Fewer Fences, More Trees

I wanted to take a little break from the deep dives on our New Year’s Resolutions to share a little fruit reflection from my own life…..how does replacing fences with trees build a stronger Seattle?


I have lived in Crown Hill for the past 14 years. My husband and I were lucky to buy a home there before the housing market really took off though, even at that time, we could only afford something with a lot of “potential”. So, over the past 1.5 decades, we’ve been slowly progressing through our ever-growing list of DIY projects. This year, we decided to take on our front yard because the front fence was so rotted through that it was being propped up with tall, rusty metal stakes.


After more than a year of planning for the style of fence we both liked and could build ourselves, we rather unexpectedly decided to simply tear the fence down and not replace it. However, when we explained our decision to tear down the fence to our son he, for some reason, became upset.


So, we gave him a pep talk, explaining that when we tore down the fence, we would be able to plant more fruit trees. He instantly went from sad to excited. I started chanting “less fences, more trees” to keep the energy going in the right direction, which he matched with his own loud cheer: “MORE APPLES, MORE APPLES”. It was an amazing moment, as a mom and as a City Fruit employee.


And it got me thinking…..I’ve spent a lot of time over the past year or so evaluating fences, for their design. And, now that we’ve decided to just get rid of them, all I can see is their potential: what if everyone replaced fences with fruit trees?

  • What if we used these spaces to bring people together, instead of keep them out?
  • What if we planted more trees instead of using more lumber?
  • How much more fruit would we be able to grow and to share?


As we dig into what Harvest for All truly means for the City of Seattle, we’re looking for opportunities to redefine the space for and potential for fruit, to bring this community together. Whether you own land or not, whether you live on land or don’t. Together we can find other places to plant trees and other opportunities to use fruit to bring neighbors together.


What are some of your ideas? What else can we replace with fruit trees?

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