Bob Brennan, resident arborist at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden and ardent defender of Coconut Grove’s lush canopy, died Dec. 24 at his North Grove home of lung cancer. He was 63.

A jovial, bearded outdoorsman, Brennan was known as Miami’s “tree guru.” When property owners needed help with a towering ficus, they called Brennan Tree Service. If activists wanted to stop the illegal removal of a black olive or a mahogany, they called Bob. When politicians needed help crafting tree protection laws or with tree-anything, well, they called Bob.

“He was extremely influential in shedding light on proper arboriculture practices and really approaching tree care with an integrity I’ve rarely seen amongst other professionals in the industry,” said Ian Wogan, an arborist and mentee. “There was so much knowledge and information that was passed through Bob, it was amazing.”

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He saved the trees. For that and more, he’s remembered as a guru of the garden
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