Unimpeachable Real Estate Experts

Roy C. Leggitt, III

Consulting Arborist and Ornamental Horticulturist


Roy Leggitt is a San Francisco-based plant and tree specialist with substantial forensic experience. His objectivity and clarity have earned the confidence of lawyers representing both plaintiffs and defendants. His thought leadership has won the respect of fellow arborists. His tireless devotion to public policy has endeared him to the community. Mr. Leggitt's unbiased, even-handed disposition has also helped neighbors resolve tree disputes without needless escalation.

Mr. Leggitt's list of certifications and licenses, professional affiliations, and contributions to the body of knowledge in his field are too lengthy to give justice in this profile. Please see his Curriculum Vitae.

Special Qualifications

  • 26th year in his profession
  • highly-credentialed ornamental plant and tree specialist
  • numerous forensic consulting and expert witness cases and long list of references
  • successful mediator of tree-related disputes
  • educator, author and public speaker
  • media savvy
  • deep involvement with public policy
  • respected by his peers

Curriculum Vitae

Career Experience

1987-Present Self-employed Consulting Arborist and Horticultural Consultant.

1992-2002 The Davey Tree Expert Co., Inc.: project management, representative, consultant.

1989-1992 Golden Coast Environmental Services, Inc.: project management and northern California representative.

1988-1989 City of Fresno: supervised team of 4 data collectors to develop citywide inventory. Developed and adapted software throughout project.

1987-1988 Center for Irrigation Technology: research on sprinkler distribution patterns using laser scanning to measure droplet size.

Municipal and Agencies

1988-1989: City of Fresno: managed an in-house street tree inventory project, including staff training and management, data quality control, software modifications and implementation of database.

1989: City of Palo Alto: managed data collection and software implementation for a City-wide street and right-of-way tree inventory.

1989-1990: City of Visalia: managed data collection and software implementation for a street tree inventory and a valley oak conservation study of all areas within City limits.

1990: City of Manteca: City-wide street tree inventory and management plan.

1990: City of Lancaster: City-wide street sign inventory.

1990: City of Pasadena: City-wide inventory of street trees, street lighting, sidewalk damage survey; site-specific sidewalk redesign specifications to accommodate tree needs.

1990-1992: City of Los Angeles: managed 6 staff data collectors. Oversaw data quality and localized data base installations in field offices.

1994-1997: City and County of San Francisco, Housing Authority: tree surveys, tree management planning and contract administration for Sunnydale (phase I), Hunter’s View, Potrero Terrace and Potrero Annex.

1999-2000: City of Pacifica: risk assessment tree survey for 639 trees including a recommendation for removal of 119 trees. Represented the City on a panel to answer over 200 citizen inquiries. Represented the City to administer the tree service contract.

1999-2000: National Park Service, Fort Mason: inspections and reports to facilitate tree management decisions. Evaluation based on safety and neighbor concerns. Conducted 3-hour training session for staff on proper pruning techniques.

2002: National Park Service, Muir Woods National Monument: deconstruction planning, hazard evaluation and construction planning in tree-sensitive areas.

2002-Present: City of Pacifica: site-specific inspections and recommendations for management decisions, risk assessment and dispute resolution.

2003: City of Pacifica: tree risk assessment and tree management study. Field report and geographic information system developed to implement tree removal, reforestation and replacement tree conservation in a residential neighborhood and riparian zone parks.

2003-2006: USDA Research Station, Albany: soil nutrition and hydrology survey; plant location, size and health survey; comprehensive interpretive report with map inserts.

2004: City of San Pablo: site assessment, tree health assessment and recommended remediation for 44 palm tree planting sites in a commercial district.

2004-2005: City of Oakland: Leona Quarry Redevelopment Master Plan; plan review, project compliance with conditions of approval.

2005-2006: City of Oakland: City-wide tree inventory; estimated 300,000 tree sites. Vector-mapping by block side, PDA data collection, database development, GIS implementation.

2006-2007: City of Pacifica: tree risk assessment and tree management study for all large trees managed by the City that are located in streets and parks.

