(c) Takafumi Tsukamoto, 2020

a collaboration between Andreas Greiner and Violeta Burckhardt

A new tree became ZK/U's latest addition to the Stadtgarten Moabit in last autumn. Read more about the project "Wildwoods" that gives second life to unwanted trees.

To meet the huge demand for human-designed vegetation in landscape architecture, forestry and urban greening, industrial tree plantations have grown into highly specialized and carefully planned operations that coordinate the growth of thousands of plants throughout the year. The species and number of trees are determined by functionality, customer requirements and current design trends – which are primarily based on culturally constructed ideas of beautiful nature. The trees that are unable to satisfy these aesthetic standards do not generate value, thus they are extracted and disposed of after only one season. The Wildwoods project, a collaboration between Andreas Greiner and Violeta Burckhardt, offers an alternative future to those trees that are left behind; because their trunks weren’t straight enough, their stems too thin, their branches irregular or their roots exposed. Without a commercial purpose, they regain their value as living beings and as a fundamental part of our ecosystem. In cooperation with tree nurseries (currently Baumschule Lorberg in Brandenburg), Wildwoods hopes to construct another type of park, another type of scenery. A forest of unwanted trees where variation and singularity are cherished — a sanctuary for difference and true biodiversity.

The first two trees in this project have been planted: one in the Stadtgarten Moabit next to the ZK/U ­– Center for Art and Urbanistics in Berlin and one in the sculptural garden of the Städtische Galerie Wolfsburg. A sculptural element constructed of spruce trunks with bark beetle markings supports these first trees – representing the first, of hopefully many trees, to join Wildwoods.