Image: Apple

A tough truth about Apple is making headlines this week, and you’d better hold on to your butts, because it is salacious. Apparently, Apple is snatching up all the very best trees for its new campus, leaving local tree purchasers scrambling for solutions.

The scoop was buried in a recent San Francisco Chronicle story about construction of the Transbay Transit Center in San Francisco. One of the futuristic travel station’s highlights is a 5.4-acre green roof which will eventually feature 469 trees (nice). The paper’s J.K. Dineen reports on the struggle to find all those trees:

Buying trees is a surprisingly cutthroat business. And it’s been especially challenging to locate desirable specimens because Apple has been buying up 3,000 trees for its new Cupertino headquarters. When Greenspan and Trollip found a tree they fancied they would “tag it” with a locking yellow tag, so that nobody else — like Apple — could get it. Eventually all the tagged trees were moved to a nursery in Sunol, where the transbay project team leased 4 acres.

Whoa, Greenspan and Trollip are taking this very seriously. And they should be!

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Apparently, the landscape architects now have to travel as far as Portland, Oregon to get the good trees. Which is kind of crazy considering that the Transbay Transit Center is a public works project and Apple is pretty much the richest company on the planet. Couldn’t maybe Tim Cook send his arboreal thugs to the Pacific Northwest to fetch the good trees instead of hoarding them from the locals?

We’ve reached out to Apple to find out why the company is buying all the good trees, and we really, really hope someone responds.

[San Francisco Chronicle]