Junction 38 tree, after nearly 8 years
In 2006, during the final year of my art degree, I began guerrilla tree planting, under the title ‘Green Graffitti’ in areas overlooked as places in need of trees, or places where trees could be placed in spots geographically important to me, with the intention of them being symbolically important for the ideas I was trying to put forward about a better world and better home area.
I look back at this point in my early twenties, as being a somewhat naive point. Yet, it is a part of me I miss, becoming more in the thick of the sociopolitical reasons for destruction of a human-friendly planet (as with other things) during the following years of my twenties. Hopefully one day I can begin to make plans to grow trees from seed-to sapling in order to plant around again; it was certainly within a more hopeful point of my life.
However, the oak tree I planted on a grassy road island at Junction 38 of the M1, remains firmly in my life, because less than a year after planting it I began a job that would mean me passing it on the West Yorkshire/South Yorkshire border (a special spot between the two counties I have most affinity with) from thereon. I have travelled (usually by foot) past it thousands of times, happy to see that it has been left to grow by the council grass-cutters, and is flourishing. Sure, there is a large part of me that hopes it catches peoples’ eyes, I wouldn’t have called the project ‘Green Graffiti’ way back then if my intentions had been otherwise.
Images of Junction 38 tree now: