A Tribute to an Apple Tree

We had an unhappy surprise on a recent Tuesday morning: the magnificent apple tree near the Livermore Pavilion had abruptly split its trunk and tipped over during the night, revealing a hollow core that had been rotting for some time. Garden Manager Michael Bogart quickly consulted with tree experts, but the conclusion wasn’t good: the tree had reached the end of its lifespan, and would need to be removed. We estimate it was at least 100 years old, predating the Center itself by a decade or two.

In the past few years, the apple tree had become a destination on the grounds, casting its shade over several patio tables. Its canopy of branches created an ideal meeting place for the staff and visitors as we slowly returned to normal routines after the pandemic shutdown, and it has sheltered workshops and painting groups and plant sales. This past summer we even enjoyed several concerts gathered around the tree as part of the WERKSTATT pop-up in The Shop. And of course, guests of countless celebrations in the Livermore Pavilion have found their way down the steps to a quieter spot beneath its branches.  

Every few years, the tree would amaze us with a generous crop of fruit. Since we didn’t seem to have any records of what type of apple it was, we dubbed the variety “Livermore Crisp” in honor of one of our founders. It turns out that the tree was actually an heirloom Braeburn variety; it was certainly delicious.

Longtime readers will remember that the Garden School students made cider one autumn, and we were looking forward to a similar bounty in a month or two. Sadly, the apples didn’t get a chance to ripen this year, but we take hope from the small shoots the garden team saved from the fallen tree. The plan is to graft them onto some root stock, so that this beloved tree can continue to be part of the community—and we’ll look forward to more tasty, historic apples in the future. 

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IRS Guidelines for Gifts from Donor Advised Funds to Support MAGC Events

Thank you for your interest in giving to the Marin Art & Garden Center events from your Donor Advised Fund (DAF) or Family Foundation.

We sincerely appreciate your generosity and support!

To ensure your gift follows the current IRS guidelines for DAF/Family Foundation support of an event, we would like to share the below guidelines with you.

  • Raffle tickets, tickets to galas and other special events, auction items, and benefits conferred in connection with a DAF/foundation grant are not permitted.
    • IRS has specifically ruled that fair market value associated with fundraising events cannot be separated, a practice known as “bifurcation.”
      • For example, with Edible Garden, if the price of the ticket is $200 and the FMV fair market value (non-tax-deductible amount) is designated to be $50, the donor must pay from sources other than her DAF/foundation for the full value of the ticket ($200) and not just for the non-tax-deductible amount ($50).
    • We recommend you confer with your financial advisor to confirm if any of these examples of how donors may still use their DAF to support an event would work for you:
      • A donor could sponsor the event, and not attend, and pay fully out of the DAF/foundation.
      • A donor could sponsor the event using DAF/foundation funds and attend by purchasing an individual ticket through non-DAF/foundation funds.
      • A donor could sponsor the event, join the event as a guest of another donor/table guest, and pay fully out of the DAF/foundation.
      • A donor could sponsor the event and host the afforded number of people at their chosen level as long as they pay for the seats at the lowest ticket price ($200 for Edible Garden) outside of their DAF.
        • As an example, a $1,500 sponsor that covers 2 guests, could pay for their sponsorship with $400 from a different source of funds, and then give an additional gift of $1,100 out of their DAF.


Please email Tod Thorpe, Director of Development at tod.thorpe@maringarden.org to discuss your gift to Marin Art and Garden Center