Fruit Trees: Where Are They Now?

February 19, 2010


Left to right: Matias Viegener, Austin Young, and David Burns of Fallen Fruit.

A few weeks ago, we told you about LACMA’s collaboration with Fallen Fruit and our kickoff event, the fruit tree giveaway. Over the course of two days, Fallen Fruit facilitated the distribution of 300 fruit trees to families who filled out adoption forms and promised to plant their tree in a public place or on the perimeter of their property.


New “parents” at the Watts Towers Arts Center.

With trees come stories. I’ve always been partial to the Washington Square Moon Tree in my hometown of Philadelphia, the first of many moon trees planted during the Bicentennial by astronaut Stuart Roosa, who carried the seeds on a trip to the moon to mark the contributions forests have made to our way of life. Fallen Fruit follows up with the families that adopt, and they often receive photos and stories about how the trees are doing and where they were planted.

One story in particular stands out from the adoptions—Diann Bryant, who adopted in Watts surrounded by her family and friends, responded via email that she planted her Fuji apple tree in her son’s honor. He passed away four years ago to the day of the adoption. Another adopter, Kevin West, local canner and jammer, told me that he didn’t have the proper spot to make his new Cuties Clementine tree publicly accessible, but that he would use his jam-making talents to provide jars of jam for all in the neighborhood. He also wrote a post on his blog about the day including a survey of the “socio-geography” of citrus in Southern California.

Here are some more pictures and stories from new tree parents:


An email sweetly signed A Happy Little Family In Los Angeles explains: “We don't have a proper shovel, so we dug this hole, laboriously, with a little trowel, but we made it big enough for our new, beautiful little tree. After we watered the hole and the tree we planted the tree and now we are waiting for oranges. We think we might have some next week.”


Sarah Chambers says: “Here is the tree in its pot. I am going to try and get it established and get a saucer under it in the warm weather. Not sure if I can replant it into the ground around me as the soil is rock hard dust for most of the year and so watering would be the main consideration. I used cactus soil for good drainage as advised by the plant center. I hope it stays healthy and inspires others in its place.”


Here’s Cuties Clementine new dad Michael Kurcfeld and his tree pot with garnish.


Agata Gotfryd reported: “Here is a picture of my fruit tree which was planted in San Pedro by the sidewalk by my house. My niece helped with the planting.”

You can follow the fruit tree futures and see other photos of EATLACMA events as they happen on the EATLACMA Flickr page.

Sarah Bay Williams