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Sonoma Spring Maple Fling

West Region - open to all members and non-members

Saturday April 22, 2023 - 10:00 am to 5:00 pm

Optional Sunday tour on April 23, 2023 (details below)

Members, friends of members, and non-members alike joined the Maple Society in celebrating spring amidst three glorious gardens in Sonoma County, packed with a wide variety of maples and many other interesting, rare and unusual plants. All three gardens are pruned by certified aesthetic pruners.

Saturday Morning

Carol’s Garden, Sebastopol – This small city garden is exuberantly crammed with maples, succulents, conifers and many unusual shrubs, perennials and vines. Carol has been gardening here for three decades and has made deft use of containers to extend her planting space and provide structure. Her artist’s training shows in the way she combines colors, shapes and textures. We saw plants that are rarely seen in Bay Area gardens, including some of the largest succulents you will see in a private garden.

Paul and Alan’s Garden, Sebastopol – this relatively young, elegant garden features conifers, maples and other unusual trees. With a focus on structure and repetition, the garden avoids fussiness and over-planting, allowing the trees to shine. The expertly pruned trees are graceful and sophisticated, serving as garden sculpture as well as greenery. This garden, too, has some massive succulents that work well as contrast to the smaller-leaved conifers and the delicate maples.

Saturday Afternoon

We enjoyed lunch on the patio along with welcome remarks from Bill Hibler, Maple Society North America President, before we toured our next garden:

Circle Oak Ranch, Petaluma – this large garden, approximately 20 years in the making, is an arboretum replete with trees of all kinds. Conifers, maples, beeches and elms are joined by acacias, yuccas and cordylines to create a mixture indicative of the wide range of plants that can be grown in this mild climate. This garden features a number of species maples as well as A. palmatum cultivars. After the tour we enjoyed an aesthetic pruning demonstration of a Japanese maple.

Bonus for Attendees

After our tour of Circle Oak Ranch, the majority of our attendees drove over to Pond and Garden Nursery in Cotati, where owner Scott Wilson offered us a 10% discount to all event registrants. Pond and Garden has one of the best selections of maples, conifers and other unusual trees in Northern California, and Scott was on hand to answer our questions and help make selections.


This event—including lunch, the pruning demonstration, and the after-event discount at Pond and Garden Nursery—is free for current Maple Society members (those whose memberships are paid through 12/23/2023); and $10 for non-members—OR—if you become a member today, you can attend this event for free, and take advantage of a wealth of member discounts and additional benefits all year long!

Members, you'll need to be logged in.

Non-Members, remove the "X" where it asks you to log in with a user name and password.


  • You must register to attend.

  • Addresses and schedule will be sent to registered guests a few days before the event.

  • Plant lists will be provided at all three gardens.

  • Carpooling is suggested but not required. Parking is available on the street in Sebastopol and may entail walking a block or two; Circle Oak Ranch has ample parking.

  • There is a bathroom available at Circle Oak Ranch.

  • The event will be held rain or shine.

Optional Sunday Tour

Sunday April 23, 2023

For those interested in seeing species maples (and a small garden of A. palmatum cultivars) in the Sonoma Botanical Garden (SBG) on Sunday morning, April 23, Alan Porter, SBG Docent, will lead us on a private, maple-centric walk in this amazing location.

SBG is an ex-situ conservation site for endangered Asian plants and features a collection of maples in an informal, woodland setting. The Garden will be en fete with spring blooms and new foliage.

Sign-ups for this tour will be taken on Saturday during lunch.


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