The oldest apple tree in the Pacific Northwest is located six miles from downtown Portland in the middle of a highway interchange. This tree was planted circa 1826 and marks the beginning of western expansion in what is now Oregon.
We have been granted permission from the Urban Forestry Commission to take ten cuttings and carry forward the legacy of this relic tree. With support from Awesome Portland, we will lead a participatory art project in which local families and residents graft their own apple trees from the 1826 apple tree cuttings. We will work with each participant to plant a tree at their home and install a placard that contains information about the participants and the project. To celebrate The Old Apple Tree project, we will host a public tour around Portland to visit each tree. We will also design and distribute a map of the tree locations. These will be printed and also published on the project's future website.
This project will not only commemorate the rich fruit culture in the Pacific Northwest, it will also ask people to consider their own agency in creating history. The trees we plant will live on as permanent and growing records of the 1826 apple tree. They will act as a series of living sculptures that illuminate Portland's past and educate its future.
Funded by Portland, OR (September 2012)