By Zara Flores

Mike Evans, founder of Tree of Life Nursery, was presented the Horticulturist of the Year award by the Southern California Horticultural Society (SCHS) at a banquet on Saturday, Sept. 28.

Evans founded Tree of Life more than 30 years ago, and it is now home to more than 500 native plants to the area, straying from the non-traditional commercial model of nurseries.

“I consider this (award) the most significant. The list of recipients is comprised of people that have really made a difference in Southern California horticulture, and I’m privileged to be added to that list of names.” Evans said.

As someone who is a member of different organizations and societies, this award is even more special to Evans, because he is not a long-time member of SCHS.

“They recognized me even though I wasn’t an insider,” Evans said about the society and award.

The SCHS is an organization composed of gardeners, landscape architects, botanists and even just enthusiasts of horticulture who have a passion for nature, plants and a sense of community.

The award is an annual award meant to honor an individual and the work the person is doing in the community.

For more information about the award or society, visit

Tree of Life is located at 33201 CA-74, San Juan Capistrano.

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