Hide the Apple Tree

Several years ago we had to replace a tree at a local high school that was killed during a construction project I was managing.  The principal asked me what kind of tree they should put in; I had just finished a Fuji apple for lunch, so I told them a Fuji apple.  Thus the architect issued the edict; so let it be written, so let it be done.

It turns out this was the first time in memory an apple tree was planted in the district, and there was all kinds of concerns of the consequences; students would steal the fruit, throw it through windows, eat green apples and have tummy aches (and thus miss school), rats and vermin would move in, and bees would sting people. 

None of this came about, probably because no one knows its there.  The tree (centered in the photo above) blends in so well with the rest of the landscaping that thousands of kids walk right under it every day, oblivious to its presence.  The custodian said its no extra trouble at all (and believe me, if it added one minute to his day, I’d hear about it). 

I asked if they tried the apples, and they said no, they thought they were poisonous and raked them up and threw them away.  You may snicker at this, but this is the state our society is in; fruit comes from the supermarket, not a tree, so anything in the landscape must be poisonous.  I assured him they are not only not poisous, but will be the best apple he’s ever tried.  That fall he emailed me and agreed that they are the best apples they’ve ever tasted, and now they stand on the golf cart to pick their fill.

This was the start of our planting apple trees on campuses in the district.  


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