Guerrilla Grafting: Hacking City Trees to Create Urban Food Forests

Guerrilla Grafters are providing urbanites with a new way to access fruit by grafting branches of fruit trees onto ordinary ornamental city trees.

After pothole gardeners and pavement crack fillers, the Guerilla Grafters are the next urban hacking collective that wants to make streets a better places for everyone. The collective sees grafting branches of fruit trees onto trees in the streets as an opportunity to provide free access to food to urbanites. The process of adding a small branch to an existing city tree is considered vandalism. However, that doesn’t stop the Guerilla Grafters, who say their aim is to turn the city into food forests and “unravel capitalist civilization one branch”. They believe the process won’t damage the trees and they hope people will reconnect with the shared space and fruits.

Using scions from fruit bearing varietals, the grafters create food in public right-of-ways
Modifying trees is easy and uses minimal tools
The final result: juicy pears for passers-by to pluck

Every tree that was grafted has its own caretaker who does check-ups. This caretaker makes sure each tree receives all needed care. The Guerrilla Grafters take full responsibility to ensure that over time, delicious, nutritious fruit will grow that can be harvested safely and freely.

The Guerrilla Grafters are not welcomed by everyone. Most trees in cities don’t grow fruit for a reason. They are carefully cultivated by urban foresters that make sure the trees remain healthy and fruit-free — city authorities consider fruit growing trees to be unwanted because they are seen to be creating a mess that might attracts animals and pests. That doesn’t keep the movement from spreading further across the world, inspiring local guerrilla grafters from Asia to South America.