Apple Park landscaping triggers California tree shortage

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Apple Park Close up
Hundreds of trees are being planted at Apple HQ.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s push to finish the landscaping on its soon-to-be opened spaceship campus is causing headaches for other landscapers and architects hoping to buy trees for other projects.

The company has been known to corner the market’s supply for certain Mac and iPhone components to shut out competitors, but a new report out of San Francisco reveals Apple is bringing its overpowering tactics into foliage market too.

Developers working on San Francisco’s new Transbay Transit Center train station are having a hard time getting trees for the new 5.4-acre green rooftop City Park. Patrick Trollip, the lead landscaper on the transit project, told the San Francisco Chronicle that Apple has become their biggest obstacle because the company keeps buying all the trees at landscaping centers along the coast.

“Buying trees is a surprisingly cutthroat business. And it’s been especially challenging to locate desirable specimens because Apple has been buying up 3,000 trees for its new Cupertino headquarters. When Greenspan and Trollip found a tree they fancied they would “tag it” with a locking yellow tag, so that nobody else — like Apple — could get it. Eventually all the tagged trees were moved to a nursery in Sunol, where the transbay project team leased 4 acres.”

Apple has been buying up thousands of trees for the upcoming Apple Park campus and storing them in the town of Sunol as well. Tim Cook said the company aims to make its headquarters the greenest building on the planet.

When Steve Jobs unveiled the spaceship campus before his death, he envisioned thousands of citrus trees throughout the property as an homage to the citrus groves that were on the land in the early 70’s.

Over 9,000 trees will be planted on the Apple campus by the time its completed. About 20,000 Apple employees are set to move into the campus once it opens later this month.

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One response to “Apple Park landscaping triggers California tree shortage”

  1. Alphaman64 says:

    Uh, how does this jibe with the reports a year or more ago that Apple was already cultivating and growing trees — some of them ridiculously mature to where only one would fit on a flatbed — up to 5 years ago just for this purpose? I wonder if this is really a problem of availability of trees, or rather availability of transportation.

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