Past Talks & Workshops


San Francisco Garden Festival and San Luis Obispo Garden Festival

Speaker & Pruning Demonstrator 
Park Day Secret Garden Tour

Yearly Speaker & Pruning Demonstrator 
Marin Sustainable Landscape Garden

Speaker & Teacher
Merritt College

Hands-On Pruning Workshops

Edible Schoolyard of Berkeley


Green Gulch Zen Center

for over two decades
Merritt College Pruning Club

Volunteer Experience

Portland Japanese Garden

University of California Botanical Garden

Garden Consultant
San Francisco Zen Center

Trained pruning groups during Fall Work Periods
Tassajara Zen Center

Taught pruning to farmers and regular Arbor Day pruning leader
Green Gulch Zen Center

Hakone Japanese Garden

And dozens more...


Testimonials from Past Talks and Workshops:



I have known Leslie for a long time, because of Dennis Makishima. I have seen multiple displays of her pruning talent and her dedication to the classes and activities of the Merritt College Pruning Club and the Aesthetic Pruners Association. She is a true artiste. She is spontaneous, enthusiastic, and incredibly knowledgeable when it comes to pruning and aesthetics. I saw her talk on Japan; and it was marvelous! The adventures she’s had, both in Japan and in other gardens, will inspire anyone who wants to learn how to prune. She will make you want to learn more! Her emphasis on natural design, and her eye for beauty in the garden is truly inspirational.

—Judy Thomas

Bay Area Plant Consultants founder

Merritt College Landscape Horticulture Instructor

ISA Board Certified Master Arborist



Leslie is one of the preeminent members of the local pruning community. She has volunteered endlessly, spreading the word and teaching about good pruning practices. She is an excellent speaker and brings great heart and personal experience into her talks. She is a delight to listen to, and her talks are all fun and very informative.

—Pete Churgel

APA Certified Aesthetic Pruner

ISA Certified Arborist



Leslie Buck's workshops are, hands down, the best introduction to tree pruning because they are - well, hands on. Leslie has a wonderful way ofhanding out branches from small trees or shrubs, a pair of hand pruners, and guided instruction in how to reduce and thin so your miniature "tree" so that it looks completely natural and beautiful.

Leslie teaches with a love and enthusiasm for trees, people and aesthetics that translates into enthusiastic students pruning with understanding and joy.

—Sukey Parmelee

Green Gulch Farm and Garden

Land Advocate, Arbor Day Leader 

Educational Outreach Coordinator



Leslie Buck, with a BFA from the University of California at Berkeley, embodies the marriage of art, craft, and discipline of the Japanese do or way.  For more than 25 years we have delighted in her quarterly visits to our garden, when she darts from window to window, planning the future shape of each pine and oak, and then patiently clipping each twig so that her vision will emerge in future years.  Her sense of design ranges from the shape of each plant relative to its neighbors, to its color, to its seasonal display, and ultimately, to its relationship to the ecology of the greater community garden.

—Janet Rulifson

Homeowner and 

Special Education Educator