San Rafael Public Library

Our Library Trees

Information provided by John Tune, Parks Superintendent, City of San Rafael

The centerpiece of our Library trees is a massive old Red oak, Quercus rubra, which is located on the lawn in front of the library.


There is a beautiful mature Japanese maple, Acer palmatum, growing on the lawn as well.


Visitors will also find a Southern magnolia, Magnolia grandiflora, which is slowly being overshadowed by the expanding canopy of the Red oak.


The street trees in front of the Library, along Fifth Avenue, are Crape Myrtles. These summer-flowering trees are hybrids of Lagerstroemia indica and L. fauriei.


The cultivar, with lavender flowers, is called ‘Muskogee’. There are London Plane trees, Platanus x acerifolia, planted along the street on the E Street side of the Library. This species is locally referred to as a sycamore tree.

Outside the entry door on the west side of the building is a multi-trunked Pittosporum, Pittosporum crassifolium. This plant was originally planted as a shrub, but now, with age, could be considered a small tree. At the southeast corner of the building are two Chinese tallow trees, Sapium sibiferum, which display their striking color in the fall. Across the walkway leading to the lower entry is a Scarlet oak, Quercus coccinea. North of the Scarlet oak is an old common privet, Ligustrum vulgare. This plant likely came up from a seed, starting life out as a shrub and has now grown into a tree.

Patrons entering the library from the City Hall parking lot pass between two Chinese pistache trees, Pistacia chinensis. These trees also provide a stunning autumn display.


On the northeast corner, near Mission Avenue, is a Canary Island date palm, Phoenixcanariensis, another likely volunteer.


A Pin oak, Quercus palustris, grows in the lawn between the Library and City Hall. It is common for Pin oaks and Scarlet oaks to hold their dry leaves throughout the winter, finally shedding them in the spring when the new leaves emerge.


  • Downtown Library

    Sun: closed
    Mon, Tues, Weds: 10-4
    Thurs: 12-6
    Fri & Sat: 10-4

    (415) 485-3323

    1100 E Street (at 5th Avenue)
    San Rafael, CA 94901

  • Pickleweed Library

    Sat, Sun & Mon: Closed
    Tues: 10-4
    Weds & Thurs: 12-6
    Fri: 10-4

    (415) 485-3483

    50 Canal Street
    San Rafael, CA 94901

  • Northgate Library

    Sun, Mon, Tues, Weds: Closed
    Thurs, Fri, Sat: 12-4

    (415) 524-2694

    5800 Northgate Drive
    San Rafael, CA 94903

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