2006-2007: San Francisco Public Utilities Commission with Ecology & Environment, Inc: Crystal Springs Pipeline No. 2 project. Provided the tree survey and arborist memorandum for an environmental impact report. Tree protection and mitigation measures were evaluated at the Municipal, County and State levels, including considerations under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and SB-1334.

2006-2008: Federal Building, Golden Gate Plaza with PGA Design: provided design review, species selection and site management and monitoring specifications.

2007: City of Pacifica: Author of DPW publication Trees for Pacifica: Tree Selection and Planting Guide to provide appropriate species selection based on site assessment, wind, coastal influence, tree size and growth rate with ornamental and native species.

2008: State Compensation Insurance Fund: tree health and site assessment with recommendations for tree care. Review of new plaza to preserve existing trees during construction.

2008-2009: San Francisco Public Utilities Commission with ESA/Orion Joint Venture: Crystal Springs Pipeline No. 2 project. Provided project refinement and enhancement of options through inclusion of tree impacts caused by use of helicopters, temporary bridge construction and installation of cathodic protection.

2008-2009: City of Oakland, with PGA Design: City sidewalk repair specifications, monitoring and stress tests.

2008: National Park Service, San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park: tree health and risk assessment with recommendations.

2009-2010: San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, Bay Division Pipeline 5. Completed the initial tree study with Merrill Morris Partners. Completed training, job hazard analysis and safety work plans for Hernandez Engineering. Completed pre-construction tree survey with an inventory and mapping of the western reaches for Mountain Cascade.

2010-Present: City of Emeryville: Providing City Arborist services for the installation of 12 new date palms at the west end of Park Avenue.

Association Management Planning

1998-1999: Laguna Heights Co-op Corp.: tree inventory and mapping for 450-tree association property. Tree management plan and 10 year maintenance cost projections.

2003-Present: Treasure Isle HOA: database tree inventory, tree maintenance and management plan, creation of a fully cross-indexed management manual and project management. Ongoing assistance with vendor oversight, conflict resolution and interfacing with City staff. 16-acre site.

2003-Present: Bohemian Club, San Francisco: management for intensely used urban planting sites for Boston ivy, trees and shrubs.

2004: La Salle Heights HOA, San Francisco: tree and vegetation study for a 16-acre site with 800 trees, native plants, invasive exotic plants and landscaping. Data and analyses included pest and disease management, species selection, fire risk assessment, irrigation assessment, erosion, soil properties and preparation of a site map.

2004-Present: Longwater HOA, Foster City: tree inventory, site mapping and management plan for 207 trees in common areas. Many young trees were inspected with nursery, planting and cultivation problems. Management planning included species suitability, planting density, remediation strategies and maintenance recommendations. Large trees primarily required health and risk assessment with maintenance recommendations. Ongoing inspections.

2004-Present: Barron Square HOA, Palo Alto: tree inventory, site mapping and management plan for 259 trees of 37 species in common areas. Primary areas for recommendations were risk assessment, planting density, irrigation, drainage, infrastructure conflicts and maintenance. Ongoing inspections.

2004-Present: Edgewater Isle South HOA, San Mateo: tree inventory, site map and management plan for 135 trees in common areas. Site assessment and tree planting plan in 2006. Ongoing inspections.

2005-Present: Edgewater Isle Master Association, San Mateo: tree inventory, digital site mapping, comprehensive management plan and field manual. Tree health, risk assessment and infrastructure conflicts evaluated. Site assessment and tree planting plan in 2006. Ongoing inspections.

2005: Serravista HOA, South San Francisco: site assessment, tree health assessment, species recommendations and Planning Department documents

2006-Present: Alverno Hill HOA, Redwood City: construction impacts and landscape plan review from neighboring property development and a fire risk assessment report.

2006-Present: Whaler’s Island HOA, Foster City: tree inventory, digital site mapping, comprehensive management plan and field manual. Tree health, risk assessment and infrastructure conflicts evaluated. Ongoing inspections.

