North Bay Horticulture

Ellen Solomon, Certified Arborist,
Garden & Home Orchard Consultant


These informative articles were written by Ellen Solomon.
Please contact North Bay Horticulture to receive an article in its entirety.

Trees in Drought

Now that "drought" is officially accepted in California, what will happen to the trees if we stop watering? What are the best trees to plant for drought conditions? How can we best manage trees in the landscape and orchard? Available for download.

The Language of Seeds

Ever wondered about the difference between open- and self-pollinated seeds? Heirloom
and hybrid? The introduction of "GMO" into our modern-day vocabulary? This article guides the reader through the labyrinth of modern-day seed classification.
Available for download.

Step by Step: Sustainable Steps and Community

Human Population Increase and the Industrial Revolution are prime factors in our present troubles. More and more, neighbors are joining the green community. This article describes ten beginning steps to help reduce our ecological footprint.

A Magnolia tree in the San Francisco Botanical Gardens

Magnolia Trees

Mystique and Method

This article will give
you some background information about magnolias, as well as
a brief natural history.
And it will help you decide which variety to plant, where to plant it, and how to care for it.


Madrones are treasured as one of the finest trees in the Sierra forest. They stand out especially in winter with their shiny broad green leaves and smooth red bark constrasting with the fine needled pines and cedars. This article gives a brief history and description of the tree, followed by proper care and maintenance.

Landscapes, such as the Slow Food Nation Victory Garden (above) and the plants on the grounds of Fort Mason (left), inspired Ellen Solomon on her trip through San Francisco.

A Gardner’s Journey to
the Bay Area

This article is a travel journal of Ellen's sustainable, environmentally-friendly, trip to San Francisco where she discovered unexpected gardens and landscapes.

Oaks Among Us

Oak trees live a long time; a single oak can live many generations of a human's life. Even though these trees have flourished here for many years before humans came, the oaks often succumb to the treatment we give them and die! This can happen even when we value them and want to keep them alive and healthy. What do we need to know and do to protect the oaks from ourselves? Learn to identify and properly care for oaks trees found in California.

Design for the Foothills

Those living in the Sierra foothills enjoy a climate that provides a long growing season, months of sun and a defined winter. This article explains how to design landscapes best suited for this special environment.

Trees and Sustainability

Learn the different ways trees improve the sustainability of our gardens, cities, farms
and surroundings.

Nevada City Tree Tour

The Nevada City Tree Tour was created by Ellen Solomon and Friends of Trees Nevada County.

To download the tour, click below.

"I want to take this opportunity to thank you endlessly for your dedication to the environment and leaving us with this priceless pamphlet. I will...continue
to solicit interest from our community in your honor."

Mary Cahill,
Organizer for
Nevada County Walkers


Stories about Ellen Solomon's work have appeared in various publications.
Read an article by clicking on the appropriate picture:

Grass Valley Tree Tour

Friends of trees
Nevada County

The Union, 9/18/09

What makes leaves turn color?

What makes leaves
turn color?

The Union, 9/18/09

Nevada City Walking Tour

Walking tour of town's famed trees
The Union, 5/20/08

Nevada City Tree Tour (Briarpatch)

Nevada City tree guide
Briarpatch Co-op News, 9/08

Nevada City tree guide

Nevada City tree guide
Nevada City Scene, Summer 2008

Nevada City tree guide

She has a green thumb

Nevada City tree guide

The Language of Seeds
Sonoma County Gazette, March 2014



Here's an e-mail from a recent client.

Hi Ellen!

I had fun pruning with you too! You are an excellent teacher! So today, I sharpened my tools, finished pruning the pear and apple trees, and sprayed the trees with copper fungicide; I feel very accomplished! Thank you for giving me the guidance (& confidence) I needed to do these things! Thank you also for the peach tree info, I will definitely read more about it & follow your suggestions. I'm definitely interested in low-maintenance beautification suggestions! I will also need placement guidance too though. Maybe later this year I can have you back over for more instruction. I truly appreciate your help! Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Take care, Natalee