Gallery: This Towering Holiday Tree is Made of 86 Shopping Carts

A view from beneath the tree.

Images © Graham King

“The shopping cart tree symbolizes both generosity and abundance, as well as acknowledging those less fortunate where their whole world may be housed in a cart. We see shopping carts every day and take them for granted. Individually the beauty of an everyday object may become invisible, but in quantity you can’t miss it,” says Anthony Schmitt of his design.

This actually wasn’t the first time that the shopping cart tree was erected – Schmitt conceived the idea more than a decade ago at the request of Abby Sher, the former owner and developer of Edgemar, and the Colwell and Belden families have continued the annual tradition of commissioning the tree since buying Edgemar in 2007.

The 2010 tree is made out of mostly full size carts with some smaller versions at the top to create a forced perspective of height. The carts are supported by an internal structure that remains nearly invisible, allowing the carts to seem like they were merely stacked atop one another and left in that perilous formation.

+ The Shopping Cart Tree

Images © Peter Brooker Photography and Graham King


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  1. karenart December 29, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    Saving a tree and getting attention!
    sustainable residential architect is vital and the design are stunning!
    Happy New Year everyone

  2. dfwolven December 13, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    you never need to worry about it shedding needles……

  3. Anthony Schmitt December 10, 2010 at 1:35 am

    Thank you inhabitate, I built two trees this year one in emeryville at Bay street
    and the one in edgemar which was an original idea of mine 15 years ago. The one in emeryville reflects the agricultural and industry communities, and I called it” the nurturing tree” the one in Santa Monica at edgmar, I called the courage tree…. we have all needed a little courage this past year, looking forward to 2011.
    I know that a story ran last year in Melbourne, Beijing London and Tokyo.
    Happy Holidays

  4. ekofriendly December 8, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    yea.. not an original idea.. there is one in Emeryville, CA

  5. Inhabitat December 7, 2010 at 11:09 pm


  6. boatclassic December 7, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    It’s not original.A friend send me a photo last Christmas from Melbourne,Australia of an almost identical installation.

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