News + Inspiration

We Remember the Tree Doctor, Ken Knox

Ken Knox Tree Doctor

We were saddened to hear of the passing of renowned arborist Ken Knox earlier this month. Our studio is fortunate to have worked with Ken in preserving old growth oak trees during construction on several projects over the years. His knowledge was inimitable and passion contagious. Ken was always a joy to work with and he will surely be missed.

Ken Knox has been described as a doctor, a historian and even a guru. But throughout his illustrious career, he didn’t work with medicine, or at a university or as a religious teacher — his passion and his life’s work were trees.

Known professionally as The Tree Doctor, Knox spent the bulk of his career, more than four decades, as a consulting arborist. He diagnosed problems with trees and prescribed proper treatments, advised on the preservation of historic trees, analyzed potential hazard trees and more.

His influence and impact can be seen in the healthy trees in places like Augusta National Golf Club, Wade Hampton Golf Club, Charlotte Country Club. He helped revitalize an avenue of old live oaks at golf community Belfair Plantation in South Carolina and helped with the arboretum at Furman University.

Throughout his career, Knox wrote innumerable reports, but each one ends the same way, with this quote from Dr. Seuss’s “The Lorax:”

“I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues. And I’m asking you sir, at the top of my lungs, unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

To read more about Ken’s life visit the full write-up by Derek Lacey at

Tree Doctor Bent Creek Oak Tree
This tree, in Bent Creek, has a canopy 100 feet in diameter and a trunk 6 feet at its widest. It holds great sentimental value to the homeowners. Ken Knox devised a plan to preserve the tree roots during renovations and for years to come.

Tree Doctor Tryon Oak Tree
This property outside Tryon was dotted with towering oak trees. Ken was the person we called to help us find the best location for the home without damage to the root system during construction.