2022-03-16 Dave Muffly: Strategies for Selecting Candidate Trees for Urban Climate Change Adaptation


Today, one of the urgent questions in horticulture is what tree planting strategies are best for the rapid climate change we are experiencing. In this talk, Dave Muffly draws upon more than 30 years experience in growing trees from all over the world within urban and wildland/urban interface landscapes under evolving climate conditions. Dave’s projects have stretched from openspace to freeway soundwall to downtown streets to corporate mega-campuses to residential backyards, all carried out with an experimental and deeply observational attitude. Having identified the need for new climate change adapted tree species much earlier than most, Dave draws out the deep patterns of success and failure that suggest solid strategies for where to search for the trees that will define our cities over the coming century of climate turbulence.

Dave Muffly is a tree researcher, educator, consultant, manager, and entrepreneur. Dave specializes in oaks, street trees, climate change adaptation, urban-wildland interface plantings, and strategic tree planning. After receiving a Mechanical Engineering degree from Stanford University, Dave started his tree career establishing oaks by the thousand on Stanford wildlands. Dave then branched into fruit trees, helping distribute 60,000 fruit trees over 15 years to school kids all over California. Traveling by bike with no car for 15 years, Dave became a keen observer of urban trees in the Bay Area, gaining his Certified Arborist credential in 1998, and his Board Certified Master Arborist credential in 2008. In 2010, Dave came to the attention of Steve Jobs and was hired to spend 7 years as Senior Arborist at Apple, Inc., directing the growing and planting of 9,000 trees of more than 100 types. at Apple’s massive new Cupertino campus, Apple Park. Dave’s most important work is introducing new climate adapted trees to the California nursery industry. Dave’s website is Oaktopia.org, and he currently lives in Santa Barbara, but ranges throughout California and the American Southwest to learn, teach, and grow cool trees.


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