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Horticulturist leads tree walk through Botanic Garden

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/ photo by William Hardy

Chip Grubbs, a horticulturalist for the California Botanic Garden, teaches the audience about different tree species and their importance to the ecosystem in Southern California on Saturday. The California Botanic Garden in Claremont offers a variety of educational walking tours every weekend. / photo by William Hardy

Connor Woken
Staff Writer

Chip Grubbs led a group of around 15 people on a tour of the variety of different plants and trees to teach and observe the various wildlife that many people don’t generally get to see, Saturday in the California Botanic Garden in Claremont. 

The walk started at the entrance to the garden to see the trees and the natural birds that inhabit them. Then Grubbs led participants through the garden for everyone to see the towering trees overhead. 

Participants learned how these trees started to grow here and also how Grubbs takes care of them. He pointed out the  trees that were both most rare  and most common in this part of the U.S.

One of these trees included the Valley Oak, which is the largest oak in California. The garden features trees that grow naturally up and down the Pacific Coast, Grubb told the group. 

One majestic oak he pointed out stood at around 100 feet tall with branches spanning around 85 feet. Grubbs said this tree was around 300 years old. 

Grubbs also talked to about the Cercocarpus traskiae, one of the rarest species of trees in the United States, which is so rare that there are only 10 left in the wild – all on on Catalina Island.

Grubbs took the walkers to see another tree – part of the rose family – but Grubbs said he likes to include it in the tour because it’s bigger than a regular rose bush. 

“I wanted to come out to start learning more about trees (this was an) introduction to it,” said Carol Fujii, who attended the Saturday event.

Connor Woken can be reached at

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