There are guerrillas in our midst and they have the Forest City in their sights.
Specifically, they are the tree planting kind and on Nov. 1, armed with shovels, mulch and as many as 70 fruit trees and small shrubs, a small but dedicated groups of urban environmentalists set out to plant them at 10 different sites across London.
What makes these locations different from other plantings done by groups like ReForest London, are that these ‘guerrilla plantings’ are not always at the invitation of the landowner.
“Who we could talk to, we did. Who we couldn’t reach, we didn’t,” said one of the event’s key organizers, Steve Leroux.
Going by the moniker Tree Hustler, Leroux explained what they are doing doesn't harm anyone, but does provide ongoing benefits to both people and the environment.
He did acknowledge though that many people have many misconceptions about growing fruit trees. These can range from being difficult to grow, you have to spray them all the time and that they are messy. “I have been organic since selling my first fruit tree in ’81. We use nothing. I don’t water, I don’t mulch, I don’t do anything,” explained Leroux talking about the ongoing care of his own fruit trees.
Working in conjunction with Food Not Lawns London, Leroux’s company, Whiffletree Farm and Nursery, supplied the trees and much of the expertise provided to volunteers taking part in the venture.