Site Updates

This page describes the updates made to the encyclopedia entries and other content on this site. Only significant updates or additions are noted. Updates to the design and infrastructure of the site are also noted, since that may be of interest to some of our visitors. Contact us with your feedback or questions.

Update Log

16 May 2018: Redesigned search box and button due to breaking changes in Google’s CSE API. The search button now sometimes wobbles when one types in the search box, but this is how Google designed it and its free use comes at some aesthetic cost. We will try to work around this when we can.

11 May 2018: Our intern Julia Goolsby, a senior in Earth Systems and Creative Writing, spearheaded the format change of our Noteworthy Trees map to use Google Maps instead of PDF. See Tree Maps & Walks for a pointer to the map and a list of changes made.

22 Jan 2018: Canopy awards our two editors its Arnold Soforenko Award – which recognizes significant contributions to the urban forest – at Palo Alto City Hall. From the full writeup:

To John Rawlings, for creating trees.stanford.edu, a one-of-a-kind resource about trees and their history on the Stanford Campus, and to Sairus Patel, for providing universal access to trees.stanford.edu and enriching the site’s content, making it beautiful and eminently functional.

Not coincidentally, the conversion of all encyclopedia entries (including shrubs, vines, and other entries not in the book) was completed on this day.

21 Jan 2018: The large spreading loquat on Palm Drive has disappeared.

Griselinia littoralis entry expanded, Hoover House location noted.

1 Jan 2018: All encyclopedia entries in the book have been converted to the new design style (see Mar 2017 note below), with about 80 additional entries to go (mostly shrubs and vines added to this website by J. Rawlings).

The conversion process includes updates to family or scientific names. We’ve chosen to keep Michelia as is, and not treat it as Magnolia, since the Flora of China leaves that open (however, we do include Michelia and Talauma in the “Campus Magnolias” aside-bar listing). Rhus lancea is also kept as it; while Searsia lancea seems to be the correct name, we have not seen it used.

The header styling for multiple species to an entry, e.g. see Rhus integrifolia and R. ovata is unsatisfactory, especially when wrapped on small screens. Perhaps the font size of all elements to such a heading line should be the same. Perhaps there should only be one taxon name per encyclopedia entry in the header.

12 Nov 2017: New entry added for Moraine ash, Fraxinus holotricha ‘Moraine’.

21 Oct 2017: Fraxinus entries were all on a single page; created a new entry for each species, with a single Fraxinus (Ash) Notes page.

16 Oct 2017: Identification of the Inner Quad specimen Livistona chinensis corrected to L. australis.

3 Jul 2017: First cut of new page, Trees of Stanford and Environs: The Book.

17 Jun 2017: Opened social media pages on Instagram, Facebook, and yes, even Twitter (though it’s not clear we fit the Twitter profile for fast, rapidly changing information!). Stanford Alumni picked up and shared our first photo on social media, the jacaranda in the Inner Quad. It was well received.

12 Jun 2017: First use of webfonts, using Source Sans Light for the menu bar to match Stanford.edu, News.stanford.edu, Events.stanford.edu, etc. (Stanford.edu almost immediately redid its entire design; however, the other popular sites retained their look.)

29 May 2017: New front page image: Inner Quad jacaranda on Memorial Day.

2 Apr 2017: New front page image: flowering cherries in the Oregon Courtyard.

New design style of encyclopedia entries continues: flowering cherry.

Mar 2017: Front page blurb on what’s in bloom on the Spring Equinox (Mar 20).

New design style of encyclopedia entries continues to be rolled out: Quercus (oak) notes (new images), giant sequoia (new images, locations), western and eastern redbud (new images, locations).

Features of the new design style include:

  • Aside bar (on the right on wide screens, on the bottom on narrower ones) with related species or plant types, or other blurbs.
  • Headings in Georgia. Its italics look lovely at display sizes, making the scientific names stand out. One day we may go for a webfont (we’d love to hear if you have any recommendations with striking italics), but for now we are staying with “web-safe” fonts. Verdana’s italics leave something to be desired for scientific names (they are oblique-style), but we are staying with Verdana for now.
  • Proper credits for each and every image, including date taken, if available.
  • Clear attribution of the author of each entry, and revision history where possible.
  • Correct dashes, apostrophes, quotation marks. Also fractions when HTML allows; complications arise with arbitrary fractions e.g. 3/16 and ¼ are both used for Tilia cordata, with only the latter being predesigned. More fiddling may be warranted.

Feb 2017: Front page blurb on saucer magnolias in bloom.

8 Jan 2017: The site is now mobile-ready, and with responsive layout as well (some work is still needed on images and image galleries). The left sidebar is replaced by a top navigation bar. Search is available on the top navigation bar, so you can now search from any page on the site. A new Oriental arborvitae image marks this mobile-ready milestone, replacing the now classic Jasper Ridge oaks image by Toni Corelli that graced the site’s front page for many years.

A new design style of the encyclopedia entries has started to be rolled out slowly as well; currently only Oriental arborvitae and Canary Island date palm (the entries referred to in the caption of the new front page image), and saucer magnolia are formatted in this style.

Oct 2015: Inner Quad tree map revised in preparation for tree walks at the Canopy and Stanford Historical Society Trees of Stanford: A Walk Through Time event on campus. Also, a new footer navigation bar is introduced, containing new Contact Us and Site Updates pages.

Sep 2015: Removed the use of HTML frames for the top and left navigation, since frames are not supported well by browsers (for example: updates to a content page are not reflected when a visitor browses to that page, if that frame was already in the browser’s cache; an explicit reload of that specific frame was needed to see the changes). Also, with the removal of frames, each page now has its own easily obtainable URL that inclues the top and left navigation. SSI (Server Side Includes) is used instead of frames to include navigation on every page.

Fall 2014: Design update of front page of site and top-level (non-encyclopedia) articles. The masthead is set in Bembo, following the design of the book’s cover title.

2005–2014: Various updates to the site content by John Rawlings, including the addition of shrubs and vine to the encyclopedia.

2005: Site created by John Rawlings in conjunction with the publishing of the book Trees of Stanford and Environs, by Ronald Bracewell.