Barry Margesson started working for the City of Brentwood Recreation and Park District 1987, as Park/Maintenance Manager. Barry plans to talk about skills related to maintaining trees and landscapes and share his valuable knowledge of tree lore with other tree lovers and DIG members. Over the years, he saw the long-term successes and failures of different tree species choices, as well as what worked in various planting locations. He learned the best maintenance programs based on the species. Healthy mature trees are an invaluable asset for the homeowner and for the community. Trees are expensive to maintain, and they hold powerful emotional meaning for people. His position with the City of Brentwood allowed him to work one-on-one with residents concerned with the health of their trees, maintenance, and landscape. During Barry’s years with the City, he also organized large Arbor Day planting events.

He began volunteering with Friends of the Marsh Creek Watershed, helping with Creek restoration projects in Oakley and Brentwood. In retirement, he now serves as a Board member of the John Marsh Historic Trust, which actively seeks the restoration of the John Marsh Stone House and the opening of the Marsh Creek State Park. 

Barry came to gardening and a love of trees through a long period of nurturing and, more often than not, correction from a number of mentors and friends. He grew up in Burnaby, British Columbia, a suburb of Vancouver. The two-acre property his Dad purchased was near the untamed outskirts of town. There were rows of filbert nut trees, a forest of second growth alders, and a tangle of giant Cedar stumps, salmon berries, and Hemlock trees leading off into the bush, which he explored for hours. He started to learn the names of all of the trees, and the story of how the forest had changed from the logged old growth Cedar and Douglas Fir giants to wild new growth. An older couple used to hire him for gardening chores on their property. They passed on their knowledge and love of tree maintenance, teaching him that a tree carries a flow of life up from the ground to the leaves and branch tips. He learned that you prune a tree to direct that flow from larger to smaller, never to sever it completely by pruning to a stub.

After moving to the Bay area, Barry received formal training in arboriculture and the science of plant growth at Merritt College. He had a teacher who encouraged the students to make a portfolio of each tree they studied. She said that you learn both the botanical name of a tree species and the common name because one day you will forget one or the other but rarely both names.

We look forward to learning from Barry’s vast experience how we can make the right choice in selecting just the right tree for our location, as well as proper nurturing and pruning. We’ll have a question and answer period after his talk to help you find solutions to any problems you may have with your trees, as well as the best choices for our Brentwood and surrounding areas. Come and enjoy learning from our local expert.

Helen Wheeler, Vice President, Programs

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President's Message | october 2016

Fall has arrived

Well fall is really here. It’s cooled off and I’ve run out of excuses for not digging up the front lawn. At least the part we decided to do. So we’ve started and I’m happy to say the soil seems pretty decent and I can actually get a shovel into it. Our neighbors seem pretty happy too as I bet they’re tired of looking at a half dead lawn for the last year. Now to figure out what to plant. It’s a tough spot as it is in the hot sun all day long. I have accumulated a few plants I think may do well and I’m eager to try. Plus I’ll be making lots of trips to the nursery. One of my favorite pastimes.

I know many of you have converted your lawns to gardens. I’d love to see some pictures and hear your thoughts on having done this. Are you glad you made the conversion? What’s growing well? Are you saving lots of water? Or do you miss your lawn. If you would like to share your experience, write a short paragraph and attach a picture and email it to us at As space permits we can share your gardening success.

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Important Dates

We meet on the fourth Monday of each month, 7:30 pm at the Brentwood Community Methodist Church,
809 Second Street in Brentwood.

Board Meetings are held on the first Tuesday, (after the first Monday),
of each month in the Fireside Room.

General Meetings
October 24
November 28
December 12
Holiday Potluck

Board Meetings
​November 8
November 29

Propagation Workshop

2016-2017 Propagation is underway and continues every Saturday, 10–noon at Mel's Greenhouse. You can find a map here.

2017 Annual-Perennial Plant Sale
May 13, 2017
Wolfe Ranch

october 24th general meeting
Barry Margesson , Arborist