Research, Planning, Analysis and Communication
Genentech Campus Monterey Cypress Tree Research Study
South San Francisco, California
MPA Design, San Francisco
Principal and Landscape Architect: David W. Nelson
The marine microclimate at a 200 acre bay side Biotech Campus was perfect for growing Northern California’s iconic Monterey Cypress. 120 of 184 cypress planted in the 90’s died . When the company decided to re-populate the campus with cypress, the Landscape Architect recommended a research project utilizing an Arborist, Soil Scientist and Nursery Growers to determine cause of cypress failure and design new planting process to increase survival. The Arborist verified Cypress canker would not kill the cypress under optimal growing conditions.
Reseach found existing poor drainage, heavy clay subsoils and wetness at the transition layer. This condition lead designing new planting details with extra large planting holes, sub-drainage, loamy sand back-fill with organic amendment, saw-cutting rootballs, elevating rootballs and a new six point irrigation system.
This knowledge and new planting details were applied to 440 Monterey Cypress planted since 2011 achieving 36″ per year growth rate and no failures.