Board Member - Juan Barba

Juan Barba is a Consulting and Working Arborist, the owner of Juan J. Barba & Associates in Tucson, Arizona.  Juan is a native Tucsonan who began his training with a degree in Environmental and Landscape Horticulture from the University of Arizona. He has learned and extensively practiced in all facets of arboricultural & horticultural care around Arizona and many other states. Juan is a past president of the Western Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), an ISA Certified Arborist, with an ISA Tree Risk Assessor, as well as former chair of the Trees for Tucson board, and member of the Campus Arboretum Advisory board. Juan has been influential in the community in so many ways.  



My personal professional interactions with Juan have led me to understand he is among the most effective and inspiring of teachers. He's not only knowledgeable, he's clear spoken, candic and articulate, as well as gregarious and compassionate. Shortly after assuming my position as Director of the Campus Arboretum in February 2011, Tucson experienced unprecedented freezing weather that resulted in die back or death of hundreds of mature trees. Knowing the extreme educational value of these trees, I spent weeks collecting and processing data that I hoped would help me decide what guidance I could offer to the UA grounds services that would support them in balanced tree preservation and aesthetics expectations of the campus. Eventually, I consulted with someone I had only heard of - Juan Barba. The relatively brief interaction was invaluable as Juan provided me not only with clear guidance for specific cases, and pruning timelines, but taught me a strategy for making pruning decisions generally - beginning with removal of risks (limbs presenting a hazard), progressing to issues relating to tree structure (crossing limbs), and culminating with small cuts to achieve an optimal structure, while never removing more than 25% of the canopy in any one season. Many trees were designated to save as a result of his guidance to me. SImilary, his service in this time was not limited to the campus trees as he served as a community resource to guide everyone through the post-freeze period into the summer of 2011. His education and experience assisted us all in confidently navigating through tree evaluation, maximizing trees preserved, pruning where essential, and removing trees as a last resort. 


In many other ways Juan has provided consultation or service professionally, as a judge for ISA Tree Climbing Competition, as an Smartscape Advanced Instructor, as a leader in the Southern Arizona Arborists Group, as author of countless tree-care articles like this one in Southwest Trees and Turf, and as an invaluable guide for Campus Arboretum landscape development projects including the salvage of 9 mature trees from the DELEP  field site before it was sold in 2021. 


Thanks Juan!

Tanya Quist, Director

UArizona Campus Arboretum


PS. Juan is married to the lovely Kathy, loves to travel, and brings the best burbon to arboretum parties, and in case it is not obvious, there are few people I admire more!








Many thanks to Juan for making a big difference to so many people and trees in Arizona!