2007-2009: Glenridge Apartments Co-operative: tree risk assessments and recommendations

2007-2009: Oak Commons HOA, Gilroy: tree health and risk assessment of 3 large oaks with recommendations. Evaluation of new tree health, crowded plantings and installation and nursery defects for over 900 new trees within new development landscaping with recommendations.

2007-2008: Pitcairn HOA, Foster City: tree health and risk assessment with cultivation recommendations.

Construction Mitigation

1995-2001: Proulx properties: 7-year project to combine 4 large estates including management of natural areas, private golf course design/build impacts, new infrastructure, private vineyard and orchard.

1998-2004: Bay Area Discovery Museum: preservation of historic eucalyptus trees from design stages through construction during a 15,000 square foot expansion over 5 years.

1998-2002: Presidio Hill School: building and utility service design modifications necessary to preserve 3 large trees during historic building preservation and new construction over 4 1/2 years.

2001: #1 Front Street: comprehensive report to assess problems and recommend remedial steps for cultivation of 41 trees in containers on high-rise roof terraces.

2002-2003: Marina Chateau: 8th floor deck-installed design including a decorative screen and selection of containers and plants.

2004: The Altenheim, Oakland: tree survey and report to conserve a rare plant and historic landscape of 6.2 acres during an adaptive reuse construction project.

2002-2007: Laguna Honda Hospital: tree preservation and conservation of a historic arboretum, and tree preservation at various new building construction sites within a 63-acre site to be executed over 10 years.

2004-2008: Cavallo Point and Healing Arts Center (The Retreat at Fort Baker), Sausalito. Site assessment, health assessment, construction modification, tree protection and preservation recommendations, co-author and lead consultant of a 10-year tree management plan.

2004-2006: GK Builders: tree protection and preservation planning for residential development.

2004-2007: Simpson Design Group: tree protection and preservation planning for residential development.

2004-2006: Sal Caruso Design Corporation: tree protection and preservation planning for various condominium conversion projects and for the Fremont Child Care Center.

2004-2007: Worldco Company, Ltd: tree protection, planning, tree and landscape design issues.

2005: EDAW, Inc.: project planning, including tree protection, preservation and species selection.

2005-2007: Devcon Construction: tree protection and preservation planning, on-site inspections during construction, mitigation recommendations, maintenance recommendations.

2005-2008: Safeway, Inc: tree assessment, site assessment, design review, tree protection measures and new planting recommendations.

2006-2009: DES Architects & Engineers: tree assessment, site assessment, appraised values and tree protection during construction.

2008: Hanover Company: tree health and risk assessment for the Candlestick Cove project in San Francisco.

2007-2008: Royston Hanamoto Alley and Abey (RHAA): City College of San Francisco. Provided design review, analysis of site conditions, species recommendations and spacing requirements for the re-design of the core areas of the campus and expanded areas adjacent to the reservoir.

2009-2010: Webcor Construction, Inc: San Francisco General Hospital. Provided pre-construction evaluation of trees and soil conditions, recommending removal, transplanting, pruning and tree protection measures. Project Arborist for new construction and utilities.

2009-2010: San Francisco Botanical Garden, pathway improvement project. Provided ongoing inspections and reports for many rare tree species. Worked on behalf of the paving contractors, AAA Construction and Trinet Construction, in cooperation with Botanical Garden and City staff.

2010-Present: Cypress Lawn Memorial Park: Providing a tree survey and management plan update, Project Manager for Water Efficient Landscape Regulations ordinance revisions, management of construction impacts, historic arboretum conservation and interpretation, in-house training programs and public outreach programs.

Maintenance Management

2004-Present: Bay Area Discovery Museum: maintenance planning and maintenance policy development for outdoor educational exhibit areas.

2003-Present: Bohemian Club, San Francisco, providing conservation and management of extensive Boston ivy, trees, shrubs and irrigation at their downtown site.

2004-Present: Kaiser Permanente hospitals, 2 sites in San Francisco, providing management of all tree-related decisions and maintenance.

2010-Present: Cypress Lawn Memorial Park: maintenance planning and oversight during implementation.

