IMG_1000    Maryann is a Certified Aesthetic Pruner and California Licensed Architect. She has a passion for trees, architecture and nature.  In 1999 she moved to California to further her architectural career where she discovered the world of Aesthetic Pruning. After completing the Merritt College Aesthetic Pruning classes and hands on training with Michael Alliger and Yuki Nara she formed her own aesthetic pruning business in 2005, specializing in long term tree care development and design in the urban garden. In 2015 she moved her family and business to Portland, Oregon.  She is inspired by the Japanese and Finish passion for integrating nature, design, and architecture into their daily lives.

In 2011 she co-founded the Aesthetic Pruners Association serving as Vice President , then President and now as Past President. Maryann is an APA Certified Aesthetic Pruner, CA Licensed Architect, member of the North American Japanese Garden Association , a member of the Portland Japanese Garden, and the Merritt College Pruning Club. Born and raised in Montana she, along with her husband and daughter, are enjoying the seasons, friends, family and friendliness of the Great Northwest.


What is Aesthetic Pruning?

“Aesthetic Pruning embraces the creative interpretation of small trees and shrubs in the urban context. The living art form combines the artistic skill of the pruner, the essence of a tree, the science of horticulture and needs of the clients and surroundings.”  ~ Dennis Makishima

There are many key elements for me in this definition. All of them relate to pruning with design intent.
~ Creative Interpretation
~ Urban context
~ Art Form
~ Essence of a tree
~ Horticulture
~ Client (last but not least!)

This type of pruning may be called something else depending on where you live. (Landscape pruning, fine pruning, skillful pruning, artful pruning, etc.) The word “aesthetic” is used in many different professions within many different contexts. Once the potential of a tree is realized it quickly becomes clear that the tree falls into a certain aesthetic.  The trees I work on tend to look “natural” after they are pruned whether they are a focal point tree or in the background.  I work in gardens of many sizes but most of my trees have some kind of relationship to a building or garden element and the owner is conscientious about wanting their trees to be at their best given a variety of circumstances and expectations.

The need for a carefully pruned tree may be obvious in a small garden but if a tree is in a large garden and is pruned poorly or styled out of context it can disturb the whole garden experience. Japanese style gardens are a great example of how all the trees and shrubs in a garden play a vital role in expressing the whole picture.  This same concept applies easily to any manner of garden styles.

To Clients: This is a simple summary of a topic that means different things to many people.  To me the important thing to remember is to work with a pruner who listens to you and your trees and fits both your needs.  Like trees, no two clients are alike!

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