Trees Scavenger Hunt
Treasures in our Midst at ZSFG

Treasures in Our Midst: A Treasure Hunt of Special Trees at ZSFG

Anile Woods, Head Gardener at ZSFG, wrote about the special trees at ZSFG to help others learn about and appreciate some of the treasures in our midst. Her article first appeared in ZSFG Newsletter A Moment to Pause, Issue #30: Treasures in Our Midst, Part II: Trees (June 1, 2021). The ZSFG Tree Scavenger Hunt is available with printable PDF. Below is an excerpt from the article.

During the first decade of the 1900's, when SFGH was first built on its current grounds, a very creative landscaper planted an interesting selection of conifers, evergreens, palms and shrubs, a cut flower garden, and vegetables. There was a crew of 12 gardeners to take care of it all! A few original trees remain and an eclectic assortment of species have been added during subsequent years. 

Today gardeners focus on a plan to promote diversity of species and address climate change issues, planting trees for the future. This year, we planted several interesting young trees around Buildings 9/30/40, an area of campus we call our "mini arboretum." Keep an eye out for more trees, less common and diverse, to be planted around the campus in the upcoming year.

"The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit."

- Nelson Henderson 

Atlas CedarCedrus atlantica


Cabbage TreeCordyline australis


California NutmegTorreya california


Thornless Chilean Mesquite ​​​​​​Prosopis chilensis​​​​​​

Italian Stone Pine Pinus pinea


Cork OakQuercus suber


Coastal Live OaksQuercus agrifolia


 Podocarp Icee Blue**Podocarpus elongatus

Irish YewTaxus baccata 


Chinese Wingnut TreePterocarya stenoptera


Wollemi Pine*Wollemia nobelis





* Wollemi Pine is located in the Resilience Garden at ZSFG

** When the steel structure of the new UCSF Research and Academic Building at ZSFG reached its full height, the community celebrated with a 'Topping Out Event' on April 22, 2021. During the ceremony, the final beam, signed by key project participants, was hoisted to the top to complete the steel structure. Following tradition, attached to the beam was a flag and a small, evergreen tree. The tree, a Podocarupus Icee Blue (left), is now planted permanently on the hill between the Research and Academic Building and Building 5.