"Guerilla Grafters" Make Ornamental Trees Fruit-Bearing
In San Francisco, some stealthy people are turning ornamental fruit trees fruit-bearing.
Cherries, apples, plums, pears - take your pick
In city after city throughout the United States, ornamental fruit trees line the thoroughfares,and they are very beautiful during springtime when they are in full bloom. Most everybody is familiar with the gorgeous site of Washington, D. C.'s cherry blossoms around the Jefferson Memorial which render our capitol city perhaps the most beautiful in all of America for a short two-week period of the year.
In San Francisco, a group which calls itself the Guerrilla Grafters does not think ornamental fruit trees serve any practical purpose, so they have taken to grafting fruit tree branches onto ornamental cherry, plum and pear trees. It isn't easy to spot a graft unless you are specifically looking for it, so the Guerrilla Grafters are having a rather easy time of it. Their goal is to completely fill neighborhoods with fruit-bearing branches over a period of time.
The city objects
The city of San Francisco considers the activity vandalism. Carla Short, an urban forester for the San Francisco Department of Public Works, complains that people will slip on rotting fruit that has fallen to the ground and that grafting "gets very dangerous very quickly," but Tara Hui, spokesperson for the grafters, says that for every tree that gets grafted, a "steward" or designated fruit picker/sweeper has been assigned to keep the area scrupulously clean.