Customized Services

2009: Hartmann Studios: Developed Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for ongoing care, maintenance and handling of nursery stock used for special event rentals. All illustrations, photographs and text were original work that was translated into Spanish.

2010: Quality of Life Foundation: Designed and implemented a program for volunteer-based tree plantings at schools and parks.

Natural Areas

2001-2003: Presidio Trust: ongoing volunteer participation including site restoration, maintenance and monitoring for quail habitat sites.

2001-2004: Kirsch property; riparian zone site evaluation, recommendations, re-vegetation planning and monitoring requirements, vineyard impacts and management issues.

2004-2005: City of Oakland, with PGA Design: Leona Quarry Redevelopment Master Plan; plan review, project compliance with conditions of approval integrating with natural areas.

Small Projects

1987-Present: Consultation and Arborist Reports: routinely created as guidance to project sponsors, contractors, Architects, landscape maintenance companies, commercial property managers, residential owners, concerned neighbors, Municipalities and insurance companies. Projects are throughout the San Francisco bay area with a concentration on the Peninsula, in San Francisco and in Marin County. Projects are too numerous to list separately.

Public Hearings

Representation at local government public hearings is a routine assignment. A list of Expert Public Testimony is available upon request.

Appraisals and Claims Settlement

1987-Present: Trespass and Negligence: routinely provide inspections, reports and appraisals for small trespass and negligence cases, generally negotiated, mediated, arbitrated, settled out of court or settled in small claims court.

1992-2002: The Davey Tree Expert Co., Inc.: provided all tree appraisals for the district office serving San Mateo and San Francisco counties.

1992-Present: California State Automobile Association: routinely provide inspection and appraisal information for claims settlement on both homeowner policies and automobile policies.

1994-Present: Farmer’s Insurance: routinely provide inspection and appraisal information for claims settlement on real estate policies.

1999-Present: City of Pacifica: forensic investigations and technical report writing as an expert for tree dispute resolution.

2004-Present: State Farm Insurance: provide inspection and appraisal information for claims settlement.

2008: Shelter Ridge HOA, San Rafael: tree health and appraisal for damaged trees.

2008-Present: Allied Insurance: provide inspections, forensic investigations and appraisals for claims settlement.

Expert Witness
  • Routinely provide expert opinion and testimony on tree and horticulture issues to areas of legal practice that include Land Use, Real Estate, Trespass, Negligence and Personal Injury.

  • Trained and certified within the field of Arboriculture in technical report writing, forensic sciences, expert case preparation, deposition procedure and trial procedure.

  • Qualified as Expert Witness in Superior Courts: San Francisco, Santa Clara, Monterey and Tuolumne Counties.

Professional Certifications and Licenses
Professional Qualifications
  • Member, American Society of Consulting Arborists
  • Graduate, ASCA 2003 Consulting Academy
  • Certified Arborist WE-0564A, International Society of Arboriculture
  • Certified Tree Risk Assessor CTRA#499, International Society of Arboriculture, PNW Chapter
  • California State Contractor License for Tree Service C61/D49 #885953
Agency Certifications:
  • Small Business Administration: Certified Small Business DUNS# 12-783-9798
  • San Francisco Human Rights Commission: Certified Local Business Enterprise (LBE) and Certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE). Certification number: HRC020914873
  • San Francisco Redevelopment Agency: Certified Small Business Enterprise (SBE). Certification number: 113-10706-013
Professional Affiliations and Awards
Professional Affiliations and Memberships:
  • American Society of Consulting Arborists (ASCA), Member
  • International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), Life Member
  • Western Chapter, International Society of Arboriculture (WC-ISA), Member
Related Affiliations and Memberships:
  • California Invasive Plants Council
  • California Native Plant Society
  • California State Parks Foundation
  • Canopy, Trees for Palo Alto
  • Conservatory of Flowers
  • Friends of the Urban Forest
  • Golden Gate Audubon Society
  • National Audubon Society
  • Natural Resources Defense Council
  • Nature Conservancy
  • Pacific Crest Trail Association
  • San Francisco Botanical Garden Society
  • Sempervirens Fund
  • Sierra Club

Bachelor of Science, California State University – Fresno. Plant Sciences, Ornamental Horticulture

Continuing Education
  • Selection of methodology in Tree Appraisal
  • Tree Appraisal Workshop
  • Tree Appraisal Theory and Practice: An Advanced Seminar
  • Testifying Skills for Consulting Arborists
  • Trees and the Law
  • Understanding Soils
  • Soil Compaction
  • Roots and Soils
  • Reforestation in the Forest, Suburbia and the City
  • Palm Cultivation
  • Sudden Oak Death
  • Tree Preservation During Construction
  • Hazard Tree Risk Assessment and Management
  • National Tree Failure Program
  • Body Language of Trees
  • Tree Physiology
  • Davey Operational Safety program
  • Fire Risk Management
  • Riparian Zone Conservation
  • Resistograph® Certification Seminar
Areas of Specialized Study
  • Plant Physiology and Biology
  • Plant Taxonomy
  • Arboriculture
  • Irrigation Technology
  • Soil science
  • Landscape design
  • Plant Pathology and Mycology
  • Risk assessment *Arboricultural Biomechanics

Related Fields of Study

Agronomy and viticulture Geological science Computer sciences and programming Mathematics Physics

References and Testimonials
  • Carmen M. Aviles, esq. of Bledsoe Law Firm for defendant
  • David Balch, esq. of Kennedy, Archer & Harray for defendants
  • Steven A. Booska, esq., for plaintiffs and defendants
  • Matthew Davis, esq. of Walkup Law Office for plaintiffs
  • Ira A. Freydkis, esq., for plaintiff
  • Brian Gearinger, esq., of Gearinger Law Group for plaintiff
  • Robert Harrison, esq. of Wright, Robinson, Osthimer and Tatum for defendant
  • Richard Herzog, esq., for defendant
  • Peter Lynch, esq. of Cozen O’Connor for plaintiff
  • Todd Master, esq. of Howard, Rome, Martin & Ridley for defendant
  • Thomas J. McDermott, esq. of Bragg & Kuluva for plaintiff
  • Mark Mosley, esq. of Seiler Epstein Ziegler & Applegate for plaintiff
  • Dan Reilly, esq. for defendant
  • R.J. Waldsmith, esq. of Abramson Smith Waldsmith for plaintiff
  • Joseph L. Wright, esq. of Dambacher, Trujillo and Wright for plaintiffs
  • Qualified as Expert Witness in Superior Courts: San Francisco, Santa Clara, Monterey and Tuolumne Counties
Contributions to Profession and Community
Lectures and Presentations:

1995: Three one-hour lecture sessions to College of San Mateo General Ornamental Horticulture class titled: “From Planting to Pruning of Woody Ornamentals in the Landscape.”

1998: Three one-hour lecture sessions to College of San Mateo General Ornamental Horticulture class titled: “From Planting to Pruning of Woody Ornamentals in the Landscape.”

1999: One-hour slide lecture at the Presidio to National Park Service Landscape Architects from across the country. Lecture topic: History in Pruning: historic plantings and historic pruning.

April 2002: Urban forestry presentation to San Francisco Department on the Environment

May 2002: Presentation to Tree Advisory Board on Landmark Tree Nominations in San Francisco

October 2004: Two-hour presentation for a Certified Arborist examination preparation class titled: “Assessment and Risk Management”

October 2004: Presentation of industry-specific use of scientific tools at Tool Day

November 2004: Presentation titled: “Tree Health During Construction”

January 2005: Presentation with handouts titled: “Air-spade: Uses, Limitations and Specifications”

March and April 2006: Two tree walks in Palo Alto for Canopy

August 2006: PowerPoint presentation to the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) with handouts titled: “Integration of Risk Reduction Pruning to Municipal Management Systems”

May 2007: PowerPoint presentation to Bay Area staff from The Care of Trees®, Inc. with handouts titled: “Risk Reduction Pruning”

September 2007: PowerPoint presentation to the Western Chapter International Society of Arboriculture (WCISA) with handouts titled: “Integration of Risk Reduction Pruning Into Municipal Management Systems”

