Inside Apple’s Insanely Great (or Just Insane) New Mothership

Jobs had always insisted that most of the site be covered with trees; he even took the step of finding the perfect tree expert to create his corporate Arden. He loved the foliage at the Dish and found one of the arborists responsible. David Muffly, a cheerful, bearded fellow with a Lebowski-ish demeanor, was in a client’s backyard in Menlo Park when he got the call to come to Jobs’ office to talk trees.


Apple Park’s Tree Whisperer

At first glance, it might have seemed an unusual meeting between Steve Jobs and David Muffly. Jobs was a world-renowned technologist billionaire, and Muffly an itinerant arborist whose passion was the soil. But if you transposed the timelines of their lives, you could locate a point of intersection.

As young men, both had been interested in tech — Muffly had earned a degree in mechanical engineering at Stanford. Both found themselves residing in a countercultural living situation centered around trees, though Muffly remained in what he calls his “hippie commune” for years.


Can Humans Help Trees Outrun Climate Change?

SCITUATE, R. I. — Foresters began noticing the patches of dying pines and denuded oaks, and grew concerned. Warmer winters and drier summers had sent invasive insects and diseases marching northward, killing the trees.

If the dieback continued, some woodlands could become shrub land.

Most trees can migrate only as fast as their seeds disperse — and if current warming trends hold, the climate this century will change 10 times faster than many tree species can move, according to one estimate.


Meet Dave Muffly, the Apple Campus 2 arborist

A couple of years ago, when Steve Jobs appeared before the Cupertino, Calif., City Council to discuss Apple's proposed new campus, he mentioned that the company had even hired a "senior arborist" from Stanford

Since then, the identity of that arborist has remained a mystery. But no more. 

Meet Dave Muffly, Apple's arborist and tree whisperer. 


A look at Apple’s insanely ambitious tree-planting plans for its new spaceship campus

While construction crews work furiously to finish Apple’s mammoth new headquarters in Cupertino this year, another critical piece of the campus’ design is taking shape 100 miles to the east.

In a cluster of East Bay nurseries, Apple has been growing more than 4,600 trees, which are nestled in large, wooden boxes. Some time later this year, Apple’s team of arborists will start shipping these trees two or three at time to Cupertino, where they will be painstakingly planted as part of the broader landscaping plan.


Rootball Treatment for Optimal Tree Growth

Canopy is a Palo Alto-based, non-profit tree advocacy organization. In January and February 2007, the organization directed the planting of nearly 500 fifteen-gallon trees along Highway 101 in East Palo Alto, California, in a long-term pilot project that will be periodically monitored to determine the general levels of tree performance.


Watching Trees - Good News for California Gardeners

Fifteen years ago, I asked myself a couple of simple questions. What are the best trees to plant in the cities of the San Francisco Bay Area? And what is the best way to grow those trees? My motivation was—and still is—a response to the many stunted, deformed, and ill-adapted trees littering the roadsides of the Bay Area like bad biological graffiti or publicly funded vandalism.

I spent the previous decade learning to identify trees, both common and rare, throughout the Bay Area. At the time, I didn’t own a car and travelled almost exclusively by bicycle. This form of transport was uniquely useful for learning trees as it allowed me to move more quickly than on foot and with a better view than traveling by car, yet slow enough to make such observation safe.


Dave Muffly • dave@oaktopia.org
(805) 705-2602

Have shears, will travel

Biking arborist totes tools of the trade

by Carol Palinkas

As a young boy, Dave Muffly was into cars in a big way.

A self-professed car fanatic, it made sense that with his aptitude and interests, he would make a great mechanical engineer. He thought so, his father thought so, and so, apparently, did Stanford, where he received his degree in mechanical engineering.

Things didn't turn out as expected.


Urban Forestry & Urban Greening

Dave Muffly et al.


New Oak Species for California

Dave Muffly


The impacts of drought on trees in Menlo Park

Dave Muffly