I’m not going to lie to you; I was a little stumped when I first saw the forest of blue trees outside Westlake Center in Seattle. For a city that I love for its environmentally aware and eco-friendly ethos, painting tree trunks blue seemed a little out of place.
It struck me as so jarring that I looked a little further into the story behind the trees. It turns out the blue trees in Seattle are part of a larger project by Australian artist Konstantin Dimopoulos to raise awareness and start a discussion about the importance of trees and the dangers of global deforestation.
While you sit quietly on a park bench in the shade of Seattle’s blue trees, you can rest easy knowing that the trees have been painted with a temporary and environmentally friendly solution of a vibrant blue rock, azurite, mixed with water.
I bet they look spectacular when the chill of autumn turns the leaves russet and gold.
Blue is my favourite colour, but it looks kind of strange.
It does look strange, but they’re kind of growing on me now I know the back story. 🙂
It’s like you’re in an animated world. Haha
It does look a little surreal, Gwen! 🙂
But it’s cool, though.
I’m pleased to hear that they used enviromentally safe solution and not toxic paint. It does look unnatural though, but certainly brightens the place up, you can’t ignore them…
They certainly pop out at you when you’re walking by, pommepal, it made me do a double -take. They actually do look beautiful in an unexpected way.
Seattle just got a little more relaxing. Nice post!
Thanks George, I have to say Seattle is one of the more laid-back US cities that I’ve encountered. I like it a lot! 🙂
Wow, weird! But the back story makes it less alien…..
Yes Sue, the back story made me like them a whole lot more!
Funny how our brain registers this as strange – especially as the lapis blue with the limey new foliage really stunningly beautiful. Wonder how long it will last? Do remember to keep an eye on them next time you have a lot of rain and let us know if there’s been a dimming?
I’ve been wandering by them for quite a while and they’re not showing any signs of fading, I suspect it will be a very gradual process, there’s an awful lot of blue on there!
Blue trees!! I’m wondering what challenge you’re going to set tomorrow? 😉
Haha, keep guessing, AJ, I’m working on it now!
Very pretty. I hope they can breathe.
Me too, that was my first thought. They seem to be thriving so I’m pretty sure the azurite is not doing any damage.
That is my favourite combination, but not on a tree! I agree that it must look much nicer with winter foliage 🙂
I love blue and green too, Madhu, but like you, I prefer my trees au naturel 😉
It is a strange thing…I am not sure … Do I like it or not.? …But the story that is behind is very nice…Sometimes we give a lot of things for granted…And it is necessary to take care of our environment…
I know, I go back and forth, visually it’s really quite spectacular but it’s also disquieting – which I suppose is the point, it makes you stop and think.
Loving the lime and blue mix!
I was taken by those blue trees .. when I visit last year and now I have the story behind them.
You’re so right … those trees rock the city center.
Go Aussie go! He needs to paint some blue trees back home too!
Environmental awareness needs a boost everywhere!
Yes it does, Madoqua. He has painted trees in several locations – I saw on his website that he did a blue tree project in Melbourne in 2006.
mix color mix 🙂 *Brigid
interesting story. Also glad the trees can breathe, and wonder how long the colour will last. Keep us informed 🙂
Very interesting post Ailsa. Personally I’m not a fan of things like this and wish they’d find some other way to raise awareness but art as always is a very individual thing so I’m sure there are many who love it. Thanks for sharing it!
We saw these last summer when we were visiting Seattle. They were very pretty.
really awesome and eye catching
I LOVE them to bits… Now to go searching for some here in Australia…
Very surreal – like others I hope the trees are really okay and wonder how long the color will last. Visually, I think I like it. But I think what bothers me is that you had to make an effort to find out what the idea behind the project is, instead of it being made clear right there on-site. The artist can’t realistically expect to “raise awareness” and “start a discussion” if the only impression people walk away with is “Huh, that looked weird.”
There is a sign nearby that has a brief outline of the intention behind the project, although I think a lot of people miss it – I didn’t see too many folks stopping to check it out but there’s a lot more information available online. He’s done similar trees in various other locations too.
Thanks – good to know that the information is available nearby if people look for it 🙂
This reminds me of an artist that was painting dead trees. It was several years ago and I don’t remember where I read it though.
It’s actually a really good idea! We take trees for granted and painting them blue suddenly makes us notice them again! “What’s going on with these trees?!” and by creating that question in the minds of passers by, you make room for a discussion about the environment. Very clever!
Thanks for sharing it with us!
Thanks for answering that question. 🙂 I never knew why the trees were blue but look at them all the time!
A veritable Blue Man Group of trees. I love the first image. The blue is so striking! I’m also glad it was art, and not some treatment for illness or bugs, and that the paint is safe for plant and animals!
I love the blue trees contrasting with the new spring-green leaves…certainly works as an attention-getter! I have issues painting a flat wall in my house, so my hat’s off to the artist for his patience in what looks to be very thorough coverage of all that textured and contoured bark!
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Stunning; I think I like blue trunks! 🙂 Great idea!
The blue looks really great with the green leaves, but in the winter, it just looks like of scary. Great pics!
The stuff of fantasy films. I’m so glad it’s safe and temporary but it’s really interesting to see 🙂
Looks very elvish… in a good way.
Yes, totally elvish! I love it. 🙂
Haha, love it Daniel 🙂
On Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, we wondered why the lower portion of all the tree trunks in town had been painted white, then found out it prevented bugs from infesting the trees. Another tree painting that looks odd until you know the reason behind it.
I love Seattle, too, but haven’t been there for years. What a great idea this is; I hope it’s repeated all over. Trees are SO vital, and we generally just take them for granted, don’t we?
I like the whole concept with a bonus of raising awareness. Way to go Seattle!
You’ll have to give us an update in the fall! What a great way to promote awareness…
Downtown Denver’s big blue bear would look great in this blue forest!
Hmmmmm. I really like these blue trunks. I’m glad it’s all not harming anything and is in the spirit of awareness. I’d like to see them around here. As beautiful as nature can be, it’s a nice change. Maybe like in the fall, the leaves AND the trunks could change. 😉
Stunning, especially that green/blue contrast.
Wonderful and calming. I was alarmed at first too! Environmentally blue Azurite ! Of course!!
I wonder if it stains the pavers.
wow! cool.. is that real?
Yes, Johanes, the trees are right in the centre of downtown Seattle.
Looks like a terrorist attack with chemical weapons – I guess I’ll have to cancel my trip to Seattle…
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How long will this blue last?
I’ve seen them already on the “Pride in Photos” blog. Anyway it is spectacular.
It’s creative, but why blue trees…
very amazing place
If we speak about the holiday destination of India initially Kashmir vale comes in our mind which has limitless pleasurable destination .
How strange but a very captivating way to raise awareness. This is great to stumble across
It’s so strange… yet it looks so mysterious! It’s AMAZING! Must’ve been awesome to be able to see trees like that! 😀