Project Description
       • what is Onetrees?
 Project Map
   Project Developement & Timeline
   Biological Clones
       • how and why do you clone a tree?
 Electronic Clones: A-Life Tree
       • how and why do you simulate a tree?
       • why are the trees in pairs?
   OneTrees Sites
       • where are the trees? 
       • What is a printer queue virus good for?
   Reference / Links
   People & Places
       • who did this?
       • who supports this?


Sites and Ecosystems


Growth responses: How does your garden grow?

The Paradox Clones respond to their climate, soil conditions, environmental stressors (inc.air quality), and tending. Together the trees of the OneTrees project will render the diverse microclimates of the San Francisco Bay Area.

Proposed Sites

The OneTrees proposed and confirmed sites include:

  • City Sidewalks - fronting property owners placing them on the sidewalks
  • select San Francisco School District Schools - a pair of trees at the entrance to the school.
  • Bay Area Rapid Transport - pairs of trees at BART stations facilitate comparison
  • Golden Gate Park - in pairs at the top, mid and base of the park
  • Union Square - as part of the redesign project
  • Stairways - the stairways of San Francisco are public - a tree at top and bottom of the stairs.

Pairwise comparison: Why are the trees planted in pairs?

The trees will be planted in pairs to demonstrate, not only the effects between the sites, but also record the differences within the trees that arise even when they are at the same site.

Site Conditions:

The OneTrees sites will be selected to fulfill the following requirements:


  1. Public Accessibility:
    The sites for OneTrees need to be publicly accessible. This include public parks, streets and sidewalks etc. San Francisco tree planting policy is that the fronting property owner is responsibility for the trees on the sidewalk in front of their homes - not the city. They are responsible for their care and any damage they cause. Other counties have similar policy. Consequently, the project requires people (rather than sites per se) who will collect this project be taking responsibility for a pair of trees. Please see the Planting subsection for more infomation on this and the organizations, Friends of the Urban Forest and POND, who are working with us to find sites.
  2. Diversity:
    The sites will represent diverse environmental conditions and social environments. The growth responses of the trees will be most interesting if they capture the diversity of the Bay Area. Therefore, representation sites are sought. The tree's growth will respond to variations in: precipitation, humidity, heat and access to light, soil conditions, particulate matter, carbon dioxide levels, CO2 levels, and many other polutants and environmental stressors. The trees will also capture attitudes towards trees as the respond to care. These slow interactions gradually acrete the different responses.
  3. Longitudinal Feasibility (and compatible institutions):
    The long term feasibility of this project depends on aligning the trees with institutions and infrastructure that have longitudinal stability i.e. urban features that will be around in 50 years. It is for this reason that the project is in negotiation with the Bay Area Rapid Transport Authority; San Francisco School Districts and the Dept of Public Works amongst others. However, Friends of the Urban Forest (and other similar organizations nation wide) have demonstrated that private citizens (residential fronting property owners) are effective stewards of public trees (see Friends of the Urban Forest), hence the OneTrees project depends on the active and ongoing participation of local community members.
Planting the Trees:

The planting of the paradox clones has been graciously facilitated by Friends of the Urban Forest and POND. FUF is a non-profit neighborhood tree planting organization that has planted over a third of San Francisco's street trees and greatly improved the urban environment.

San Francisco has a division of urban forestry that maintains street trees in some of the parks and on major boulevards. Most of the public street trees are planted and maintained by the community.

Social Conditions:



The diversity of local conditions in the Bay Area is not captured by environmental variation alone, dramatic as it is. In addition to radically different microclimates the Bay Area has highly balkanized social contexts.

The biological sameness of the trees will render both the environmental and social differences to which they are exposed. The trees will become evidence, witness, and mediator of these differences.

Micro-Climates and Global Climate Change:

Changes in local climate conditions are difficult to relate to Global Climate change. This project explores how we can link the direct experience of local conditions with this global concern, and make sense of our shared environmental conditions. The OneTree Artificial Life (A-life) section describes this in detail.

Map of the San Fransisco Bay Area where the clones are being planted.