Jensen Ranch Elementary School student garden

We recently teamed up with Anneke Gaul, a volunteer coordinator for Jensen Ranch Elementary School, to help implement a student garden. Located within Palomares HOA, one of our Castro Valley maintenance accounts, this installation proved to be a fun and (forgive the pun) “fruitful” project. Watching the kids’ excitement as construction progressed was inspirational to our crew and the hundreds of drawings and thank you notes we received from the students have been amazing to read through. Thank you Jensen Ranch for asking us to be part of this project and for welcoming us into your community.


This plaque was installed at the garden after the project was completed.  We think it looks fantastic!


The garden before.  This space was begging to realize it’s potential. All it needed was a little TLC!


Two memebers of the crew trenching away.  Way to go team!


The all volunteer crew: Alberto, Juan, Martin, Mayolo and Joel.  What a great group of guys!


The garden project at completion.  Can you believe it?!  Looks fanastic!


A thank you letter from a student.  We’re thinking this little one has a very specific planting plan in mind for the new space. (We love strawberries, too!)


We’re flattered- we made the marquee!  Wow, Jensen Ranch.  Thank YOU for the opportunity!

Profile: Kyle Sato

Kyle comes to Cleary Bros. as a recent graduate from Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo with a bachelor’s degree in Forestry and Natural Resources and a minor in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). When asked about Cleary Bros,  “I am enjoying every minute of it!”

As our resident GIS Inventory Specialist, Kyle uses a GPS to plot tree locations within 50cm; he then uses this information to create site specific maps displaying different characteristics of those trees. With all the measurements and details Kyle collects, he can compile and extract the data to provide information at a moment’s notice.  This information takes large project planning to a higher level!

One of Kyle’s greatest life accomplishments was becoming an Eagle Scout. While in school he was on the Cal Poly Logging team; where his team competed against other universities in Timber Sports. He competed in many events that involved chopping, cross-cut sawing, chain sawing, and various technical events. During his time off, you can either find him fishing, sailing, camping, cooking outdoors, or riding his ATV.

For a free demonstration of our GIS inventory and mapping system please give us a call – it is truly awesome!

Plant Highlight: Toxicodendron diversilobum

Poison Oak

Poison oak is very common along the West Coast.  In the open or in filtered sun it forms a dense, leafy shrub; in the shade it’s a tall-growing vine.  Its leaves are divided into three leaflets with scalloped, toothed, or lobed edges.



  • Only 1 nanogram (billionth of a gram) of oil from a leaf (urushiol) is needed to cause a rash. The average encounter resulting in a rash involves 100 nanograms.
  • 500 people could itch from the amount of urushiol covering the head of a pin.
  • It is the most common allergy in the country, claiming half the population.
  • The rash is not contagious, the urushiol is contagious.

In heavily infested locales poison oak is almost impossible to eliminate.  Birds will consume the plants’ berries and as a result of seed spread through their droppings additional shoots invariably sprout every spring.

Tips to identify poison oak:

Along the Pacific coast it grows as 6-foot tall clumps or vines up to 30 feet long



Depending on the time of year the coloring can range from a bright new green, to dark green with darker edges, to red and russet shades


Oak-like leaves, usually in clusters of three


And always remember, when in doubt Stay Out!