent study areas. One theory is old giant sequoias might be growing faster because rising temperatures have extended the growing season in the Sierra Nevada.

Other theories include redwoods receiving more sun due to reduced fog in coastal climates yet still getting the precipitation they require or getting more sunlight due to a reduction in air pollution in north coastal areas from reduction in wood processing plants.

A great side benefit of the research was discovery of an ancient tree that corings revealed the oldest coastal redwood on record, 2,500 years old, besting the previous record holder by 300 years!!

When is comes to climate change, Professor Sillett added “I’m more worried about humans than I am about redwoods. I think they’re going to hold their own”. Very glad to hear this positive redwood assessment although a bit concerned about the human race.

Click to read the full article Is Climate Change Affecting Redwoods?

Rappoport Development Consulting Services Sets New Precedent, Approved as a SANDAG A&E Bench Consultant

Rappoport Development Consulting Services LLC (RDCS), was recently approved as a SANDAG A&E Bench Consultant. Who is SANDAG and what is the A&E Bench? If you are a prime consultant, prime contractor or vendor providing design, engineering, construction and procurement services within San Diego County, read on!

Who Is SANDAG and What do They Do?

SANDAG, the San Diego Association of Governments is a public agency comprised of eighteen cities and county government. SANDAG builds consensus and serves as a forum for regional decision making. The agency is responsible for strategic planning, and allocation of resources such as planning and engineering for building public transportation projects.

SANDAG is governed by a Board of Directors including mayors, county supervisors, and council-members representing the region’s nineteen local governments. Additional advisory representatives are from the Imperial County, U.S. Department of Defense, Caltrans, San Diego Unified Port District, Metropolitan Transit System, North County Transit District, San Diego County Water Authority, Southern California Tribal Chairmen’s Association, and Mexico.  The Policy Advisory Committees assist the Board of Directors in carrying out the agency’s work program.

In January of 2003, state law consolidated SANDAG’s responsibility with many of the transit functions of the Metropolitan Transit Development Board and the North San Diego County Transit Development Board. This allowed SANDAG to assume full control over transit planning, project development and eventual project construction within the San Diego region.

What is the A&E Bench?

In their role as a planning, design and construction management agency, SANDAG maintains a contracting and procurement website seeking firms to register for a variety of services including:

– Construction, general contractors, and construction management
– Engineering, design, planning and environmental
– Technical  services, GIS mapping, software development
– Marketing and public outreach
– Financial, legal, consulting, and training services
– Computer, copy equipment and office supplies

The SANDAG website welcomes registered prime contractors and engineering consultants to visit the A&E Bench section of the website. The Architecture and Engineering (A&E) Bench is comprised of small business firms for On-Call Architecture and Engineering Design and Environmental programs.  A&E Bench consultant contracts provide sub-consultant services for transportation and infrastructure projects throughout San Diego County. Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE) and Small Business (SB) firms are encouraged to join the “Bench” to participate in meeting these efforts.

Bench consultants include A&E firms that are certified as DBE by the California Unified Certification Program (CUCP )or SB by the Department of General Services. (DGS). The Bench is open to DBE and SB firms that provides a variety of professional A&E services. The Bench serves as a pool of certified firms that prime engineering consultants and general contractors may access to work on their SANDAG project.

Rappoport Development Consulting Services Added to the A&E Bench!

Rappoport Development Consulting Services LLC is a registered SANDAG vendor #216240. RDCS LLC is now an approved A&E Bench consultant.  RDCS is proud to be the FIRST certified arborist consultant added to the SANDAG A&E Bench.  RDCS LLC is certified by the California Department of General Services as a Micro Small Business #1665480 and is so listed as a SANDAG A&E Bench consultant.

Prime engineering consultants and prime contractors providing services to SANDAG can now benefit by using a certified small business sub-consultant for tree, arboriculture science and arborist issues.  Transit and infra-structure projects often impact existing tree populations that require data collection, analysis and consideration of best management practices.  Typical arborist consulting services may include  tree tagging, labeling and tree inventory, tree risk assessment, tree health assessment, tree appraisals and valuation, developing tree construction protection plans and best management practices, tree management programs and field construction supervision, observations and arborist reports.

Since many SANDAG projects are transportation related, existing tree populations may affect the design, development and construction for transportation corridors.  By adding RDCS to the A&E Bench,  SANDAG recognizes the importance of preserving our existing urban forests and street trees while developing new transportation routes.  Providing a certified arborist, landscape and horticulture professional to the A&A Bench allows prime consultants and contractors  the opportunity to seek a SANDAG approved professional certified arborist, landscape, tree and plant consultant.  Engineering, landscape architect and environmental planning firms can now benefit using an approved small business SANDAG A&E Bench consulting arborist, saving the hassle of having to search for an unapproved consultant and try to qualify them with SANDAG.  In certain instances, a prime consultant or contractor may receive favorable consideration and or financial incentive using an certified small business.

Jeremy Rappoport is a  certified arborist WE-9083A, a certified tree risk assessor CTRA 1220, a licensed C-27 landscape contractor #436000, professional horticulturist with a B.S. degree from California Polytechnic University Pomona, California and an experienced land development construction professional.