Community Fruit Trees

 

Community Fruit for All

What are Community Fruit Trees?
Community Fruit Trees are publicly owned and available for everyone to enjoy. We aim to ensure that our neighbors have access to delicious, nutritious fruit. We also hope to reduce hunger, improve our natural environment, create a deeper connection to our food, build community and exercise our independence from the globalized, industrial food system.
A sign next to the tree invites people to enjoy the fruit. Each tree can be found on the map below brought to you by our friends at fallingfruit.org. Just imagine picking fresh berries, apples, plums, peaches, pears – directly off trees and bushes, right in your neighborhood!

We understand that obtaining a fruit tree includes barrier costs. For individuals or communities that are enthusiastic about the idea of bringing accessible and abundant fruit to their neighborhoods, but do not have the means to cover initial set-up costs, there are two options for support.

First, you can apply to our ‘Trees by Mail Program’, where selected recipients will have a list of trees to choose from and make an order that we will have delivered right to you! This option requires far less preparation as the logistics are already taken care of, you commit to planting the trees and take good care of them! This is for United States applicants only.
Our ‘Trees by Mail’ program has paused for the season as bare root trees need to be planted before the summer! Those who applied will have a response by May 8th.
Newly interested stewards, you may view the application to see what to expect and prepare for when they are open again. We are hoping to have trees for mailing again in the fall; stay connected with us on social media to stay updated!

The other option is to apply to be a “Grant Program” recipient via this form. This option requires you to source and order your own fruit trees; we will step in to cover the costs. This is open to worldwide applicants! The Community Fruit Tree Grant program is accepting applications on a rolling basis.

We had signs printed for many of our trees, but they can be hand made with scrap material as well.

Why do we need Community Fruit Trees?
Everyone deserves access to fresh fruit. But millions of Americans live in food deserts with limited access to local produce. Grocery store fruit typically arrives from across the country and around the world via fossil fuel powered transportation, causing harm to the environment. These fruits are also picked before being ripe which hinders peak flavor and nutrition. We hope to inspire and empower people to plant thousands of fruit trees across the nation. Food doesn’t have to come from the store. It can be growing all around us for free!

Where can the trees be planted?
Highly accessible locations – residential front yards and businesses with access from a public sidewalk, in the medians between streets and sidewalk, at schools, in public parks, in churchyards and along bike trails.

This is a Mulberry tree planted in a front yard in 2018 and already producing fruit in 2019. This will grow to be a large tree producing thousands upon thousands of mulberries.

Planting on the median between the street and sidewalk:

How did the Community Fruit Trees program begin?
We set out on the mission to ensure that our neighbors have access to delicious, nutritious fruit. To do this, the Rob Greenfield Team and the Live Like Ally Foundation came together to establish the grassroots project, Community Fruit Trees. By establishing public fruit trees, this initiative helps reduce hunger, creates a deeper connection to our food, improves our natural environment, builds community, and exercises our independence from the globalized, industrial food system. Food is a human right, not a commodity.

In 2018, the Community Fruit Trees program launched in Orlando, where we planted over 200 Community Fruit Trees. In November of 2019 we began offering grants to folks across the USA to bring Community Fruit Trees to their towns. So far we have awarded six grants resulting in the planting of 71 fruit trees in four more states, and have set up the funds to continue to offer grants for communities in need. In 2021 the initiative successfully planted 1,000 Community Fruit Trees in 30 communities across 20 states. Learn more about our 2021 planting here. Our goal for 2022 is to have Community Fruit Trees in all 50 states, our dream: on every street.

Is Planting Trees a Fruitful Investment?

You bet it is! A fruit tree typically costs our program around $30 (the cost of a dozen pounds of fruit) plus the time needed to plant it and minimal ongoing care. That’s it. That small effort will provide fresh, local, nutritious fruit for your community for many years to come. A single mature persimmon tree has the ability to grow as much as 90 to 100 pounds of fresh fruit in one season, talk about a return on investment! We want to ensure your success, please utilize the variety of resources linked below for a wealth of knowledge and support!

Community Fruit Trees FAQFor more specific information and any additional questions

Community Fruit Tree Care Guide– An in depth guide for maintaining a healthy tree

Community Fruit Tree Care and Planting Guide – Bare Root Trees

The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation– an amazing resource that includes a guide to planting fruit trees, what to do once your tree is in the ground (aftercare) and more

 

Want to get involved? 

Plant a Community Fruit Tree in your community. Just follow the guidelines for a good location, put up a sign, add it to the fallingfruit.org map and then email us at growfood@robgreenfield.org so we can add it to the database.

Share Your Tree with the Community. Already have a fruit tree and want to share the bounty with your neighbors? Just put up a sign, add it to the fallingfruit.org map and then email us at growfood@robgreenfield.org so we can add it to the public database.

Apply for a grant to receive funding to plant Community Fruit Trees in your community! Apply here or email growfood@robgreenfield.org

 

Additional Resources:
Join our Facebook Group; where those involved or interested in the Community Fruit Tree program exchange updates, advice, and establish a larger connected network for community and support.

Learn more about our current food system with this video 

Pete Kanaris Youtube channel: Watch this Before Planting a Fruit Tree, You Can Plant Fruit Trees like a Pro, What We Use to Feed Our Fruit Trees

 

Here are some of the Community Fruit Trees we’ve planted so far!


Community Fruit Trees is a grassroots project led by Rob Greenfield and the Live Like Ally Foundation. We have planted over 1,400 Community Fruit Trees so far. We hope to inspire and empower people to plant thousands of fruit trees across the nation.