November 2008: One-hour presentation with 8 page handout titled “Tree Assessment and Risk Management”, for a Certified Arborist examination preparation class

June 2009: One-hour presentation at Merritt College with 8 page handout titled “Tree Assessment and Risk Management”, for a Certified Arborist examination preparation class

August 2009: Landmark Tree Tour leader volunteer for City of San Francisco, Department of the Environment

May 2010: Two-hour PowerPoint presentation titled: “Pruning Standards for San Francisco” for City of San Francisco Staff. Done as a volunteer for the Department of the Environment

March 2011: Two one-hour kid-friendly tree tours for the City of Palo Alto Arbor Day celebration

April 2011: One-hour PowerPoint presentation and lecture: Celebrating Historic Trees and Landscape at Cypress Lawn.

June 2011: Presentation to Town Council on revisions to the Water Efficient Landscape Regulations ordinance.

Contributions to Community and Public Policy:

Tree Advisory Board (volunteer): regular attendance and participation from June 1995. Appointed as voting Member by the Director of the Department of Public Works in June 1998. Appointed by the Board as Chair of the Landmark Tree Committee.

City of San Francisco: developed a partnership between corporate tree care and the Clean City Coalition to benefit DPW. Provided pro bono recommendations to DPW staff.

City of San Francisco: developed a maintenance agreement strategy to allow proper maintenance by an outdoor advertising company of previously city-maintained trees.

Tree Summit, Friends of the Urban Forest (volunteer): panel member for discussion of Urban Forestry among public and private sector stakeholders to develop the State of the Urban Forest Report, 2000.

City of San Francisco: assisted in modifications to Department of Public Works code Article 16. Ordinance changes include integration of various departments, the creation of the Bureau of Urban Forestry, and creation of the Urban Forest Council.

2008: EDAW, Inc.: San Francisco Urban Forestry Master Plan for the San Francisco Planning Department. The Consulting Arborist for a team to develop a Master Plan to integrate Arboriculture, Urban Design, infrastructure conflicts, sustainable ecology, funding strategies and maintenance alternatives.

Conservatory Foundation (non-profit): served 6 years on the Board of Directors to preserve the rare plant collection and the building, Golden Gate Park Conservatory of Flowers, San Francisco.

City of East Palo Alto: pro bono assistance to City staff in developing a heritage tree protection ordinance.

Canopy (non-profit): pro bono assistance in formulating a public-private partnership with the City of East Palo Alto and their citizens for the first volunteer-oriented public tree planting project. Assistance to Canopy with a grant funds application to the California Department of Forestry.

Friends of the Music Concourse: provided expert assistance over more than 1 year and public testimony on several occasions to achieve landmark status for historic trees in the Music Concourse of Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. The Music Concourse and the historic grid of trees were declared a City Landmark in December 2005.

Canopy (non-profit): Board member from February 2007 to present. Board Secretary from July 2007 to present.

Cypress Lawn Memorial Park: Project development, Town negotiations, management of the consulting team and author of the draft ordinance for water efficient landscape regulations ordinance revisions under AB 1881, designed to accommodate cemetery landscapes in the Town of Colma.

Author or Speaker via Media:
  • American Way: September 15,1989, Mini-Splendored Things
  • The Fresno Bee: May 14, 1990, Editorials, Tree Spirits in Visalia
  • Visalia Times-Delta: 1991, Arborist takes Visalia’s trees to heart
  • The Fresno Bee: 1991, Taking stock of Visalia’s roots
  • Stockton Record: 1991, Sizing Up Manteca’s Trees
  • Bay Guardian: April 16, 1997,Endangered species
  • San Francisco Chronicle: May 14, 2008, City takes the case of mystery manzanita
  • San Francisco Examiner: April 27, 2009, Art project may be putting trees at risk
  • Storm Report of December 1994
  • ABC Television: 20-minute storm report interview
  • ABC Radio: 10-minute interview
  • SF Apartment Magazine, October 2003, Tree Dispute Resolution
  • Canopy: Trees for Palo Alto newsletter, Fall 2005, Ask the Arborist column