File this under "stranger than fiction", shall we? I learned recently of an actual 'tree museum' on a 75,000 square metre site near Upper Lake Zurich in Switzerland. which opened in August 2013.
The brain-child of landscape architect Enzo Enem, the open-air museum features individual trees which this man has collected.
The park-like space is "divided into a series of ‘rooms’, each with their own atmosphere and character," according to Landezine. "The purpose of the museum is to emphasize the exceptional presence, beauty and rarity of the exhibited trees."
Enea's concept of "constructing open-air ‘spaces’ – a characteristic of all Enea gardens – allows for trees to be singled out and to become ‘individuals’, as visitors are led to walk around these rooms and to observe the trees from different angles."
Where are we going when we consider trees as treasures to be curated? Are we reaching a deeper appreciation of the beautiful forms that tree varieties offer, especially in mature growth? Or does creating a tree museum suggest we are willing to set trees aside in special places, and forego their enriching, life-giving contribution to our urban environment?
Did Joni Mitchell give us a truly prescient warning?
They took all the trees
Put 'em in a tree museum
And they charged the people
A dollar and a half just to see 'em
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
Till it's gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot
by Joni Mitchell, from 'Big Yellow Taxi'
View more of Enzo Enea's design – 'garden architecture as an extension of the living space'