Exactly 360 days ago, I wrote here on about Apple's megalomaniacal plan to transport more than 4,600 trees to its new campus then not yet known as Apple Park. Almost a year later, I spoke in this article about a number of aspects of Ma's faranic project, with some paragraphs dedicated to the vegetation of space and philosophy by Steve Jobs, the father of the whole original idea of the new campus, on the subject.
The fact is, trees are a crucial part of Apple Park, and we certainly don't know everything about them yet. Proof of this is this fascinating interview published by Backchannel with David Muffly, senior arborist (yes, that job exists) on Ma's newest campus. In his charming conversation with journalist Steven Levy, Muffly gives a few more details about Jobs's vision and reveals how he ended up at Apple for this great job.
Between Muffly and Jobs, the differences were obvious to anyone at a glance: Muffly is an itinerant botanist whose soil is the greatest of his loves, while Jobs was the CEO of the most valuable company on the planet and one of the defining figures of a generation. However, looking a little deeper, there were links between the stories of the two men; the first one that they both were hippies during youth, being part of alternative communities and building their respective personas with an implacable influence of this period of their lives.
Apple bought so many trees in a given period that it caused a drought in the earth market.
When Muffly and Jobs met in 2010, they soon realized something else in common: the love of trees. The first meeting was, in the greatest style Jobsian, not in a closed room with artificial light, but on a walk through the hills around the Stanford University campus, and it was there that the legendary executive realized that the botanist was thinking along the same lines as himself.
One thing led to another, and soon Muffly was named Apple's senior arborist with a secret mission, but now celebrated by everyone: planning, locating and planting the 9,000 trees, in total, of the future Apple Park. A work, so to speak, of superhuman proportions. As Muffly defines himself, speaking of the day Jobs took him to a room with various models of the new campus:
I was like, wow, this crazy. So I'm looking at that and my brain is thinking, "spaceship me!"
According to the arborist, it was right there that he understood the whole idea of Jobs, of transforming the campus into more than a simple work area to make that space a statement. harmony, ability to work together and, mainly, nature, evoking the Silcio Valley ecosystem as it was before the big technology companies dominated the place. This was, and still, Muffly's job, as he defines himself, and Jobs helped him significantly in this process.
As the botanist himself says, the CEO had a better understanding of trees than many arborists, realizing only from the look which had good structure and would be good choices for Apple Park. Together they defined that, in addition to a multitude of native species, some others, from other territories, would also be planted, with greater capacity to absorb water from possible floods and regulate the campus soil, preventing flooding. "Like any good investor, you need to diversify your portfolio if you don't know what's coming," defines Muffly.
Finally, the arborist tells some details of the plan for transporting and planting the trees themselves, which originally totaled 6,000 specimens when the Apple Park opened; the number eventually jumped to over 9,000 when Muffly realized that many of the pre-existing trees on the ground would have to be moved and convinced Jobs to buy a tree farm in Yermo to replace them, in fact Apple bought so many trees in a given period that caused a drought in the earthy market.
How much question you want to keep in mind: out of the hundreds of fruit species present in the terene, some of them are apple trees but did they plant McIntosh apples on campus? Good according to Muffly, at:
I didn’t think about it, that’s very good. But unfortunately Macs don't grow very well here, so I have a bit of an opposition to them.
Very well, then. We hope that the lack of Macs is only in the trees.
via The Loop